Lesson 031

The Genitive case (introduction)

The audio for the lesson is available at the bottom of the screen under the blue button.

In the previous lesson we introduced you to the case system in the Russian language. We also learned that the initial (dictionary) form of Russian nouns is called the Nominative case. Today we are starting with the Genitive case.

This lesson will give you a general explanation of the Genitive case and demonstrate with a few examples how it’s used in Russian.

We use the Genitive case

1. to say that something belongs or refers to something (possession or linking two nouns together),
2. with negation – to show an absence of something,
3. to talk about origin (something is “made of” or someone “comes from”),
4. talking about quantity of something or counting things.

Examples of the Genitive case

Let’s have a look at some examples. The nouns and pronouns in the Genitive are highlighted.

Э́то кни́га мое́й ма́мы.
This is my mom’s book.

В э́том магази́не нет хле́ба.
There is no bread in this shop.
(negation, absence)

Э́тот стол сде́лан из де́рева.
This table is made of wood.

Две ча́шки ко́фе.
Two cups of coffee.
(quantity, reference)

Немно́го воды́.
Some water.

Уро́к ру́сского языка́. *
Russian language lesson (lesson of the Russian language).

В ко́мнате мно́го стульев, но нет стола́. *
There are many chairs in the room, but there is no table.
(quantity, absence)

Мо́жно мне стака́н со́ка? *
Can I have a glass of juice?

* – Temporary not in the audio

Russian Pod 101

Practice these examples with the audio track. In the next few lessons we’ll look at how to form the Genitive case and practice to use it.

8 comments on “031 – The Genitive case (introduction)”

  1. Lorenzo says:

    In the phrase “this is my mom’s book” I was wondering if also the word “my” is in genitive form even though it is not highlighted.
    Also, in the phrase “two cups of coffee” is the word “cups” in genitive or simply a plural?
    Spasiba for this really helpul content!

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Lorenzo,

      Thanks for the comment and the question.

      You are right, the pronoun моей is also in the Genitive case, we did not highlight it because earlier it says “the nouns in the Genitive are highlighted”. But it makes sense to highlight it too, we have updated the text of the lesson accordingly.

      The word чашки is also in the Genitive. When we count things in Russian, the subject always goes in the Genitive (except for 1). You can learn more about it here: https://learnrussianstepbystep.com/en/counting-things-in-russian/

  2. Dale Moss says:

    Genitive case nouns in the examples are not highlighted in any of my browsers.

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Dale,

      We have made the color a bit more pronounced. Please clear your browser cache to be able to see the changes.

  3. Moe says:

    Hello, First I wanted to thank the author and the owner, for the brilliance of this blog. So much effort putten on this blog and I really appreciate it a lot. I was wondering if you mention the question used for each case? For example, you mentioned the questions used for nominative “KTO. 4TO”. But I did not see that here… Maybe because I still haven’t moved on to the next lesson yet.

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Moe,

      Thanks for the positive feedback, we are happy to be helpful. As for your question, on the other site of ours we have a series of lessons dedicated to practicing Russian cases. There you can see the questions for each case, the declension of different words, and some examples with explanations.

      Here is the link: Russian cases

  4. Karen says:

    I was looking at some of the noun case topics (as, instrumental, nominative) – when you go to that Topic (listed on right), there’s a heading, but no lesson. I think there should be a place to click into the lesson, but there’s nothing there. I found that in several places.

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Karen,

      To access the lesson you need to click on the lesson title or on the link “Study the lesson”. Thank you.

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The offline version of the course includes the lessons in MP3 and PDF formats. The PDF files are available in two formats: for desktop and mobile devices.