I am trying to read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and I had a question about the word одною in this sentence:

Квартирная же хозяйка его, у которой он нанимал эту каморку с обедом и прислугой, помещалась одною лестницей ниже, в отдельной квартире, и каждый раз, при выходе на улицу, ему непременно надо было проходить мимо хозяйкиной кухни, почти всегда настежь отворенной на лестницу.

What is the root and case of the word одною? I could not find it in the declension table for один. My computer considers it a spelling mistake. Why?

  • 19th century Russian language, especially such specific as Dostoyevsky is not a good source to learn modern Russian. It has different word order and other features. Sometines it is defficult to read by modern Russians. For instance, the word order "Квартирная же хозяйка его" is definitely strange for modern Russian. In modern Russian it would be "Квартирная хозяйка же его" or more likely, completely differently "При этом, его квартирная хозяйка..."
    – Anixx
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 16:05
  • 1
    @Anixx I understand it is not the best way to learn modern Russian, but I love studying older literature. I believe that Dostoevsky in particular was a unique literary genius and has extremely relevant lessons in moral philosophy for the modern world. Actually I am more interested in his philosophy and narrative style than his language.
    – Isa
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


Whenever you're looking for the declension of a specific word, start with Wiktionary and switch to the Russian-language section. In the majority of cases, there'll be a table with declensions.

"Один"/"одна" is no exception:


ед. ч.
ед. ч.
ед. ч.
мн. ч.

Им. оди́н одно́ одна́ одни́
Р. одного́ одного́ одно́й одни́х
Д. одному́ одному́ одно́й одни́м
В. (одуш./неодуш.) одного́
одно́ одну́ одни́х
Тв. одни́м одни́м одно́й
Пр. одно́м одно́м одно́й одни́х

As you can see, it can also be одной лестницей ниже — this is actually the modern standard. "Одною" is an obsolete (but still recognizable and even used to some extent) form. That's why your spellchecker considers it a mistake.

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