Numerical nouns

Счётные существи́тельные

The following nouns are so-called “numerical nouns.” They are derived from cardinal numbers.

едини́ца  one семёрка  seven
дво́йка  two восьмёрка  eight
тро́йка  three девя́тка  nine
четвёрка  four деся́тка  ten
пятёрка  five дю́жина  dozen (12)
шестёрка  six со́тня  hundred

These nouns may refer to the names of the corresponding figures (e.g. семёрка the figure 7). They also have special uses listed below.

  • The first five nouns in the list above may refer to grades given in universities and schools: едини́ца («пло́хо» bad/F), дво́йка («неудовлетвори́тельно» unsatisfactory/D), тро́йка («удовлетвори́тельно» satisfactory/C), четвёрка («хорошо́» good/B), and пятёрка («отли́чно» excellent/A).
    Он мно́го занима́лся и получи́л пятёрку на экза́мене. — He studied hard and got an A on the exam.
    Она́ пло́хо написа́ла экза́мен и получи́ла дво́йку. — She wrote poorly on the exam and got a D.
  • The nouns дво́йка through деся́тка may be used to denote the numbered playing cards of a suit.
    дво́йка бубён — two of diamonds
    пятёрка пик — five of spades
    семёрка черве́й — seven of hearts
    деся́тка треф — ten of clubs
    Он сдал мне восьмёрку черве́й. — He dealt me the eight of hearts.
  • In informal Russian, these nouns and a few others (e.g. двадца́тка 20, тридца́тка 30) can be used to refer to the numbers of buses and trolleys.
    Я прие́хал домо́й на восьмёрке. — I came home on (bus/trolley) No. 8.
  • Most of the nouns listed can be used to refer to groups of people or objects that consist of several units. The noun со́тня (a hundred) may be used in this case, mainly to refer to money.
    тро́йка — three-person commission, team of three horses, three-piece suit, etc.
    четвёрка — team of four horses, four-oar boat
    пятёрка — five-ruble note
    семёрка — group of seven people
    деся́тка — ten-ruble note
    Она́ пришла́ на рабо́ту в тро́йке. — She came to work in a three-piece suit.
    Она́ проси́ла у меня́ со́тню. — She asked me for a hundred (rubles).
  • In informal Russian, the nouns па́ра (a pair), пято́к (five), деся́ток (ten), and дю́жина (a dozen) are used to group similar object. They are followed by a noun in the genitive plural case.
    па́ра лошаде́й — a pair of horses
    пято́к я́блок — five apples
    деся́ток яи́ц — ten eggs (Eggs are sold by the tens in Russia)
    дю́жина ло́жек — a dozen spoons
    В Росси́и я́йца продаю́тся деся́тками, а не дю́жинами. — In Russia, eggs are sold by the tens and not the dozens.