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In the following sentence:

Некоторые мужчины/мужчин плохие.

I'm not sure whether the singular or the plural should be used. At least in my dictionary, for the entry сколько, it says that if the noun is either nominative or inanimate accusative and also uncountable, it's the singular, whereas in all the other cases, it's the plural. In the entry for несколько, it says the rule is the same as for сколько. But this is сколько/несколько, not некоторый, and there's no such description for некоторый.

So I'm confused. Which should be used — the singular or the plural? And also, is the rule different based on what некоторый is based on?

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  • 1
    It's just like English: 'Some men are weird" vs "Some man walked by." Depends on what you are trying to say. Apr 20, 2022 at 14:23
  • In this case "Некоторые мужчин" is just plain wrong (case doesn't make sense after некоторые), not to mention the following "плохие" which describes the "некоторые мужчины/мужчин".
    – Dan M.
    Apr 20, 2022 at 16:50
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    The singular form is мужчина, and we don't say некоторый мужчина--we say какой-то мужчина instead. So only plural can do. Некоторые мужчины (in all cases)
    – V.V.
    Apr 20, 2022 at 18:29
  • I feel like I was quite confused. I thought некоторый takes genitive much like сколько/несколько, but it seems to take nominative, just like который.
    – Blaszard
    Apr 22, 2022 at 11:36
  • If you mean некоторых, it is genitive from plural некоторые, not singular.
    – V.V.
    Apr 23, 2022 at 16:19

1 Answer 1

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So I'm confused.

That could be because actually there are two issues here:

  1. grammatical case;
  2. singular or plural.

As for the first issue, "сколько" and "несколько" are numerals. Numerals govern the case of the word they're linked to, as described in your dictionary.

[...] and there's no such description for некоторый.

That's because "некоторый" is an adjective. It's a slave word. It doesn't command the case of the following words. Instead, it must agree with its master word, just like any other adjective.

So, you should decide which case you need for the noun and then use the same case for "некоторый".

Your example is somewhat reversed. If it's a verbatim copy from some test then the reasoning to solve it could be:

"некоторые" is a fixed word in this sentence. It's attached to the noun "man" which is animate. Therefore, "некоторые" is the nominative plural form (if the noun was inanimate then there would be ambiguity: either nominative plural or accusative plural). Next there's a choice of "мужчины/мужчин". "Некоторые" must agree with that noun, therefore the noun must be in the nominative plural form too. So it's "мужчины".

The second issue is singular vs plural after "некоторый". Sergey Slepov covered this issue in the comment pretty succinctly: grammarwise, both are possible. But the meaning will be different.

"Некоторый мужчина" might not be a very common collocation, but collocations with other singular nouns are well possible: "некоторое время назад", "в некотором смысле", "некоторая неуверенность", "с некоторой натяжкой".

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