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Word in focus

чувак  [choo-VAK] (masculine noun) – dude, man, guy

А кто этот чувак? Ты его раньше здесь видел? = Who is that guy? Have you seen him here before?

У тебя что, чувак, совсем крыша поехала? =  Dude, are you nuts?

How old are you? (The Dative Case)

Unfortunately, talking about age in Russian isn't as straightforward as in English. You can't just say "Я двадцать", it's a bit more complicated than that.

Look at the example:

Сколько Вам лет? = How old are you? (formal)

Мне тридцать лет. = I'm 30.

As you can see, we use "вам" instead of  "вы" and "мне" instead of "я". "Вам" and "мне" are examples of pronouns in the Dative Case.

Here are all the pronouns in the Dative Case:

я - мне

ты - тебе

он - ему

она - ей

мы - нам

вы - вам

они - им

Look at the examples:

Ей тридцать один год. = She's 31.

Ему пятьдесят два года. = He's 52.

Тебе десять лет? = Are you 10? (informal)

Им три года. = They are three.

Вам двадцать пять лет? = Are you 25? (formal).


As you can see, to talk about someone's age, you use a pronoun in the Dative Case, the number and год / года/ лет.

To know which one you should use, follow a simple rule:

After 1, 21, 31 and other numbers ending 1, you use "год".

After 2, 3, 4 and numbers ending with 2, 3, 4 (22, 23, 34 etc.), you use "года".

After 5 - 20 and numbers ending in 5 - 9 or 0 (25, 46, 50 etc.), you use "лет".

Finally, to ask "How old are you?" you can ask

Сколько тебе лет? (informal)


Сколько Вам лет? (formal).


Practice: try this exercise