27 votes
Accepted

Russian cases: A few examples, I'm really confused

You got the cases right in all three sentences. I'll try to provide English translations which would be as close to the literal meaning of the Russian phrases as possible. Please note that they are ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
23 votes
Accepted

Can we call forms like "Зин", "Дим", "мам", "пап" vocative case?

The new vocative has nothing to do with the old vocative (whose forms would've been *Маше, *Зино and *Димо, indistinguishable by ear from the nominative but probably reflected in writing). If we are ...
Nikolay Ershov's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

What form is "в гости"?

Two objections to people dismissing this "because it's an adverb": Adverb or not, it started out as a noun and a preposition, and the case form still has to be explained somehow. More importantly: ...
Nikolay Ershov's user avatar
18 votes

Can we call forms like "Зин", "Дим", "мам", "пап" vocative case?

I totally agree with the answer Nikolay provided, I just want to add one other important points made by opponents of calling this new forms vocative case, here's a quote: Основное различие – с ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
18 votes
Accepted

Why is лицо in the prepositional case, and why does свой not match its case?

You're reading the Bible in the Synodal translation (1813—1876) which uses archaic language full of Church Slavonic words and forms. Лице is an archaic form of лицо, it is in the Accusative case which ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
17 votes
Accepted

Different expressions for "ten" in Russian: десять, десятка, десяток

Десятка - Typically, an informal reference to something numbered 10 (like a bus following route 10) or about a 10 ruble banknote (in the past, when it mattered more). Now, it can sometimes informally ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
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16 votes
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What's the purpose of своё in this sentence?

The word «время» is omitted, but implied: «отжить свое время» = «to live past one's time». So in this case, it means that the fern (папоротник) is very old or maybe even dead. The phrase «отжить свое» ...
Petr's user avatar
  • 1,520
14 votes

Why "мамы здесь нет", not "мама здесь нет"

Negative construction with "нет" always needs genitive in Russian and answers the question "нет кого/чего", and not "нет кто" which is ungrammatical: Нет кого? - Нет мамы. However you can say "...
Abakan's user avatar
  • 4,319
14 votes

How to say "give to my girlfriend's mother" in Russian?

Your guess is both grammatically correct and idiomatic: Я хочу́ подари́ть э́ту кни́гу ма́ме мое́й подру́ги (на Рождество́). You used the dative case for ма́ма -> ма́ме 'to mother' and the ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Why use the instrumental "чем-то" instead of "что-то" in: "Ты чем-то похож на него"?

Чем-то does not mean "somewhat" or "slightly". It means "somehow", "in some vague or elusive way", which is not quite the same. It's quite independent of the predicate, whether adjectival or verbal. ...
Nikolay Ershov's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Case Disagreement: Noun and its Adjective

This sentence is grammatically sound. The reason for the apparent disagreement is the following. The verb предпочитать takes two objects: a direct object in the accusative (зелёный чай) an optional ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Is the sentence "Мусоропровод забит жильцами" totally ungrammatical in Russian?

It's totally grammatical, in theory ambiguous but however on practice, since it's way more common to see a rubbish chute ruined by people rather than a rubbish suite filled up with human beings - this ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
13 votes

What's the purpose of своё in this sentence?

Why is своё in this sentence and why does it have this specific declension? Отжить своё is a set expression literally meaning "to outlive one's own (allotted time)". It's not a case of ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
12 votes
Accepted

Genitive of радио

Many loanwords don't decline in Russian, mostly those that don't intuitively fit into one of the existing paradigms (no regular Russian neuter noun ends in -о preceded by a vowel), and to see why, it'...
Nikolay Ershov's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Why is «Какого цвета» in genitive case?

Nominative doesn't work for the same reason it doesn't work in this English statement: *The dress is red colour. But we can make it work using 'of': The dress is of red colour. I don't know why ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
11 votes

"Aэропорт "Домодедово" - why not genitve?

