To anyone learning or starting to learn Russian, I am sure they have encountered this monster of a chart at some point (and if you have not, welcome).
This is the chart for how to conjugate Russian cases. While the differences between the я дом and я в доме may look very small, it is the difference between saying I’m a house and I am in a house.
So, let’s explain what each case means, what it does, and how to use them!
Nominative Case Именительный падеж
Answers: кто/что [ktoh/chtoh] → who/what
The Nominative case can be thought of as the “Normal” case, the form in which all nouns are given in a Russian dictionary. In premise, this case identifies the subject of the sentence, without any additional meaning added to the noun.
Russian: мне нравится этот дом
Pronunciation: [mne nravitsya etot dom]
Translation: I like this house
In this case, the subject is дом [dom], house in a form the same as the dictionary
Genitive Case Родительный падеж
Answers: кого [kavoh] → whom/of whome
чего [chyvoh] → what/of what
aоткуда [atkooda] → from where
The Genitive case displays the cat of attribution, absence, and most important possession.
Russian: у меня нет дома
Pronunciation: [u menya net doma]
Translation: I don’t have a home
Because you are stating that there is an “absence” of the house (aka you don’t have one) then the Genetive case is activated
Russian: Дом моего брата очень большой
Pronunciation: [dom moyego brata ochen’ bol’shoy]
Translation: My brother’s house is very big
In this sentence, the word брат [brat], brother is motivated to be брата [brata] displaying that my brother is the one possessing the big house.
Additionally, the Genetive case answers the question from where? As in, from where are you from? → Откуда ты? [otkuda ty]
If you were from Англия [angliya](England) then you would respond to the question by saying я из Англии [ya iz Anglii](I am from England)
As you can see, Англия became Англии
Dative Case Дательный падеж
Answers: кому [kamoo] → to whom
чему [chymoo] → to what
The Dative case essentially focuses upon the person/thing that is being given something or is being addressed.
Russian: Я купил его для моей подруги
Pronunciation: [ya kupil yego dlya moyey podrugi]
Translation: I bought it for my girlfriend
In this case, the word подруга [podruga] becomes подруги [podrugi] to signify that the girlfriend is the receiver of the action of buying.
Accusative Case Винительный падеж
Answers: кого [kavoh] → whom
что [chto] → what
куда [koodah] → where
The Accusative case is essentially the object of the sentence that is receiving the object directing; whether that is a buying, having, doing, etc event.
Russian: Мой папа купил мне камеру
Pronunciation: [moy papa kupil mne kameru]
Translation: My dad bought me a camera
In this sentence, because камера [kamera] is the focus of the sentence, and the one that is receiving the action of buying, it becomes камеру [kameru] in the accusative case.
Instrumental Case Творительный падеж
Answers: кем [kyem] → with whom
чем [chem] → with what
As the name implies, this case focuses on the instrument that is used to do something or anytime that you would use the word “with” in English
Russian: Я написал сочинение карандашом
Pronunciation: [ya napisal sochineniye karandashom]
Translation: I wrote an essay with a pencil
Prepositional Case Предложный падеж
Answers: о ком [ah kom] → about whom
о чем [ah chom] → about what
The final Russian cases correspond with position and prepositions. Simply, if you are attributing something to a certain space, you need to use the prepositional case.
Russian: Мяч на столе
Pronunciation: [Myach na stole]
Translation: The ball is on the table
In this case, стол is conjugated into the столе to reflect that something is being placed upon it.
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