Russian Slang and Idioms. Lesson 15.

Russian casesIn today’s lesson we will talk about Russian cases. Specifically about the cases of Russian nouns. We will cover some general information about all cases that are used in Russian. Some of the cases, I’ve already covered in more detail in my previous lessons, and will talk more about the rest in the future lessons.

As you might already know, in Russian language the endings of nouns and adjectives tell us which word is a subject and which word is an object. In English sentences, however, the order of the words tells us where the subject and where the object is.
Russian nouns and adjectives change their endings for each of the six cases. These endings tell us which noun is a subject and which is an object of the sentence.

More information about Russian cases from my previous lessons:

  1. Cases of the Russian Nouns & The Nominative Case
  2. The Nominative Case of Russian Nouns
  3. The Plural of the Russian Nouns in the Nominative Case
  4. The Plural of the Russian Nouns in the Nominative Case: Exceptions
  5. Russian Grammar: The Genitive of Plural Masculine Nouns
  6. Russian Grammar: The Prepositional Case of the Russian Nouns

There are six Russian cases:

  • Nominative
  • Genitive
  • Dative
  • Accusative
  • Instrumental 
  • Prepositional

Now, let’s talk about each one of them in more detail.

1. Nominative case (именительный падеж [ee-mee-NEE-tyel’-niy pa-DYESH]) is the dictionary form of a noun. The noun in the nominative case is the subject of the sentence. It answers questions “Who?” or “What?”. All of the nouns use their original ending in the nominative case. For example:

Собака грызёт кость.
A dog is chewing a bone.

Word cобака is in the nominative case.

Наташа пьёт кофе.
Natasha is having a coffee.

2. Genitive case (родительный падеж [ra-DEE-tyel’-niy pa-DYESH]). The genitive case is used to denote possession or relationships between two objects, as well as quantity and negation. It is very similar to the English version of possession that is indicated by preposition “of” or apostrophe “s”, for example, “Masha’s doll” (Машина кукла). Genitive case in Russian is also used to indicate on quantity of something. For example, in English you would say: “a little bit of honey”, and in Russian it would sound like this “немного мёда”.
Learn more about the Russian Genitive Case here. This case answers questions “Кого?”, “Чего?”.
A few more examples:

У меня нет карандаша.
I don’t have a pencil.

Это Мишин планшет.
This is this Misha’s tablet.

3. The dative case (дательный падеж [DA-tyel’-niy pa-DYESH]) indicates on a recipient of something. The noun in the dative case is the indirect object. This case answers questions “Кому?”, “Чему?”.

Олег звонит своей девушке.
Oleg is calling his girlfriend.

Я иду к своей подруге.
I am going to see my friend.

4. The accusative case (винительнй падеж [vee-NEE-tyel’-niy pa-DYESH]) indicates that the noun is the direct object of the verb. To simplify, a Russian noun in the accusative case is the noun to which something is done. This case answers questions “Кого?”, “Что?”. Here are a few examples of how it’s used with Russian nouns:

Мы смотрим телевизор.
Оля прочитала этот журнал.

Я встретила коллегу.
I met a colleague.

5. The instrumental case (творительный падеж [tva-REE-tyel’-niy pa-DYESH]) is used to denote an instrument by which an action is carried on. In English this case is often used with prepositions “with” and “by”. This case answers questions “Кем?”, “Чем?”. A few examples:

Юра работает учителем.
Yura works as a teacher.

Лиза рисует фломастером.
Liza is drawing with a marker.

6. The prepositional case (предложный падеж [preed-LOZH-niy pa-DYESH]) is called so because it’s only used with prepositions. These are the only prepositions that are used in the Russian prepositional case в, на, о. A few examples:

Эта книга о любви.
This book is about love.

Коты сидят на подоконнике.
Cats are sitting on the window-sill.

Russian cases

This is all about Russian cases. Want more?

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You can review my previous lessons about Russian cases here:

  1. Cases of the Russian Nouns & The Nominative Case
  2. The Nominative Case of Russian Nouns
  3. The Plural of the Russian Nouns in the Nominative Case
  4. The Plural of the Russian Nouns in the Nominative Case: Exceptions
  5. Russian Grammar: The Genitive of Plural Masculine Nouns
  6. Russian Grammar: The Prepositional Case of the Russian Nouns

I’ll talk to you soon!

Study with Maxim Achkasov

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The courses of Russian as a foreign language with FunRussian take place online via Skype. The teacher works with adults individually since he is convinced that each person must receive maximum time for practice and professional attention while learning a foreign language.