Ты должен принести мне в точности то, что я сказал.

In this sentence, the accusative "то" is understandably used to express the idea of "принести/bring someone something". I wonder why in the following example, on the other hand, the use of the genitive case "фруктов / чего-нибудь" is required, despite the seemingly same construction as above.

Я скажу, чтобы она принесла тебе фруктов и чего-нибудь попить.


2 Answers 2


It is so called отделительный падеж, which is in most cases same as родительный падеж.

  • Принеси мне фрукты - bring me fruits.
  • Принеси мне фруктов - bring me some fruits.

You may use both, but using отделительный падеж is bit more polite. When you buy something, you should use accusative.

Sometimes, отделительный падеж is different from родительный падеж. Example:

  • Родительный падеж: у меня нет чая
  • Отделительный падеж: налейте мне, пожалуйста, чаю

PS: отделительный падеж is not used for just one object (if you ask for one fruit), neither for all objects of given kind (if you ask for all of the fruits).

  • Partitive and Genitive have identical declension paradigm for plural form but sometimes differ in paradigm for singular form depending on the declension group a noun belongs to, yet both respond to the question чего? Apr 19, 2018 at 19:32
  • on second thought it may be a case other than Partitive, because two forms which in certain contexts sound more natural and can be intechangeable are Налить чая and Налить чаю in contrast to Налить чай, if we dispose of the Partitive Налить чаю we're still left with a paradigm Налить чая (instead of чай) which needs explanation Apr 20, 2018 at 7:04

The genitive in this case comes from the omitted 'some quantity of...' which in Russian is typically expressed using an indefinite numeral like немного, несколько. Those numerals agree with a noun in the genitive (несколько яблок, немного воды или чего-нибудь - the numerals can be omitted). If you simply say "принеси фрукты" that would most likely mean bringing all the fruit available in some place.

  • I think the most exact match for the omitted word would be "сколько-нибудь"
    – Arioch
    Apr 20, 2018 at 9:30
  • Equally, the English match to be "some of" without "quantity". Imagine something like sand, sugar powder, or flour, where particles are so tiny and many, no one would ever count them. Or some liquid - water, tea - which definitely would not get split into countable molecules. So, the underlying idea in its general form is "some SHARE of", or "some PART of" - or the bare "some of" - only sometimes getting specialized to "some QUANTITY of" when applied to some specific countable objects.
    – Arioch
    Apr 20, 2018 at 10:26

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