Today, I’ll be sharing with you the exact study guide that I created for myself when I began learning Russian! It includes corresponding endings for adjectives and nouns (in both singular and plural forms) for all six cases: Nominative, Accusative, Prepositional, Dative, Genitive, and Instrumental.
This guide is a comprehensive endings overview and is meant to serve as a study reference while learning and memorizing the cases. For more in depth information on individual cases’ forms, see below!
The Russian case system essentially serves as the building blocks of the Russian language. Each case has specific functions, or uses, that dictate when to use them. Once you identify the appropriate case, based on what you’re trying to express, you must change certain word endings accordingly.
Because the English language has no such system, non-native Russian speakers often consider it to be one of the most difficult, and therefore daunting, aspects of learning the language. That being said, as an avid lover of structure and consistent grammar rules, I’ve gained a large appreciation for the Russian case system and its minimal exceptions/irregulars.
The way the case system works is that depending on the function (i.e. what you want to express) the endings of words can change to reflect that function. For example, let’s look at the word for “car” in Russian. In the Nominative case (its initial form), the word for car is «машина». However, like most Russian words, the spelling changes depending on what you want to say:
Nominative – машина
н.п. У меня́ есть маши́на. – I have a car.
Accusative – машину
н.п. Я хочу́ маши́ну. – I want a car.
Prepositional – машине
н.п. Я ду́маю о маши́не. – I’m thinking about a car.
Dative – машине
н.п. Я подошла́ к маши́не. – I approached the car.
Genitive – машины
н.п. У меня́ нет маши́ны. – I don’t have a car.
Instrumental – машиной
н.п. Я стою́ ря́дом с маши́ной. – I’m standing next to the car.
In each of these sentences, the endings of the word «машина» varied among the six cases. This is because, depending on what you want to express, you must select the correct case and then apply the appropriate endings according to that case.
Therefore, in order to attain a practical understanding of the language beyond surface level conversations, you must study the case system forms & functions.
Alright, now that we have an understanding of what the case system is and does, let’s dive a bit deeper and learn how to form each individual case.
This study guide includes corresponding endings for adjectives and nouns (in both singular and plural forms) for all six cases: Nominative, Accusative, Prepositional, Dative, Genitive, and Instrumental. This guide is a comprehensive endings overview and serves as a study reference while learning the cases.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you found this guide to be helpful and informative, whether you had never heard the phrase “case system” before or you’re a seasoned Russian speaker looking to improve your grammar foundation.
Have you got any questions or comments regarding this guide? Let me know in the comment section below! Additionally, here are a few helpful Youtube videos that do a great job of explaining the case system.
As of right now, I have not hit my goal of traveling to all 15 former Soviet republics - I'm a working girl, cut me some slack! In the meantime, however, I am doing a ton of research to plan these future trips. Interested in seeing what online resources I use to create an itinerary to ensure my travels are educational, thorough, and, most important of all, safe?
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