Lesson 018

The Genitive case in Russian

In this lesson, we start learning the Genitive case. Here, we will give you a general explanation and prepositions that are used with the Genitive, plus we will practice with a few examples.

When we use the Genitive case

  1. To say that something belongs or refers to something (possession or linking two nouns together, where you would use “of” in Engilsh);
  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 when counting things;
  5. Talking about distances and directions (from … to, until), locations (near, inside) and time indications (after, before).
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Below are examples of the Genitive case. The nouns and pronouns in the Genitive are highlighted.

Read the examples and try to understand why the Genitive case is used.

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

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. (origin)

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

Немно́го воды́.
Some water. (quantity)

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

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? (reference)


Prepositions used with the Genitive case

у – next, by

У окна́ стои́т стол.
There is a table by the window.

Мне пора́, у меня́ есть дела́.
I have to go, I have some things to do.

для – for

Для меня́ это сли́шком тру́дно.
This is too difficult for me.

Тут для тебя́ письмо́.
Here is a letter for you.

из – of, from

Он из друго́го го́рода.
He is from another city.

Э́ти боти́нки сде́ланы из ко́жи.
These shoes are made ​​of leather.

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без – without

Без тебя́ так пло́хо.
It’s so bad without you.

Он говори́т без остано́вки.
He talks non-stop.

до – until, up to, to
от – from

От до́ма до шко́лы пять мину́т пешко́м.
From home to school is five minutes walking.

около, возле – nearby, close to, next to

Чемода́н стои́т во́зле две́ри.
The suitcase is near the door.

Припарку́йся где́-нибудь о́коло до́ма.
Park somewhere around the house.

внутри – inside

Что внутри́ коро́бки?
What’s inside the box?

после – after

Что ты де́лаешь по́сле рабо́ты?
What are you doing after work?

вокруг – around

Что ты ви́дишь вокру́г себя́?
What do you see around yourself?

кроме – except

Пришли́ все, кро́ме Ми́ши.
Everyone came except Misha.

This list of Genitive case prepositions is far from being complete. Also remember that often the Genitive case is used without any preposition.

Practice all the examples and prepositions with the audio track. In the next few lessons we will continue to learn Russian and look at how to form the Genitive case with nouns of different genders and with pronouns.

The offline version of this lesson is available here

Check how well you understood the Genitive case and memorized the Genitive case prepositions with the quiz below.

Start the quiz
  • Question # 1
    In which sentence there are two nouns in the Genitive case?
    • Это книга моей мамы.
    • В этом магазине нет хлеба.
    • Две чашки кофе.
    • Можно мне стакан сока?
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 2
    In which sentence there are no nouns in the Genitive?
    • У окна стоит стол.
    • Он из другого города.
    • Немного воды.
    • Что в коробке?
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 3
    When the Genitive case is NOT used?
    • with negation
    • to specify direction
    • to talk about origin
    • to talk about quantity
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 4
    Fill in the gaps
    Стол стоит ... окна.
    • у
    • внутри
    • для
    • из
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 5
    Fill in the gaps
    ... дома ... парка пять минут на машине.
    • Из ... за
    • От ... до
    • Для... о
    • Из ... под
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 6
    Fill in the gaps
    Что ты делаешь ... обеда?
    • около
    • внутри
    • вокруг
    • после
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 7
    Fill in the gaps
    Здесь есть всё, ... стола.
    • вокруг
    • без
    • кроме
    • из
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 8
    Fill in the gaps
    ... тебя есть время?
    • Без
    • Из
    • Для
    • У
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 9
    Fill in the gaps
    Мы говорили ... остановки.
    • для
    • без
    • из
    • от
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
  • Question # 10
    Fill in the gaps
    Припаркуйся ... аптеки.
    • для
    • из
    • кроме
    • около
    Answered: 0 out of 10
    Correct answers: 0 (0%)
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12 comments on “018 – The Genitive case in Russian”

  1. issmail says:

    Hi , First I would like to thank you for all the effort you have done to make learning Russian easy foe us. My question is do we always conjugate what comes after `HE`+Verb in the genitive case ?!
    for example : I don’t want your book , so do we conjugate `YOUR BOOK` in the genetive case?!
    Thanks in advance

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hi Issmail,

      Thanks for the comment and the question. It mainly depends on the verb and has nothing to do with HE.

      If you say “Я не хочу твою книгу” or “Я хочу твою книгу”, “твою книгу” goes in the Accusative case (not Genitive), because after “хочу” we use the Accusative case (хотеть что?).

      If you say “Я работаю учителем” or “Я не работаю учителем”, here we use the Instrumental case because the verb работать requires it (работать кем?). And as you see, it does not depend on HE being in the sentence.

      The only time when the case depends on НЕ (or rather НЕТ) and is, indeed, always Genitive, is when you talk about absence of something:

      – У меня нет книги.
      I don’t have a book.

      – У него нет сегодня уроков.
      He does not have lessons today.

  2. Zain ali says:

    Sir I have a question about cases
    If there is a sentence ‘bill kills john’.In russian it will be ‘Билл убивает Джона’ with ‘а’ in the ending but when I write ‘bill kills maria’ on Google translate then it shows ‘Билл убивает Марию’ with ‘ю’ in the ending and if I replace Maria with Kristina then it shows ‘Билл убивает Кристину’ with ‘y’ in the ending.
    I can’t understand why there are different endings with different names?

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Zain,

      Proper names, as all Russian nouns, change their endings in different cases depending on their gender, number, and the ending that they already have.

      The verb убивать is used with the Accusative case (убивать кого? что?).

      Джон is masculine with no ending, so in the Accusative case it takes the ending -a (more information here).

      Мария and Кристина are feminine.

      Feminine nouns ending in -a take the ending -у. Feminine nouns ending in -я take the ending -ю. (more information here).

  3. 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/

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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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