You Expect Them to Be Masculine Nouns, but They Are Not
Updated: Feb 15
Quite a few English nouns ending in a consonant have corresponding cognates in Russian. Since these English nouns end in consonants, you expect them to be masculine. However, their Russian counterparts are feminine and end in “-a”. How confusing!
When you hear them in phrases in their genitive forms, you might think they are in their nominative forms. The following corresponding pairs look normal to English speaker, don’t they?
problem – проблем
program - программ
minute - минут
group - групп
However, you should remember that Russian “программ”, “минут”, “планет”, “проблем”, “групп” etc. are not the nominative but genitive plural forms. They are often used after “нет”, “не́сколько”, “мно́го”, “мало”, “недоста́точно”, “доста́точно”, “ско́лько”.
You might here these words in such phrases as:
нет пробле́м = no problem
мно́го програ́мм = a lot of programs
ско́лько мину́т = How many minutes?
мно́го кома́нд = a lot of commands (teams)
не́сколько причи́н = several reasons
Here is a list of these confusing nouns: