Exercises with Fingers

1 палец, 2-4 пальца, 5-10 пальцев
 1, 21, 121, 1121... палец
 2, 3, 4, 22, 23, 24, 122, 123, 124, 1122, 1123, 1124... пальца
 5-20, 25-30, 125-130, 1125-1130... пальцев

Endings of Russian Feminine Nouns Окончания русских существительных женского рода
Endings of Russian Masculine Nouns Окончания русских существительных мужского рода
Russian grammar - Neuter gender Окончания русских существительных среднего рода
Exercises with fingers Упражнения с пальцами
... further results

After you have finished doing these exercises you will be relieved to know that you don't need to learn any more case endings!

  • Don’t translate but think in Russian as there is no such thing as word for word translation
  • Don’t get frightened, if you are frustrated, repeat the text
  • Don’t be discouraged by your mistakes but be patient with yourself

Учительница: It's time to exercise your fingers! It is a well-known fact in Russia that the language development of children is connected to the development in the movement of their fingers. Even some linguists think that human language developed from gestures that were used for simple communication. I know that you are not babies now but since you want to learn Russian quickly, you may want to try every trick in my book: try to work with your fingers every day and don't forget to speak Russian with your fingers! We have a collection of the exercises that you can do.

Ученик: If my mum sees me doing that she might suggest that I need to see a specialist.

Учительница: Do it in secret a few times a week and you will soon see a result. You need to develop your natural speaking abilities and this is an easy and very effective way to do it Many people believe that the first form of communication for primitive people were gestures. Imagine if we did not have hands!

Ученик: Then, for sure, our languages would be different.

Учительница: Since we have our fingers then, you can start doing the exercises! Follow the Russian video and repeat, repeat and repeat Russian words.

Why it is so difficult to count fingers in Russian?

Ученик: Why do you use genitive singular when you count your fingers from 2-4 and genitive plural from 5-20?

Учительница: The rules are:

  • We use nominative singular for one finger
  • We use genitive singular for 2, 3 and 4 finders (as they can't make a full hand yet, we need 5 fingers to make a full hand)
  • Then we use genitive plural, from 5 to 20 fingers (as it is more than one hand)

Ученик: But you say двадцать один палец!

Учительница: Certainly, at 20 we run out of fingers! Toes are also considered to be "fingers" (пальчики) in Russian and therefore we count our "fingers" up to 20. So, at 21 we forget about the toes and start counting all over again fingers on our hands only. We have to deal with large numbers and things become complex!

You have managed to survive without cases so it is very unlikely that you will feel the need for them without some training.

There are no more case endings

Show what you have learnt to a Russian friend. Expression of amazement on their face will be the best reward for you. They won't believe that you have just started to learn Russian. That is the way you know that you are on the right track.