There is a phrase из лесу, meaning "from the forest". Also, you may say "из леса", which seems to me much more sensible. But I'm wondering if лесу really is some realisation of the genitive case, singular. If so, it ought to be possible to:

  1. Modify it with an adjective. For example: Он ушел из глубокого лесу.

  2. Use it wherever genitive is called for. For example: Он из лесу. (meaning, "he's from the forest", of an animal, a piece of wood, or whatever)

  3. Without preposition из. For example, состоянье лесу, for "the condition of the forest".

Which of my examples are grammatical? Or are none of them, except "из лесу"?

  • 1
    This is a good question, don't get me wrong, "из лесу" is example of ablative, and in the question linked to this one - the only party that is not covered - is your third subquestion - no, it can not be used without preposition - it's does a fixed form "из лесу" that can be used. – shabunc May 24 '20 at 18:35
  • The question is "Which of my examples are grammatical?", something which I don't see the answer to in the linked question. So I reopen the question. – OmarL May 24 '20 at 18:38
  • OK, let's give it a shot – shabunc May 24 '20 at 18:51
  • лесу — is locative form. In modern russian it's considered obsolete. You may use it, but it will sound quite archaic. – user28434 May 26 '20 at 9:35
  • 2
    @user28434 No, this is not locative, it is ablative. And locative is not obsolete in Russian, it is mandatory in phrases like "гулять в лесу". But locative is a sub-form of prepositional case, while ablative is a sub-form of genitive. – Anixx May 26 '20 at 19:42
  1. Sort of yes, modification with adjective sounds ok here, like in "из тёмного лесу/леса", "из зимнего лесу/леса" - though I have to admit that most likely one will use adjective in combination with genitive. The same holds true with the other "lesser cases" usages, like in "выпить сладкого чаю", "жду твоего письма", "росту он был маленького" etc. This is a nice question though, since for other phrase, "из дому" it's very unlikely to use it in combination with adjective - in that aspect phrase "из дому" can be considered atomic.

However keep in mind that phrase "он ушёл из глубокого лесу", though grammatically correct, will sound very unnatural to Russian native speaker even with "леса"-form. Most likely you wanted to say something like "он вышел из дремучего леса".

  1. No, the sentence "он из лесу" is not ablative, "он вышел из лесу" is. In this particular case overwhelming majority of Russian speakers will say "он из леса" if ablative is not implied from the context like in: "Откуда это он? Из лесу?".

  2. Absolutely no, it's "состояние леса", you can think of "из лесу" as of an idiom that can not be split further.

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