So as far as I am aware, in standard Ukrainian, when a nouns follows the numbers 2,3 and 4, they should take the nominative plural. But, when talking with some people today, they told me I shouldn't say "три хлопці" but instead "три хлопця", sames goes with "чотири дівчини" instead of "чотири дівчата". Is this the correct usage, or is this russism? Since the genitive singular would be the correct case in Russian here, I am not sure about Ukrainian now.


1 Answer 1


The correct usage would be:

  • два/три/чотири хлопці;
  • дві/три/чотири дівчини¹;

Grammar books talk about "form of Nominative Plural with the stress of Genitive Singular". Here's how Wikipedia puts it:

In general, the following rules are used to determine agreement between the cardinal number and a noun:

  • In the nominative case, the nouns agree with the last number in any compound number. Nouns that must agree with a number ending in 2, 3, or 4 are in the nominative plural, but retain the stress of the dual, that is the genitive singular.
  • Nouns, which must agree with a number ending in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, and all the teens are in the genitive plural.
  • In any other case, the nouns and numbers are in the same case.


¹) дівчата, with the diminutive -ат- suffix, is a separate case, discussed in this post. Also, some nouns obtain extra suffixes in declined and plural forms, like "mother": одна мати / дві матері.


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