CASES

At our lessons we won't speak about each particular ending because there are a lot and you can learn them more easily after having listened to many sentences that we will touch, than trying to memorize the rules, which is almost impossible. But many of you still will find the information below pretty useful.

There are 6 cases, each of them has its meaning, we need them in order to replace prepositions and to underline different relations. Sometimes we can build sentences without “of”, “with”, “by” where in English they are required.


1. Nominative – the "subject" case

2. Genetive – corresponding to the possessive case or "of + (noun)"

3. Dative – corresponding to "to + (noun)"

4. Accusative – the "object" case

5. Instrumental – denoting an instrument used in an action

6. Prepositional – used with many common prepositions, such as "in", "on" etc.


These are direct meanings. In practice you will always have to memorize verbs and especially prepositions with the cases that they need after. Shortly speaking after some verbs you will have to write numbers: 1(nominative),2(genetive) 3(dative) etc. in order to put then a right ending of the noun that can follow. For example заниматься\заняться 5, which means that this verb needs Instrumental after it. “To engage in sports” - Заниматься спортом.

But unfortunately even if you know the needed case this will not automatically make you put the right ending. For each case in Russian there can be different noun endings according to the noun itself, and as long as there are different nouns that end in different letters and have different gender there can be many different case endings.

In order to systematize these endings the grammar books give the so called 3 declensions. Below you have declension tables with endings. Remember that the Nominative is the initial form of the noun that is given in the dictionary all endings will depend on this form.

First declension - masculine nouns

CaseSingularPlural
NominativeØ - ь,й,ийи,и,ии
Genitiveя,я,ия-ов -ей,ев,иев
Dative-ю,ю,ию-ам ям,ям,иям
AccusativeN or G
Instrumental-ом -ем,-ем,-ием-ами ями,ями,иями
Prepositionalе,е,ии-ах -ях,ях,иях

Comment: it means that if a masculine noun ends in consonant (Ø in Nominative) for example телевизор (TV-set) it will be in Genitive – телевизорa, in Dative – телевизору, in Accusative - телевизор, in Instrumental телевизором...If a masculine noun ends in ь, it will have я in Genetive, ю in Dative and so on.

Second declension

Feminine nouns with a small set of masculine nouns

CaseSingularPlural
Nominative-я/-ия-и/-ии
Genitive-и/-ииØ --ь/-ий
Dative-е/-ии-ам -ям,иям
Accusative-ю/-июN or G
Instrumental-ой -ей/-ией-ами -ями,иями
Prepositional-е,ии-ах -ях,иях

Neuter nouns

CaseSingularPlural
Nominative
GenitiveØ -й/-ей
Dative-ам -ям
AccusativeN or G
Instrumental-ом -ем-ами -ями
Prepositional-ах -ях

Third declension

The Third declension is mostly for feminine nouns with some masculine and neuter.

Feminine and some masculine nouns

CaseSingularPlural
Nominative
Genitive-ей
Dative-ям
AccusativeN or G
Instrumental-ью -ём-ями -ями
Prepositional-ах