2

Я сейчас нахожусь в Дно

or

Я сейчас нахожусь в Дне ?

I am especially curious about how the natives of the city go about this matter.

1

Nouns are not conjugated, they are declined.

City names in Russian are declined with the exception of some foreign names, in which case the rules are quite complicated -- see http://www.gramota.ru/spravka/letters/?rub=rubric_90 (in Russian). So the correct version is "Я сейчас нахожусь в Дне".

In my opinion, when in doubt whether you must decline a city name or not, safer would be to say "в городе X" (vs. just "в X") and not decline the name. The reason is that it's a pretty common error for Russians not to decline city names at all if prepended with "город[-е/-а/etc]".

  • It seems weird that Дно gets conjugated but a foreign city like Сан-Диего that also ends in о doesn't get conjugated. Is there anything that makes this seem natural other than "that's how things are"? – KCd Oct 4 '13 at 1:35
  • @KCd nouns cannot be conjugated, only verbs can. – Anixx Oct 4 '13 at 1:51
  • @Anixx: I used the wrong term, but I think it's evident what I intended to write. In case it isn't: it seems weird that Дно gets declined but a foreign city like Сан-Диего that also ends in о doesn't get conjugated. Is there anything that makes this seem natural other than "that's how things are"? – KCd Oct 4 '13 at 7:57
  • @KCd: Сан-Диего is masculine, and no native Russian masculine word can end in -о, -ё, -е, there is no paradigm in the language for that. Even neuter loanwords ending in -о, -ё, -е rarely decline in Russian. For instance, words like пальто, метро, бюро have long since been neuter and are integral part of the language by now, still they are not declinable. – Quassnoi Oct 4 '13 at 8:12
  • @Quassnoi: Thanks for the explanation (and for understanding my second misuse of "conjugation" in the repeated version of my question). – KCd Oct 4 '13 at 8:21
0

Дно is recognized as native word, so it should be declined. Even more – Russians will doubt for a moment before saying в Дне, because на дне is more probable and "natural" way of saying this common word.

Сан-Диего and Сан-Франциско are recognized as foreign words, so they shouldn't be declined. Some common non-native words like пальто, бюро, кимоно – also.

Transitional case are native toponyms like Домодедово, Шереметьево. They used to be immutable in Soviet times (don't know why), but currently more people tend to decline them: в Домодедове for example.

Think of it like when Russians got some new word from other language, they don't know what to do with it – what gender to use, how to decline. After some time they may adapt it and start to decline it as usual Russian word.

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