There are also many other examples:

  • "Гены" or "Генины";
  • "Светы" or "Светины";
  • "машины" or "машинины";
  • "дяди" or "дядины".

What forms are the right?


2 Answers 2


Both variants are correct.

  • The first form answers a question “кого?” (of whom?).

  • The second form answers a question “чьё?” (whose?). This possessive (притяжательный) meaning is denoted by “-ин” suffix.

Here are some examples:

  1. Мамины пироги самые вкусные на свете. (Mom’s cakes are the most delicious ones in the (whole) world);
  2. Голос мамы был мягким, но уверенным. (A voice of a mom was mild but confident).

Also pay attention to a word order: мамины пироги vs голос мамы.

However, it’s unusual when some words are put into a possessive form. For example, if you say “машинины”, everybody will either perceive it as a smart cue or just mishear it as “машин” / “машин” (Masha’s / of cars) not expecting this form to be used.


The possessive form is only applicable to animate objects, therefore машинин has no use other than in children's language.

Also with inanimate objects it poses stylistic challenge, mainly for nouns of the 2nd and 3d declension groups, e.g.

стол - according to the paradigm its possessive masculine singular form is стОлов, but it sounds weird and is never used.
спектакль - спектАклев, which is likewise unusable
город - гОродов
день - днёв
край - крАев
окно - Oкнов or окнОв
место - мЕстов
солнце - сОлнцев
отмель - Отмелев

So grammatical means to express possessive relationship with inanimate objects are limited to the Genitive form of the corresponding nouns:

спектакль - спектакля
город - города
окно - окна
солнце - солнца


or where lexically and semantically possible - to their corresponding adjectives as well:
стол - настольный
город - городской
день - дневной
край - краевой
окно - оконный
солнце - солнечный

For example:

краевая администрация and администрация края
компьютерная мышь and мышь компьютера
автомобильная фара and фара автомобиля
медицинская энциклопедия and энциклопедия медицины
cолнечный свет and свет солнца
оконные размеры and размеры окна/окон
мировая история and история мира
заводское руководство and руководство завода

largely (disregarding nuances) mean or may mean the same thing.

But admittedly these adjectives lack definiteness of the possessive and Genitive forms which establish connection with specific object and so might not always be a viable replacement.

Phonetically there's a regional variation of possessive form ending where И is replaced with Ы:

Гена - ГенЫн, instead of ГенИн
Света - СветЫн, instead of СветИн
мама - мамЫн
папа - папЫн


which might be a result of contamination with the Genitive form ГенЫ, СветЫ, мамЫ, папЫ. Still it's not such an abnormal deviation because -Ын occurs in the standard pronunciation of Мишин, Машин, Лёшин, Пашин.

  • The adjectives you derive from the nouns do not express possession, they are to be used attributively and precede a noun. We just must admit that inanimate nouns may express the idea of belonging only by standing after the word or phrase they define, in the Genitive case. Ножка стола. Изящная резная ножка старинного стола.
    – Elena
    Commented Oct 28, 2018 at 12:18
  • i've expanded my answer to add examples of synonymity between Genitive and adjectival forms, plus the numerous reservations i gave should not be overlooked Commented Oct 28, 2018 at 12:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.