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As I understand it, ванная is a substantive adjective (just learned that googling for an answer for this) that acts as a noun, but still declines like an adjective. Shouldn't it be the genitive plural ванных following the numbers 2, 3, and 4?

Thanks for any help!

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  • 2
    Did you post the identical question on Reddit (reddit.com/r/russian/comments/2gqcdu/…), or is that some cosmic coincidence?
    – KCd
    Sep 18 '14 at 21:52
  • 1
    I know who that is, actually. We're taking the same Russian class and neither of us could figure it out yesterday.
    – kit4kat
    Sep 18 '14 at 23:53
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With the numbers 2,3 and 4 the adjective is used in the Nominative plural if the noun is feminine. This feminine noun is used in the Genitive singular:

  • три красивые женщины: 3 beautiful women
  • две известные актрисы: 2 famous actresses
  • четыре старые тетради: 4 old notebooks.

In the colloquial speech the adjective, however, is sometimes used in the Genitive plural.

In the noun is masculine or neutral, the adjective is used in the Genitive plural and and noun, in the Genitive singular:

  • три красивых парня: 3 handsome men
  • два известных актёра: 2 famous actors
  • четыре старых стула: 4 old chairs.

Please, note that in all the other cases, except the Nominative and the Accusative inanimate, both adjective and noun (feminine, masculine and neutral) are used in their plural form:

N. три красивые женщины G. трёх красивых женщин D. трём красивым женщинам А. трёх красивых женщин, but: четыре старые тетради (inanimate) I. тремя красивыми женщинами P. трёх красивых женщинах.

N. три красивых парня G. трёх красивых парней D. трём красивым парням A. трёх красивых парней, but четыре старых стула (inanimate) I. тремя красивыми парнями P. трёх красивых парнях.

It is also important that if there is a group of men (only for animated nouns, masculine) you can use a collective number instead, but not for a group of women. The adjective and the noun used are used in the Genitive plural:

  • три красивых парня = трое красивых парней
  • два известных актёра = двое известных актёров
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  • Would you say две смежные стороны квадрата or две смежных стороны квадрата? I have met someone who thinks the first way sounds much better and someone else who says the second way is the right one.
    – KCd
    Sep 18 '14 at 21:57
  • "Две смежные стороны квадрата" is the gramatically correct option. However, "две смежных стороны квадрата" is more used in the colloquial speech. Sep 19 '14 at 12:27
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The formerly-used phrase "ванная комната" got shortened and became just "ванная". The same happened to the words "уборная", "проходная" and some others where the feminine-gender noun "комната" is always unspoken but meant.

У меня в доме нету двух ванных (комнат).
I ain't got two bathrooms at home.

Вчера в баре я встретил трёх любознательных девушек.

Yesterday I met three curious girls in a bar.

У меня в диванной стоят две новые ванны.
I've got two brand-new bathtubs in the living room.

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When the noun (or supposed noun, as комната in ванная (комната)) is feminine, both -ые and -ых are possible with полторы, две, три и четыре in nominative and accusative. This is an exception of the rule saying that -ых should be used in such case.

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