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9 votes
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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'...
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6 votes
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"Кем бы он ни был" or "кто бы он ни был" - which one to choose?

"Кто бы он ни был" tends to mean 'no matter who he is' (in person or by position), Этот человек, кто бы он ни был, (даже если это сам генеральный директор или рекомендованный нам Иван Иваныч) не ...
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6 votes

Case of complements in Russian

Surprisingly, but - no! In a certain context, the first sentence is absolutely correct and is the only possible option. It can be used as a rhema-response (as opposed to a thema-response) to a topic ...
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6 votes
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Быть с именительным падежом

В подтверждение версии, высказанной @user4419802: В позиции именной части сказуемого именительный падеж конкурирует с творительным падежом. Форма именительного падежа употребляется тогда, когда ...
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5 votes
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Use of the instrumental case with adjectives in the past tense

Formally, быть (to be) requires the instrumental when used in the past tense: Работа тяжелая ("the job is hard"). The linking "to be" is omitted in the present tense, the adjective is in the ...
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5 votes
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Declension after "был"

был + nominative means constant (not temporary) feature. For example, you can say both Горький был писателем and Горький был писатель (the latter is colloqiual). You, however, cannot say Горький был ...
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4 votes

Быть с именительным падежом

Был вором = занимался воровством; был вор = являлся вором по своей сути. Это примерно как в английском What he was vs Who he was.
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4 votes
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Why is the instrumental case used in the sentence: Чтобы быть здоровым?

Object здоровым here answers the question быть каким? (to be which?) which defaults to Instrumental case быть честным быть сильной быть (по)битым With the verb быть the object defaults to ...
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3 votes

Use of the instrumental case with adjectives in the past tense

While this construction is grammatically correct, it sounds awkward and unusual to me because of unnecessary complication. In 95% of cases Russian would rather say: Я был на очень интенсивной ...
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3 votes

"Кем бы он ни был" or "кто бы он ни был" - which one to choose?

An excellent question which in my opinion has an answer, it's just the difference is quite tricky to grasp. Any time you can ask "кем он является" instead of "кто он", you can use "кем" in your phrase ...
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3 votes

Use of instrumental with был/быть, e.g. "Ты был забавным."

What can be added to the answers in the past topics referenced by Sergey Slepov in the comments, is that at least in your example, usage of adjective in nominal or instrumental affects semantics of ...
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3 votes
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Use of instrumental with был/быть, e.g. "Ты был забавным."

The noun and adjective functioning as the nominal part of a compound predicate can be in the nominative or in the instrumental case. Typically, the nominative here [where the linking verb быть is ...
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3 votes

"Who" and "whom" in Russian

In English you could say “Dzherzhinsky was a revolutionary”, while in Russian this would be «Дзержинский был революционером» – in the Instrumental case. Perhaps it is a little easier to see in the ...
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3 votes
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Inflection of такой, какой

Какая can take any case according to the content of the second clause, as you suggest: Она такая, какая есть. Она такая, какой была раньше. Она такая, какой можно многое пообещать. Она ...
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2 votes

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

I'd rather ask why those ending should match. But wait, they do. The phrase "Я - студентка" (notice the hyphen, it is commonly* required) is a shortcut for: "Я являюсь студенткой". The shortcut would ...
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  • 303
2 votes
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What is correct form - "Был кто" или "Был кем"?

It's correct to say быть кем-то/быть чем-то: Он хочет быть учителем. (not он хочет быть учитель) Она красивая BUT Она была красивой. (Она была красивая can sometimes be heard but it's less ...
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  • 1,685
2 votes

Inflection of такой, какой

From your examples it's evident that какой is part of the second clause and inflects accordingly. In all your examples какой is in the instrumental case which is required by был/увидел. You can use ...
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2 votes

Declension after "был"

In the past tense, predicate nouns that are linked to the subject through the forms был/была́/бы́ли can be in either the nominative or instrumental cases. There is a lot of variation. A basic rule of ...
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2 votes

Case of complements in Russian

You are right. "Мой брат -- журналистом." is almost always incorrect and plain wrong. One exception which I can think about is skipping words when a sentence is repeated: - Твой брат стал ...
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  • 8,387
1 vote

Быть с именительным падежом

I think that what you have here is the complex predicate consisting of the helping verb "be" ("есть" : "был" 3rd person Past Tense) and the noun phrase. That is similar to the sentence: Я - ...
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