Lesson 036

Dative case in Russian and its prepositions


During the course of several previous lessons, we have learned about the Genitive and the Acusative cases and how they affects the endings of the Russian nouns. Today we start learning the Dative case.

This lesson is dedicated to the general explanation of the Dative case and the prepositions used with it. In the following lessons we will learn how to form the Dative case.

Use of the Dative case

The Dative case designates that something is given or addressed to the person or the object.

In Russian, it answers the questions кому́? (to whom?) and чему́? (to what?).

Read the examples below. The nouns in the Dative are highlighted.

Я покупа́ю пода́рок сестре́.
I’m buying a gift for my sister.

Он пи́шет письмо́ роди́телям.
He is writing a letter to his parents.

Передава́й отцу́ приве́т от меня́.
Say hello to your father from me.

Russian Pod 101

Dative case prepositions

Sometimes the Dative case is used without any prepositions, as in the examples above. But it can also be used with a number of prepositions:

к – to, towards

Мы идём в го́сти к мое́й ба́бушке.
We are going to visit my grandmother.

Э́то пла́тье не подхо́дит к мои́м ту́флям.
This dress doesn’t suit to my shoes.

по – over

Мы идём по у́лице.
We are walking down the street.

По како́й причи́не вы отказа́лись?
Why (For what reason) did you refuse?

подо́бно – like, similar

Промедле́ние сме́рти подо́бно.
Delay is similar to death.

согла́сно – accordingly

Всё сде́лано согла́сно прика́зу.
Everything is done according to the order.

благодаря́ – thanks to

Мы купи́ли э́ту кварти́ру благодаря́ по́мощи родны́х.
We have bought this apartment thanks to the help of the relatives.

вопреки́ – despite, contrary to

Но́вая поли́тика конфиденциа́льности Google вступи́ла в си́лу вопреки́ мне́нию Евросою́за.
The new Google privacy policy came into force contrary to the opinion of European Union.

Verbs that take the Dative case

The verbs below are given in pairs: the first one is imperfective and the second one is perfective:

дава́ть / датьto give

дари́ть / подари́тьto give a present

посыла́ть / посла́тьto send

расска́зывать / рассказа́тьto tell

говори́ть / сказа́тьto tell, to say

отвеча́ть / отве́титьto answer

сове́товать / посове́товатьto advise

звони́ть / позвони́тьto call on the phone

писа́ть / написа́тьto write

объясня́ть / объясни́тьto explain

помога́ть / помо́чьto help

покупа́ть / купи́тьto buy

предлага́ть / предложи́тьto offer

пока́зывать / показа́тьto show

There are, of course, many more other Russian verbs that take the Dative case, here is a just a little part of them.

Russian Pod 101


Он показа́л нам доро́гу.
He showed us the way.

Она́ мне не отве́тила.
She did not reply to me.

Что тебе́ подари́ли на день рожде́ния?
What (what gift) have you been given for your birthday?

Мы помогли́ сосе́дке донести́ тяжёлые су́мки до до́ма.
We helped a neighbor bring heavy bags home.

Дай мне вон ту па́пку, пожа́луйста.
Give me that folder, please.

Он рассказа́л нам после́дние но́вости.
He told us the latest news.

Она́ написа́ла мне письмо́.
She wrote me a letter.

Ты позвони́ла роди́телям?
Did you call the parents?

Магази́н предлага́ет покупа́телям вы́годные це́ны.
The store offers customers favorable prices.

Practice the examples of this lesson with the audio track.

In the next lesson we will continue to learn Russian and the Dative case.

The offline version of this lesson is available here


More lessons on the Russian prepositions

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