Она́ что-то шепну́ла ему́ на у́хо.

Она́ is nominative, all good.

ему́ = dative , на = prepositional or accusative [my guess] у́хо = nominative or accusative [my guess]

It seems to me that его should be the correct inflection to use here because у́хо is ultimately the main declension его must follow.

Am I missing something?

  • 4
    You seem to interpreter this as "She whispered to his ear" - while it is actually "She whispered to him into [his] ear" - i.e. it's "Она́ что-то шепну́ла ему́ (на у́хо)" in oppose to "Она́ что-то шепну́ла на его у́хо" (the latter is sort of grammatically valid but they never say like this). Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 4:45
  • @seven-phases-max Thank you, your explanation makes sense to me. Just to be sure, the sentence "Она́ что-то шепну́ла ему́ на у́хо" is fine how it is?
    – El Tor
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 5:02
  • 1
    Yes, "она́ что-то шепну́ла ему́ на у́хо" is perfect. Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 8:12
  • 2
    "На ухо" is actually a set phrase pronounced as one word: на́ ухо. Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 13:13
  • 1
    @shabunc I was just expecting someone posting a detailed answer with all that scary declension details for "кому куда шепнула?" or a sort of :) Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


Because на ухо is a set phrase. You cannot break it apart. Compare it with other set phrases dealing with body parts:

под руку (сказать)
в ногу (шагать)
ни в одном глазу

and so on.


Languages are different and use different grammatical structures. While English can't do without posessive pronouns and use them in abundance, Russian considers that it's better to show the recipient of an action using the pronoun in the dative. Thus we would avoid saying Она что‐то шепнула в его ухо or на его ухо. The best way is Она что‐то шепнула ему(the recipient ) на ухо.

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