In the following sentence:

Ты прячешь животное.

Why is it "животное", not "животного"? In Russian, an animal is considered an animate object, and животное is conjugated much like an adjective (животный).

But according to Wikitionary, the accusative of животное is also животное.

Source: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/животное

But why is it not животного?

1 Answer 1


The singular accusative is generally a poor test for grammatical animacy in Russian.

In particular, the singular accusative forms of neuter nouns coincide with the singular nominative — even in animate nouns: люблю дитя, чадо, чудовище, животное, насекомое etc.

Putting the word into the plural accusative — especially with an adjective or a possessive pronoun as a modifier — is a much better test: люблю своих животных, своих насекомых but люблю свои пирожные, свои снотворные, свои существительные

Note also that animacy is not necessarily an inherent property of a noun and can depend on context: изучать морских креветок but варить мороженые креветки.

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