I'm following Penguin's Russian Course and it doesn't make it clear.

It says words ending with и, а , о the last letter is substituted by e and that in words ending with a consonant we add e.

It also gives the rule to words ending with ь (substituted by e if masculine or и if feminine), but what about the other endings, like я?


4 Answers 4


If a word ends in -ия, in the prepositional the ending is -ии. This is also applied to proper names on -ия. If the word's ending is -я, then it is usually replaced by the ending -е


I've often presented it like this: nouns in -ий, -ия, and -ие all have -ии in the prepositional: кафетерий > в кафетерии, Россия > в России, здание > в здании. So this group is a little different from other nouns in the prepositional singular.


what about the other endings, like я?

We have several types of declension of nouns and some nouns are not declined. Nouns which end with -я belong to the first declension. They include feminine gender nouns like земля, статья, экскурсия, masculine gender nouns (дядя, Ваня), common gender nouns (соня)

They have the following forms*:

земля, земли, земле,землю, землёй (землёю), земле

семья, семьи, семье, семью, семьёй (семьёю), семье.

*Forms shown above for the words земля (earth) and семья (family) are singular case declensions of the following (and in this order):

nominative - genitive - dative - accusative - instrumental - prepositional

But nouns ending with -ия have -ии in the dative and prepositional :

России, Марии, Софии, экскурсии.


We have different types of declensions. School course says that we have 3 types. However, the things are more complicated. Andrey Zaliznyak had developed his own classification for Russian declensions. For example, Russian Wiktionary uses a slightly modified version of his classification. So, according to this classification, the word Россия is a type 7a declension. And that said it is declined accordingly.

Further sources:

  • 1
    Can you add a link to this classification?
    – Eugene
    Nov 23, 2016 at 7:25
  • 1
    4 years later, but I did that :D
    – Denis V
    Nov 20, 2020 at 8:25

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