Размышлять подобным образом значит исключать из их числа таких исторических личностей как Бендамор и Контратий.

What case should I use here? Accusative or Genitive?

  • 4
    Different cases should be used depending of whether you are want to exclude persons, or to exclude persons from the list of persons. Исключать из чего? - из числа личностей: "Исключать из числа таких личностЕЙ". Исключать что? - личности: "Исключать такие личностИ".
    – Artemix
    Sep 3, 2013 at 9:21
  • @Artemix "Исключать что? - личности: "Исключать такие личностИ"" - The thing is, the question "Исключать кого?" would also be possible and absolutely correct in this case. If so, then "Исключать такИХ личностЕЙ" would also be correct.
    – brilliant
    Sep 24, 2013 at 0:31

3 Answers 3


What case should I use here? The accusative or the genitive?

You should without doubt use the accusative here, but I think you intended to ask whether личность is animate or not in this context (in other words, whether to use кого? or что? in the accusative).

I believe this passage from Rosenthal (153.5) would apply to личность as well, so your example is correct.:

Слово лицо в значении «человек» употребляется во множественном числе как существительное одушевленное, например: наградить отдельных лиц.


From Yeskova's Краткий словарь трудностей русского языка:

ли́чность, -и, мн. -и, -ей, одуш. и неодуш.Человек, индивид (употр. с определением) | Привлекал каких-то подозрительных ли́чностей (и какие-то подозрительные ли́чности)

  • care to explain the downvote?
    – Quassnoi
    Sep 19, 2013 at 21:01
  • Лицо and личность differ here. Наградить отдельных личностей is ungrammatical or sarcasmic, imitates uneducated speech.
    – Anixx
    Sep 19, 2013 at 21:02
  • 1
    @Anixx: there are lots of examples in the corpus which tell otherwise: Я бы подобных личностей к аспирантуре не подпускала, Они подстерегают в основном самостоятельных личностей, решивших совершенствовать себя без помощи инструктора and other.
    – Quassnoi
    Sep 19, 2013 at 21:33
  • first example seemingly sarcasmic (I think, the word "личностей" even can be put in quotes here), second example looks unnatural(or like a 19th century speech) to me.
    – Anixx
    Sep 19, 2013 at 21:41
  • @Anixx: do я бы подобные личности к аспирантуре не подпускала or они подстерегают самостоятельные личности seem natural to you?
    – Quassnoi
    Sep 19, 2013 at 21:44

Indeed исключать is a transitive verb that requires the accusative.

личность in the accusative plural is личности (see morpher.ru)

My variant:

Размышлять подобным образом - значит исключать из их числа такие исторические личности, как Бендамор и Контратий.

Using the genitive with личность instead of the accusative (only in the plural) sounds very informal and not like an obvious grammatical error. It's also most often used jokingly. I was able to google another usage of the genitive with this word where the accusative is supposed to be used: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/User_talk:Dart_evader

Сорри, Дарт. Вы, конечно, правы - не надо увековечивать тут подобных личностей :-)

So by using the genitive here, we express a sort of sarcasm. It's no longer someone famous, but someone who's pretending to be famous. Hope this helps.

Update (some more examples):


собираемся приглашать знаменитых и интересных личностей

No sarcasm here, why not accusative? It's informal speach and the word is used in a different meaning (person, not personality).

I can't find a real example of accusative plural on the Internet. Need a different kind of search engine. But here is a more or less realistic example of my own:

В юности он старательно изучал личности Берии и Сталина, стараясь в чём-то даже походить на них.    
  • Are you sure that Nevermind intentionally used genitive to express sarcasm? Looks like an error or typo for me. Sep 3, 2013 at 10:24
  • Yes, I'm pretty sure. His usage was intuitive though. :) My conclusions about sarcasm are based on my own experience as a native speaker and some linguistic background. I found this meaning in the explanatory dictionary: efremova.info/word/lichnosti.html So we may use it in plural to hint at someone, to offend, hurt one's pride. And hence sarcasm. Sep 3, 2013 at 11:12
  • 2
    I think Efremova's second case of личности is used in expression переходить на личности - "прямая критика личности или оскорбление оппонента" and not because genitive expresses sarcasm.
    – Artemix
    Sep 3, 2013 at 13:11

It depends on what the author wanted to say. As for your variant, it's ungrammatical. But there are two possible corrections with different meanings:

Размышлять подобным образом значит исключать из их числа такие исторические личности как Бендамор и Контратий.

Размышлять подобным образом значит исключать их из числа таких исторических личностей как Бендамор и Контратий.

So if you swap "их" and "из", the sentence becomes fully grammatical, but the meaning is different.

  • "As of your variant, it is ungrammatical" - As the recent update in Quassnoi's answer has shown, it is absolutely correct and grammatical.
    – brilliant
    Sep 24, 2013 at 0:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.