The Genitive Case for beginners

Russians use the genitive case to show the possession. Let me explain you what I mean. For example, when we need to show the possession in English we add -‘s.

  • That’s Mark‘s house.
  • This is Diana‘s car.

So we add -s for a person who is the owner. Something quite similar happens in Russian. We should change the ending of the word (meaning the owner) to the genitive case.

Now I would like you to look at the pictures below and guess, what endings should be for masculine (meaning males) and feminine (meaning females) nouns.

people for explaining the grammar

родительный падежgenitive casetamaras bag

I hope that you could figured that we should add the ending -a for masculine nouns, and we replace the last letter with for feminine nouns. Sometimes you will see the soft versions for these letters for masculine and for feminine. We use soft versions if a masculine noun ends in or ь, and a feminine noun ends in .


  • Это Игорь. Это дом Игоря. – This is Igor. This is Igor’s house.
  • Это Мария. Это компьютер Марии. – This is Maria. This is Maria’s computer.

I hope it was clear. If you want to test yourself on how you understand this rule, I recommend you to do the exercise. Try to build sentences from the words below:

  1. Это / дом / Марк. – Это дом Марка.
  2. Это / машина / Лиза
  3. Это / телефон / Александр
  4. Это / компьютер / Виктория
  5. Это / книга / Анастасия
  6. Это / визитка / Владимир

I really hope that this lesson was useful for you! Have a good day!