Немно́го о языке́ 2.5 Э́то на́ша но́вая кварти́ра

Что тако́е "како́й"?

The forms of the word како́й can be used both for questions (to ask what kind, or which one) and for exclamations (what a big TV!). Како́й has gender (како́й, кака́я, како́е) and number (каки́е is the plural form). You have seen the question word already – recall activities in Unit 1, when you had to identify which letter you heard (Кака́я э́то бу́ква?) or which word (Како́е э́то сло́во?).

Кака́я фо́рма? Read and listen to these four phrases. Listen carefully for how each form of како́й sounds, and note the gender of each noun.

Како́й э́то дом? Кака́я э́то кварти́ра?
Како́е э́то сло́во? Каки́е э́то студе́нты?

Упражне́ние 1. Он? Она́? Оно́?

Decide the gender of the noun in each exclamation and then indicate whether the phrase appears in the text or not.

Упражне́ние 2

Which exclamations refer to one object (singular) and which refer to more than one (plural)?

Прилага́тельные: Оконча́ния и согласова́ние.

At this point you have seen many examples of how Russian uses adjectives to modify nouns.  Look at this set of sentences, and once you have understood what they mean, notice the adjective endings and how their endings vary by the gender of the noun they describe.  The adjective endings have been underlined for you. Listen to them as you read them.

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Э́то ста́рый чемода́н. Э́то ста́рая су́мка. Э́то ста́рое пла́тье. Э́то ста́рые кроссо́вки.
Твой брат интере́сный. Твоя́ сестра́́ интере́сная. Твоё э́ссе интере́сное. Твои́ роди́тели интере́сные.
Дом о́чень краси́вый. На́ша соба́ка о́чень краси́вая. Общежи́тие не о́чень краси́вое. Ва́ши ко́шки о́чень краси́вые.

Adjective endings change according to the gender of the noun (masculine, feminine, neuter) and also according to number (there is a separate form for adjectives describing plural nouns). It is crucial to know how endings are spelled, since you often will not hear the differences in the endings in speech.

In order to form adjectives, you need to start with the dictionary form (слова́рная фо́рма) of the adjective, which is the masculine singular form. You then remove the two-letter ending for that form to find the adjectives stem. It is to this stem that you will add the ending that matches the gender and number of the noun being described.

слова́рная фо́рма drop masculine ending resulting stem
краси́вый краси́вый краси́в -
ста́рый ста́рый ста́р-
интере́сный интере́сный интере́сн-

Adjectives in Russian generally precede the noun they modify.

Э́то но́вый дом. It is a new house.
Э́то ста́рый чемода́н. It is an old suitcase.
Но́вые студе́нты живу́т там. The new students live over there.

If the adjective is in the predicate after the verb “to be” it may follow the noun, as it would in English.

Ко́шка [is] о́чень краси́вая. The cat is very beautiful.

Basic Adjective Endings

To sum up, the endings for most Russian adjectives are:

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Basic endings -ый -ая -ое -ые

We will start by working with just these four basic endings on adjectives that use them. Once you have had some practice with these, we will move on to words that spell their endings a bit differently, and help you understand how to know which ending you need.

Listen to these two adjective forms and focus on the difference between masculine and feminine adjectives:



Notice that the masculine ending -ый is one syllable. In the feminine form -ая you can hear two syllables.

Упражне́ние 3

Listen to these adjectives and decide which person the adjective must be describing based upon its ending.

Stressed Endings on Adjectives

Listen to the following masculine adjective-noun phrases. The underlined adjectives are words that have end stress – the word stress falls on the final syllable:

Э́то ваш но́вый телеви́зор. Како́й он большо́й!

Телеви́зор ста́рый и плохо́й.

Мара́т Аза́тович немолодо́й.

For masculine adjectives with end stress, instead of the basic ending –ый, the ending will always be –о́й. It is generally easier to hear adjective endings on words with end stress; the question word како́й helps Russian children learn to spell endings for that reason. In the table you can see the basic ending contrasted with the one for end stress.

Basic ending -ый
Adjectives with end stress -о́й

Seven-letter spelling rule. 

Read the following and notice how the masculine and plural endings on the underlined words are spelled. Compare the spelling of the endings with those on the “basic ending” word краси́вый.

–Дом краси́вый. Он ма́ленький, но хоро́ший.

–Ко́мнаты краси́вые. Они́ ма́ленькие, но хоро́шие.

–Нет, они́ плохи́е!

If the stem of an adjective ends in к, г, х, ш, щ, ч or ж, then write -ий instead of -ый for masculine and -ие instead of -ые for plural.

This rule affects plural endings and masculine unstressed endings.

Masculine Plural
Basic endings -ый -ые
Stems ending in г, к, х, ш, щ, ч or ж -ий -ие

Five-letter spelling rule

Read and listen to the following sentence paying attention to the neuter adjectives. Note the word stress and how they are spelled.

Э́то большо́е и о́чень хоро́шее окно́. Оно́ краси́вое.

Кре́сло большо́е, но не о́чень хоро́шее.

Most neuter adjective endings are spelled -ое regardless of word stress. However, if the adjective’s stem ends in ж  ш  щ  ч or ц, then the ending is based on word stress. After these letters, keep -о́е only if the ending is stressed, otherwise spell it -ее.  At the moment you know only one adjective form that is affected by this five letter spelling rule (хоро́шее).

Basic ending -ое
Stems ending in  ж  ш  щ  ч or ц with stress on the stem -ее

Pulling it all together: Basic adjective endings and alternative spellings in context.

In the table below, you will find more sentences that contain adjectives grouped by gender and number.  All the adjective endings have been underlined. Before you do the exercise, read the sentences and look up any words that you don’t recognize.

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Дом о́чень краси́вый. На́ша соба́ка о́чень краси́вая. Общежи́тие ста́рое, но краси́вое. Сосе́дки – о́чень интере́сные де́вушки.
Како́й ма́ленький го́род! Кака́я у тебя́ интере́сная семья́!

Како́е ма́ленькое кре́сло! Каки́е здесь плохи́е маши́ны!
Э́то большо́й плюс. Э́то больша́я кварти́ра. Окно́ большо́е! Ко́мнаты больши́е.
Туа́лет ма́ленький, но о́чень хоро́ший. На́ша соба́ка о́чень хоро́шая. Общежи́тие хоро́шее. Сосе́дки – о́чень хоро́шие де́вушки.

Упражне́ние 4

Use the chart above to decide which of the following statements are true.  They should help you to summarize what you’ve learned about adjective endings.

Упражне́ние 5

Listen to the adjective, and then based on its ending, decide which word it can refer to grammatically. As you complete each question click the number in the number list if the phrase describes a positive feature of an apartment.

Choosing the right ending: using the слова́рная фо́рма.

How will you know where the stress is in the adjective?  How will you know if the adjective follows the regular or a special pattern?  All of this information will be available to you in the dictionary form of the adjective, which by default is the masculine singular. 

On the left are five adjectives you have not worked with before. Next to each is an adjective you know, which you can use as a “guide” -- the new adjective will “work” the same as the one it is paired with. The right column tells you why.

ску́чный (dull, boring) но́вый basic endings
пусто́й(empty) молодо́й end stress
дорого́й (expensive, dear) како́й end stress + 7 letter rule in plural
мя́гкий  (soft) ма́ленький 7 letter rule masc and plural
бу́дущий (future) хоро́ший 7 letter rule + -ее in neuter