I saw this sentence in the OpenRussian corpus of examples:

Пробле́ма в том, что Вы - не кана́дец.

Shouldn't кана́дец be in the genitive case (не кана́дца?) due to negation?

  • 9
    it shouldn't, you are confusing "не" and "нет", so, correspondingly you are confusing phrases "не канадец" ([you are] ain't Canadian) and "нет канадца" ([there's] no Canadian).
    – shabunc
    Sep 29, 2020 at 18:23
  • 4
    Не is a particle, it cannot by itself change the case of the following noun or anything else that has case forms.
    – Yellow Sky
    Sep 29, 2020 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


This "- канадец" ("not" or not "not" is not important here) is definition of Subject here. It's the Nominative Case (and it's answering for the question "Who (is)?" ). As they said, you are confusing phrases "не канадец" and "нет канадца"

The function of Genetive Case is a show of origin or possessive one, but in the grammar meaning, not just semantic. https://www.ruspeach.com/learning/14657/

If you said smth like "He haven't got the Canadian citizenship" - here the adjective would in Genetive C. "Он не имеет канадскОГО гражданствА"... this G.C. here is for the "citizenship", and adjective would about this (the object "citizenship", not the subject "He"), and in this Case.

If you are wished to say smth in G.C. about this situation, it's maybe smth like this "Не Канада породила его, не канадского такого его" :) "Из него не вышло канадца", "Из него не выйдет канадца". But this will be the other style of sentence and this may have other non-neutral connotations... :> And the other meaning really, such a negative prediction or negative affirmation about result of the process when he really tryed to make himself as Canadian. :>

P.S. https://pedsovet.su/rus/6789_kak_otlichit_roditelny_i_vinitelny_padezh


  • 1
    What will you say, if I assure you that не канадец is the predicate of the clause что Вы - не кана́дец? Or do you use “definition of Subject” as a synonym of “predicate”?
    – Yellow Sky
    Sep 30, 2020 at 16:42
  • i use this as this : "Также существительное в именительном падеже может быть в определительной форме. Тут оно выступает в предложении именной частью сказуемого. «Мой друг – студент» («он есть студент»), «новое здание – фабрика» («это здание – есть фабрика»). Второе существительное в именительном падеже выступает определяющим – характеристика первому. Оно дает подлежащему описание по его свойствам, качествам, признакам. ", see link above Oct 1, 2020 at 7:17
  • “Именная часть сказуемого” is “predicative” in English. Besides, when “to be” is omitted in the present tense in Russian, it's hard to speak of “часть сказуемого”, since there isn't the other “часть”, that is, the verb is absent. When something is divided in two, you can speak about it as having Part 1 and Part 2. But when there's just one thing, what's the sense in calling it “Part 2”? “Part 2” cannot exist without “Part 1”.
    – Yellow Sky
    Nov 5, 2020 at 21:25

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