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Здравствуйте!
I am currently learning the Russian language via Rosetta Stone, and am currently very confused as I cannot tell the difference between девочек and девочки. I have no idea what the first form means (I know both mean girl), and I previously thought that the second form meant girls. Can anyone tell me what the specific differences are between девочка, девочек, and девочки (and possibly any other forms that I could come across in the future).
Спасибо!

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There are six grammatical cases in Russian. Simply put:

Case           Singular     Plural

Nominative     девочка      девочки
Genitive       девочки      девочек
Dative         девочке      девочкам
Accusative     девочку      девочек
Instrumental   девочкой     девочками
Prepositional  [о] девочке  [о] девочках

Yes, the words for singular genitive and plural nominative coincide and have the same pronunciation (not always, but for the word девочка this is the case) so usually the context should determine which form is used.

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  • Thank you very much, this helps a lot. However, I do not understand what you mean by "[o]".
    – Colbi
    Mar 31 '15 at 5:36
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    It is a prepositional case, and usually the word is preceeded by preposition "o" (in brackets). I remember that back in school it was even preceeded by "думаю о" - "думаю о девочке/девочках"
    – Vilmar
    Mar 31 '15 at 6:36
  • The prepositional case of a noun in Russian only occurs after certain prepositions (with certain meanings), so in some dictionaries the grammatical tables always insert the preposition o in front of words in the prepositional case. I always thought this was sort of dumb, because it's not as if all the other noun cases can be used by themselves. Everything needs a context when used in real situations, so why the need for the crutch of sticking o in front of prepositional case nouns in a grammatical table? For instance, the website викисловарь does not use o in the prepositional case for nouns.
    – KCd
    Apr 1 '15 at 0:01
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Rather than displaying for you the forms of девочка, let me tell you how to look for the forms of many words, say, you are interested now in человек. Then you go to, say, Wiktionary and do the direct search or type:

 https://ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/человек

The forms appear.

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