Alternative formsEdit


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


  • IPA(key): [ɐˈnʲi]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -i


они́ (oní)

  1. (the third-person plural) they
  2. (the third-person singular, sometimes proscribed or colloquial or dated) they

Usage notesEdit

  • 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 неё (ot nejó) (from her), на нём (na njóm) (on him), у них (u nix) (they have), к нему́ (k nemú) (to him), с не́ю (s néju) (with her).
  • This comes from Proto-Slavic prepositions such as *sъ(n) (sŭ(n), "with", cf. Greek σύν (σύν), Latin cum), that originally ended in -n 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 -n belonged to, and the n 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 Proto-Slavic *sъ(n) *jьmi became modern Russian с ни́ми (s ními), and this new rule was extended to all prepositions governing any third-person pronoun.
  • That if the preposition does not directly govern его́, её, их (jevó, jejó, ix) (i.e., when they are possessive pronouns), then no н- is inserted: у его́ бра́та (u jevó bráta) (at his brother’s), о её ма́тери (o jejó máteri) (about her mother), в их ко́мнате (v ix kómnate) (in their room).


Related termsEdit



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


о̀ни (Latin spelling òni)

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