I have done my research online and this is all the information i have come up with: Most verbs with take an accusative/dative case combination. The direct object would be in the accusative case while the indirect object would be in the dative case. But there are some verbs that are irregular where they only take the dative case or the instrumental case.

So my questions are:

  1. How do I tell which when a verb takes a different case other than the normal accusative/dative combination?

  2. When the verb is irregular and takes the dative or instrumental case does both the indirect object and direct object both take the same case. So in other words if the verb takes the dative case rather than the normal accusative/dative combination would both the indirect object and direct object be in the dative case?

3.If the verb governs another case how do I find out what case it governs? I looked on Wikipedia to see if there was information on what case a verb would take but I could not find anything.

Thank you in advance! (And if you could i would love examples)

2 Answers 2


Verb government is quite idiosyncratic in Russian. And so it is in English, to be fair, the only difference being English relies more on prepositions where Russian uses cases (with prepositions). Here is an example of an English idiosyncrasy:

  • to watch a movie
  • to listen to music

Why not "watch to a movie" or "listen music"? It's just how it is. The list goes on: accuse of but blame for, etc.

Your best bet would be to use a dictionary. Here is an example entry for ОБВИНЯТЬ 'to accuse / to blame':

ОБВИНЯТЬ — 1. в чём (объект действия). Обвинять в лицемерии; На скамье подсудимых гражданин средних лет с испитым лицом, обвиняемый в растрате и подлогах (Ч.); Старых людей обвиняют вообще в слепой привязанности к прошедшему (П.). 2. за что (причина, основание действия). Семён Петрович тут нас обвинял за неправильную линию и развал работы (Ник.).

This says that ОБВИНЯТЬ can be followed by "в чём" (preposition в + Prepositional) or "за что" (preposition за + Accusative).

Verbs are not unique in this respect. Nouns, adjectives and adverbs can also have erratic government patterns (e.g. fond of / interested in). Moreover, different parts of speech with the same meaning can use different government patterns. E.g. интересоваться / увлекаться математикой (to be interested in mathematics) but: интерес к математике / увлечение математикой.

This is too big of a subject to cover in one post.


Some dictionaries indicate whether the verb is transitive (переходный) or intransitive (непереходный). You can use russian wiktionary for that. So this verb is intransitive in most of its meanings. Few articles on verbs (like this one) have a fancy description of its valency.

Hope this helps. There is one major remark I can add to this. Reflexive verbs are very rarely transitive.

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