This is from the Russian translation of Papers, Please:

Вашей семье будет предоставлена квартира в Востошом Грештине.

Here is my attempt at a translation:

Your family will provided аn apartment in Eastern Grestin.

However, I'm really struggling to understand the structure of the sentence.

  1. Why is Вашей семье in the prepositional and not the nominative? It's the one performing the action in his case (будет).

  2. The construction "будет предоставлена квартира" bothers me because of the combination of the adjective "предоставлена" with the noun "квартира". What bothers me is that the adjective in this case is applied to "семье", and yet it's almost as if it has "квартира" as a direct object, as if it's being treated as a verb. But it's an adjective. I would have expected "...будет предоставлять квартиру", with квартира in the accusative.

The way this is written, it sounds almost as if they're trying to say "Your family will be an apartment".

Could someone provide other examples of these kinds of constructions? That is, of the type "subject + быть + adjective object" to express "subject will be adjectived an object" rather than "subject will be an adjective object", if you see what I mean.

Finally, why not just say "Ваша семья будет предоставлять квартиру"?

3 Answers 3


You sentence is in the Passive voice. "Вашей семье" is not Prepositional, it is Dative, 'to your family'. "Предоставлена" is 'given, provided to', so the word-for-word translation of the Russian sentence is like this:

[Вашей семье] [будет] [предоставлена] [квартира].

[To your family] [will be] [given] [an apartment].

The normal English translation is 'An apartment will be given to your family.' or 'Your family will be provided with an apartment.'

In this sentence 'квартира' is the subject, and 'вашей семье' is an indirect (dative) object. That is why 'предоставлена' agrees with 'квартира', adjectives and participles used as a part of the predicate must agree in gender with the subject.

"Ваша семья будет предоставлять квартиру" is in Active voice, that is why it means quite an opposite thing, 'Your family will provide an apartment (for someone else).' In this sentence 'ваша семья' is the subject, and 'квартиру' is the direct object. Remember, only nouns in the Nominative case can be subjects in Russian.


Победителю будет вручён приз.

The winner will be given a prize. / A prize will be given to the winner.


Каждому будут даны указания.

Everybody will be provided with instructions.


Божеству были принесены жертвы.

Sacrifices were made to the deity. / The deity was made sacrifices to.

Also note, that in Russian, using the Passive voice is not recommended, it sounds too bookish and formal, sometimes even bureaucratic.

  • Thanks for the explanation. To be clear the "verbs" here - вручён, принесены, etc. - are not actually conjugated verbs, right? They're adjectives (I say this because they don't show up in my conjugation tables). Presumably, though, you couldn't just use any adjective in a "Dative + быть + Adj. Nominative" construction, but only adjectives that are adjectival forms of verbs?
    – Jack M
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 14:14
  • 2
    @JackM These are short participles, not adjectives.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 14:36

You've got it backwards. The subject is квартира, and вашей семье is an indirect object. The sentence is passive, meaning "An apartment will be provided to your family".

This might be a bit clearer if you rearrange the words to a more typical English word order:

Квартира будет предоставлена вашей семье.
Apartment-NOM will_be provided-FEM your-DAT.FEM family-DAT
"An apartment will be provided to your family".


Предоставлена is a participle in short form, not an adjective. The translation can have a similar form (the subject: apartment in passive voice) :

An apartment in Eastern Grestin will be provided for (given to) your family.

The other opportunity of translation (the subject: family in passive voice):

  Your family will be provided with аn apartment in Eastern Grestin.

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