Домодедово is the proper name of the airport, which is technically called Москва (Домодедово). It's not an "airport serving Domodedovo" (although it does serve it among other cities of course), it's ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
11 votes
Accepted

What are the rules of the locative case?

But just today, I notice that the locative case isn't used once it is modified by an adjective? Not quite, it's totally correct to say На белом/рыхломadj. снегУ На крутомadj. валУ В ...
Баян Купи-ка's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

"В об(о,е)их коробках оказались семена" - which vowel should I choose?

You can interpret "коробки" as a plural of "коробка" or "коробок", so it's obviously a trick question. With seeds either one would make sense. The examples you've found are indeed utterly incorrect ...
AR.'s user avatar
  • 1,750
11 votes
Accepted

Why is "дозу" in this sentence in the accusative case?

The song in question is Прятки by HammAli And Navai, that phrase is shortly after 1:50. There are two points to be noted: • most probably there is no word c there; • дозу is the direct object of дай. ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
10 votes
Accepted

How to say "give to my girlfriend's mother" in Russian?

You guess is absolutely correct, technically there's an other valid option: Я хочу подарить эту книгу подругиной маме. But while this is grammaticaly valid talking of specifically word подруга it'...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
10 votes
Accepted

дверями vs дверьми

Despite they are completely interchangeable, the latter is a bit bookish. Ending -ьми in instrumental case plural is lost, except for these words: дочери - дочерьми / дочерями, лошади - лошадьми / ...
Dmitry's user avatar
  • 8,456
10 votes
Accepted

Why nominative case in "на ужин"?

In the russian language, "завтрак", "обед" and "ужин" have the same spelling in nominative and accusative cases. And in your examples ("на завтрак", "на обед" and "на ужин") these words are in ...
Ivan Olshansky's user avatar
10 votes

Почему Фёдор Достоевский, но Чарльз Буковски?

Транскрипция только польских фамилий даёт в русском варианте "-ий", и если это делается через английский язык, то в случаях, когда польское происхождение носителя фамилии хорошо известно, например ...
Alex_ander's user avatar
  • 11.9k
9 votes

Is there ever a time when one uses по́ле to refer to the floor?

Sure, with any preposition except в or на: … богатым было и внутреннее убранство церкви: старики упоминали о паркетном поле и хрустальном паникадиле При наливном поле она (демпферная лента) ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 53.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Why do some nouns take the genitive case instead of the accusative?

This appears to happen most often, if not exclusively, with uncountable nouns. Yes, bearing in mind that some uncountable nouns can be used as countable to denote fixed quantities of the uncountable ...
Sergey Slepov's user avatar
9 votes

Why use the instrumental "чем-то" instead of "что-то" in: "Ты чем-то похож на него"?

The first sentence is completely regular with no funny business. Чем ты похож на него? — Чем-то. In the second sentence “что-то” isn’t really part of the sentence but rather it denotes the speaker’s ...
Roman Odaisky's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Why are the endings in "я студентка" and "я была студенткой" different?

To summarize: In the sentence Я студентка. you have студентка (nominative) serving as a predicate without a copula. In the modern usage, the copula is usually omitted in the present tense. If you don'...
Darya Shcherbakova's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Why is it 'Как зовут сына Илоны?' and not 'Как зовут сын Илоны?'?

It is best to analyse sentences beginning with the verb. In Как зовут сына Илоны? the verb is зовут and it is in the 3rd person plural which means its subject should also be plural. But there are no ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 26.1k
9 votes
Accepted

"Антон ждёт Анну" or "Антон ждёт Анны"?

It's ждёт Анну since he not just waiting for any arbitrary Anna ;) The thing is that "ждать" is governed by both Genitive and Accusative in Russian, depending on context. When you use "...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 38k
9 votes

What's the problem with "я свободна в четверг и могу в него сходить на свидание"?

В него is never used relative to the time interval (or the name of the time interval). You must say в этот миг, в этот час, в этот день, в эту минуту, в эту эпоху, в это мгновение, в это время, в это ...
Elena's user avatar
  • 319

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