Talking About Quantity in Russian: Useful Words and Expressions

Words of quantity tell us how many or how much of something there is. But if you are learning Russian, there are some good news for you: we actually don’t use different words for countable and uncountable nouns. We just use ONE for both of them!

Look at the examples:

много яблок – many apples

много воды – much water

Easy, right? But there are many words and phrases used to express quantities and amounts in Russian. Here’s the list.

Basic quantity words

много – much/many

очень много – very much/many

слишком много – too much/many

немного (informal немножко) – not much, a little, some

несколько – several, more than one (for countable things, of course)

мало (informal маленько) – little/few

очень мало – very little/few

слишком мало – too little/few

чуть-чуть – a bit, very little (informal)

капля – a bit, very little (literally: drop)

How to use quantity words in Russian

When talking about quantity, use the following strucrure:

много/немного/мало + noun in the genitive case

Exaple sentences:

У меня мало времени. – I have little time.

У неё мало друзей. – She has few friends.

Quantity: malo in Russian

Еды слишком мало. – There are too little food.

У меня мало времени. – I don’t have much time.

На улицах очень мало людей. – There are very few people on the streets.

Добавь чуть-чуть соли. – Add a little bit of salt.

Можно мне капельку молока? – Можно мне капельку молока?

У нас осталось немного молока. – We have a little milk left.

Умоляю вас дать мне немного воды. – I beg you to give me a little water.

We don’t actually use немного with countable nouns. You can say something like “Купи немного яблок” (Buy some apples), but “Купи несколько яблок” sounds much more natural.

Я купил несколько книг. – I bought several books.

Я знаю несколько языков и работаю переводчиком на фрилансе. – I speak several languages and work as a freelance translator.

У нас много денег. – We have a lot of money.

Не нужно устанавливать слишком много ограничений. – It is not necessary to impose too many restrictions.

Mnogo in Russian

Informal words for quantity

There are many informal words that mean “much” or “many”. For example:

дофига [dafiga]

дохрена [dahrina]

дофигища [dafigishcha]

дохренища [dahrenishcha]

They’re are slightly rude, so be careful using it.

Here’s the video version of this lesson:

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