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Grammar Lesson 7

What is an Adjective? Nominative Case of Adjectives

Russian grammar and vocabulary. Unit 2
Grammar Lesson 5
Asking Whose in Russian? The Possessive Pronouns его, её, их, наш, ваш
Grammar Lesson 6
Asking What and Who? Nominative case. Asking Where? Prepositional case
Phrasebook Topic 5
Phrasebook Topic 6
At the Airport
Quiz 6
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 5-6 and Phrasebook Topics 5-6 with this 10 minute quiz.
Grammar Lesson 7
What is an Adjective? Nominative Case of Adjectives
Grammar Lesson 8
Demonstrative Pronouns этот and тот. Indeclinable это vs. Demonstrative pronouns этот (эта, это, эти)
Phrasebook Topic 7
Phrasebook Topic 8
Learn numbers 1-20 in Russian
Quiz 7
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 7-8 and Phrasebook Topic 7 with this 10 minute quiz.
Test 2
Check what you have learned from Grammar Lessons 5-8 and Phrasebook Topics 5-8.

 Грамматика                                                            Adjectives 



What is an Adjective
  An adjective is a part of speech that modifies or describes a noun or a pronoun. It answers the question

 Какой? (какая? какое? какие?) - "What kind of"? 

   1. - Какой это галстук?

   2. - Это новый синий галстук.

   1. - What kind of tie is this?

   2. - This is a new blue tie.


2. The Nominative Case of Adjectives
Russian adjectives function as noun (or pronoun) modifiers and must agree with the word they modify in gender, number and case. Like nouns, adjectives have hard stems and soft stems. 

The question word какой - "what kind of" changes for gender, number and case like an adjective.

Study the basic Nominative case endings of adjectives:

  Hard stem Soft stem    


Какой это галстук?


новый синий
Какая это рубашка?


новая синяя    рубашка

 Какое это платье?


новое синее   платье

 Какие это галстуки, рубашки, платья? новые синие
 Adjectives endings: -ый/-ой (-ий); -ая(-яя); -ое(-ее); -ые(-ие)


  • Most adjectives have hard stems: новый - new, интересный - interesting, белый - white, красный - red, модный - fashionable, старый - old,  красивый - beautiful, etc.
  • A few adjectives have soft stems. Examples: синий - deep blue, летний - summery, зимний - wintry, вечерний - evening, последний - last. 
  • If an adjective has end stress, it's masculine form ends on -ой: какой - what kind of, молодой - young, плохой - bad, большой - big, голубой - pale blue.
  • Never break the 7-letter spelling rule when adding endings to adjectives, i.e. after  к, г, х, ж, ш, щ, ч write -ий, -ие,  not -ый and -ые: русский, русские - Russian, какие, большие, плохие.

  • Do not confuse adjectives effected by the 7-letter spelling rule and adjectives that have "naturally" soft stems. Compare: русский, русская, русское, русские (feminine and neuter endings remain hard: -ая, -ое, whereas masculine and plural endings effected by the 7-letter spelling rule are soft : -ий, -ие ) and синий, синяя, синее, синие (all endings are "naturally" soft: -ий, -яя, -ее, -ие).

  • After the letters ж, ш, щ, ч and ц do not write unstressed -о, write -e instead (5-letter spelling rule): хорошее платье - good dress, горячее молоко - hot milk.
Listen to the dialogue, then read it aloud. Pay attention to the usage of adjectives and possessive pronouns.

Click on each line to listen.


1. - Таня, это твоё пальто?

1. - Tanya, is that your overcoat?

2. - Какое? Серое? Да, моё.

2. - Which one? Grey? Yes, it's mine.

3. - А коричневая сумка тоже твоя?

3. - Is the brown bag also yours?

4. - Нет, коричневая не моя. Моя - чёрная.

4. - No, the brown one isn't mine. Mine is black.

Reading  Чтение


Read the text and answer the questions. Analyze adjectives endings.  


1. Какой это магазин?

2. Какое пальто там *можно купить?

3. Какой костюм там можно купить?

4. Какое платье там можно купить?

*можно купить - one can buy


Это новый магазин *"Одежда". Там можно купить хорошее чёрное, серое или синее пальто, модный белый костюм, красивое платье.


*одежда - clothes

цвета - colors:


 белый - white

чёрный - black

серый - grey

 красный -red

синий - blue

голубой - pale blue

жёлтый - yellow

зелёный - green

коричневый - brown

Exercises  Упражнения
Practice asking questions with the interrogative word какой
Make adjectives agree with nouns
Choose the correct forms of adjectives

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