они

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Russian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Church Slavonic они (oni), from Proto-Slavic *onъ.

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

они́ (oní)

  1. third-person plural pronoun: they.

Declension[edit]

masc. sg. fem. sg. neut. sg. plural
nominative он (on) она́ (oná) оно́ (onó) они́
genitive его́ (jevó) её (jejó) его́ (jevó) их (ix)
dative ему́ (jemú) ей (jej) ему́ (jemú) им (im)
accusative его́ (jevó) её (jejó) его́ (jevó) их (ix)
instrumental им (im) е́ю (jéju), ей (jej) им (im) и́ми (ími)
prepositional о нём (njóm) о не́й (néj) о нём (njóm) о ни́х (níx)
Note: An н is prefixed to any third-person pronoun in an oblique case whenever a preposition that directly governs it is immediately in front of it: от (ot) неё (ot nejó, from her), на (na) нём (na njom, on him), у (u) них (u nikh, they have), к (k) нему (k nemú, to him), с (s) нею (s néju, with her).
This comes from Russian prepositions such as сън (sŭn, "with", cf. Greek σύν, Latin cum), that originally ended in -н and governed oblique cases. Since the prepositions and the pronouns occurred together so often, it was easy to lose track of which word the final -н belonged to, and the н was reinterpreted as part of the pronouns (Old English an, in the same way, lost its -n except before vowels, and sometimes gave it to the following word, as in English adder from Old English nædre), so that сън ими became modern с (s) ними, and this new rule was extended to all prepositions governing any third-person pronoun.
Note that if the preposition does not directly govern его (jego)/её (jejó)/их (ix) (i.e., when they are possessive pronouns), then no н- is inserted: у (u) его (jego) брата (brata) (u jevó bráta, at his brother’s), о (o) её (jejó) матери (materi) (o jejó máteri, about her mother), в (v) их (ix) комнате (komnate) (v jikh kómnate, in their room).

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ǒni/
  • Hyphenation: о‧ни

Pronoun[edit]

о̀ни (Latin spelling òni)

  1. they (nominative plural of о̑н (he))

Declension[edit]