Grammar 11--Declension of Names

Masculine Given Names

Most Russian given names for males end in a consonant. They are declined as masculine nouns. Foreign male names which end in a consonant must be declined in the same way:

Он Иван сын Ивана.He is Ivan the son of Ivan.
Он Джон сын Джона.He is John the son of John.
Он друг Робина Гуда.He is a friend of Robin Hood.
Он Андрей сын Андрея.He is Andrew the son of Andrew.

Some Russian given names for males or their diminutives end in -а or -я. They are declined as if they were feminine nouns:

Он Саша сын Саши.He is Sasha the son of Sasha.

Some foreign names for males end in -о. They are not declined:

Он Эдуардо сын Эдуардо.He is Eduardo the son of Eduardo.

English diminutives ending in -y are not declined:

Он Джони сын Джони.He is Johnny son of Johnny.

Feminine Given Names

Russian given names for females end in -а or -я. They are declined as feminine nouns:

Она Анна дочь Анны.She is Anna the daughter of Anna.

A few Biblical feminine names end in -ь and so are declined as third declension nouns:

Она Ноеминь дочь Ноемини. She is Naomi daughter of Naomi.
Она Руфь дочь Руфи.She is Ruth daughter of Ruth.

Feminine names which end in a consonant cannot be declined:

Она Робин дочи Робин.She is Robin daughter of Robin.

Feminine names which end in a vowel other than -а or -я cannot be declined:

Она Кэйди дочь Кэйди.She is Cadie daughter of Cadie.