Russian Animate Nouns

April 29, 2018 | Tags: Russian nouns

Did you know that the forms of Accusative masculine and plural and Accusative feminine plural of animate nouns are identical to Genitive case forms? In the Russian language, animacy is a characteristic of nouns which indicates that the word means a human being or an animal. However, nouns denoting groups of people or animals are inanimate.

There are some more animate nouns:

  • words that denote some mythic characters, like кентавр (centaur)дракон (dragon) etc.
  • names of playing cards (туз (ace)король (king)дама (queen)валет (jack).
  • anthropomorphic creatures or mechanisms (робот (robot)киборг (cyborg).
  • words мертвец (dead person)покойник (the deceased)кукла (doll)марионетка ‘marionette’.
  •  words that can be both inanimate and animate: микроб (microbe), бактерия (bacterium)личинка (larva)куколка (chrysalis).

For example,

Я вижу новую книгу. I see a new book.

Я вижу нового студента. I see a new student.

Я беру новые очки.  I am taking new glasses.

Я беру родителей с собой. I am taking my parents with me.