Introduction to Russian cases - the Nominative case
The audio for the lesson is available at the bottom of the screen under the blue button.
Today, we start a large and complicated topic of the Russian grammatical cases. It might look daunting in the beginning, but don’t worry. We will walk you through all of them step by step and help you to master them all. So let’s begin.
While in English the order of words in a sentence plays a big role, in Russian, you can enjoy the freedom of putting the words in any order you like. So for example the phrase “mom loves dad” can be translated in Russian as:
– ма́ма лю́бит па́пу,
– па́пу лю́бит ма́ма,
– ма́ма па́пу лю́бит.
With such approach of structuring sentences, the only way the Russians can understand “who loves whom” is by looking at the endings of the nouns which change depending on the situation.
There are just 6 possible ways of how the noun endings can change. This ways are called cases.
One Russian case – the Nominative one – you already know. This is the initial case and the dictionary form of the nouns. It answer the questions “who?” (кто?) or “what?” (что?).
If the noun is the subject of the sentence (the one who acts), it’s always in the Nominative case. In our example above, the subject is ‘mom’, so its ending doesn’t change.
Try to identify the nouns in the Nominative in the following examples (you can find the answers in the end in the end of the lesson):
1. Де́вочка покупает я́блоки.
The girl is buying apples.
2. Де́тям роди́тели да́рят пода́рки.
Parents give presents to the kids.
3. Наш зака́з официа́нт запи́сывает карандашо́м в блокно́т.
The waiter writes our order down with a pencil into a notebook.
The audio of this lesson includes all the examples in Russian. Listen to it and practice the pronunciation.
The nouns in the Nominative case are:
More lessons on the Russian cases
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