I'm making an Anki deck to learn vocabulary and, when it comes to nouns, I don't really know which forms of each noun to include and learn. Up to now I've been learning the nominative singular and plural and genitive singular and plural forms of every noun, but I don't know if it's the best thing to do, especially for stress patterns.

I've come across this Wiktionary appendix about stress patterns in nouns and according to it in some cases the stress falls on the stem instead of the ending in accusative and instrumental. This is the case of вода for example, so if I only learnt its nominative and genitive forms I wouldn't know that.

In the accusative singular form of "вода" the stress falls on the stem instead of the ending

So which forms to learn (aside from nominative singular and plural) in order to be able to predict all forms and stress positions of a noun?

1 Answer 1


Most Russian nouns have fixed stress: either on the stem (a) or the ending (b). For those, I would just list nominative and genitive, singular and plural:

ко́шка – ко́шки
ко́шки – ко́шек

Plural genitive can be quite irregular, so best to include it.

For stress patterns other than (a) and (b), you probably want to list all forms, just like the declension table you provided.

N. вода́   во́ды
A. во́ду   во́ды
G. воды́   во́д
D. воде́   во́дам
I. водо́й  во́дами
P. воде́   во́дах

Some people prefer to have the accusative (A) between the nominative (N) and the genitive (G) because for anything but feminine (i.e. masuline, neuter or plural) your accusative will be the same as either genitive (for animate nouns) or nominative (for inanimate).

If space on the card is an issue, you could probably drop the last three lines (D., I., P.) as their stress almost always follows genitive. Irregular instrumental ('') is super rare (ложь, вошь).

P.S. Here is the description of the stress patterns (a, b, c, d, e, f) from the man who invented/discovered them:


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