How to deal with Russian cases

A common feature of almost all Slavic languages are cases. There are six of them in modern Russian:

  • ·         Nominative case;
  • ·         Genitive case;
  • ·         Dative case;
  • ·         Accusative case;
  • ·         Instrumental case;
  • ·         Prepositional case.

How to keep in mind all the rules?

The easiest way is to learn the sequence of the cases, there are some well-remembered phrases, such as “ИванРодилДевчонкуВелелТащитьПеленку”. It is possible to recall the names and the sequence of the cases by their first letters.

Some words about declension

More difficult task now. We would like to say some words about declension before passing on to it. There are three of them in Russian:

·         All the masculine and feminine words ending in “а” and “я” belong to the first declension;

·         Masculine words without endings and all the neuter words ending in “о” and “е” – to the second declension;

·         Only feminine words with “ь” at the end – to the third declension.

Let’s take three words as an example and decline them:

  • ·         Nominative case: рыба, дом, ночь;
  • ·         Genitive case: рыбы, дома, ночи;
  • ·         Dative case: рыбе, дому, ночи;
  • ·         Accusative case: рыбу, дом, ночь;
  • ·         Instrumental case: рыбой, домом, ночью;
  • ·         Prepositionalcase: о рыбе, о доме, о ночи.

Do not attempt to memorize separate endings, prepositions and questions!

It is very difficult and almost useless. We will take the other way: we will invent several phrases containing nouns in the right forms. To make them easy to remember, we will make them absurd.

(who?) Рыба летит и думает: «Хочу (what?) воды», по (where?) небу летит и свои (what?) мысли говорит, но (bywhom?) вороной склевана она. Вотивсе, чтоизвестно (about whom?) орыбе.

Using this phrase, it is much easier to learn the cases.

With endings and prepositions we offer you to handle by yourself. Choose a few common words of different declensions and with different endings. Make phrases and learn them. Do not forget to use prepositions. In order to help you, we have made up some phrases with the first declension:

  • ·         Nominative case: (what?) Скамейкастоит;
  • ·         Genitivecase: У нее нет (what?) свечи;
  • ·         Dative case: Ярадуюсь (about what?) капле;
  • ·         Accusative case: Ядержу (what?) ручку;
  • ·         Instrumental case: Онстучит (with which?) тарелкой;
  • ·         Prepositional case: Ядумаю (about what?) о весне.