Accusative case. Direction / Винительный падеж. Направление

The accusative case is used not only with direct objects (more about it here) but also with destinations. Destination is a place to which someone or something is going or being sent. It is usually used with verbs of motion like «идти» (to go on foot) or «ехать» (to go by transport).

где и куда. разница

And one of the common mistakes foreigners make, they use the prepositional case with the destination. Remember, the prepositional case (the ending -e) is used for location, when the person is already there, not when they are on their way. For the destination, it is used the accusative case. That means masculine, neuter or plural nouns are not changed. But feminine nouns have the endings / . So this is why we say,

  • Это Москва. Я живу в Москве. Я еду в Москву. – This is Moscow. I live in Moscow. I go to Moscow.
  • Это Китай. Я живу в Китае. Я еду в Китай. – This is China.I live in China. I go to China.
  • Это аптека. Я сейчас в аптеке. Я иду в аптеку. – This is a pharmacy. I am in the pharmacy. I’m walking to the pharmacy.

It is important to remember two question words:

  • где? – where? (location) – prepositional case
  • куда? – whereto? (direction) – accusative case

Asking these questions you always know what case of two to use.

Pronouns in the dative case / Местоимения в дательном падеже

Dative pronouns or pronouns in the dative case are used when we have preposition «to» before a pronoun in English.

  • мне – to me
  • тебе –  to you (singular informal)
  • ему  to him
  • ей – to her
  • ему – to it
  • нам – to us
  • вам – to you (plural or formal)
  • им – to hem

We use the dative pronouns in 4 situations:

1. When there is an addressee (the person who is receiving something).

  • Скажи мне – Say it to me.
  • Я дал ему информацию – I gave the information to him.
  • Я отправил ей имейл – I sent an email to her.

2. When we want to say that we need something with the words «нужно » or «надо«.

  • Мне нужно работать – I need to work (Basically we say «it is necessary to me», not «I need»)
  • Тебе  нужно это? – Do you need this?
  • Нам надо делать это – We need to do it.

3.     With the verb «нравиться» which means «to like».

  • Мне нравится это – I like it. (Basically we say «it is pleasing to me», not «I like»)
  • Тебе нравится это? – Do you like this?

4.   When we are talking about age.

  • Мне 26 лет. – I am 26 years old. (Basically we say «it is 26 years to me», not «l am 26»)
  • Ему 80 лет. – He is 80 years old.
  • Ей 15 лет. – She is 15 years old.


Nouns following numbers / Существительные после числительных

Russian has a very strange rule for nouns if they follow numbers. Do you remember how we name the time?  We say,

  • 1 час – 1 o’clock / 1 hour
  • 2, 3, 4 часа – 2, 3, 4 o’clock / 2, 3, 4 hours
  • 5 (and more) часов – 5 o’clock / 5 hours

So this rule works for all masculine nouns (not only for the word «час»). For example,

  • 1 телефон – 1 telephone
  • 3 телефона 2 telephones
  • 10 телефонов – 10 telephones

So we don’t change words with number 1.

  • один дом – one house
  • одна машина – one car

We use endings —а /-я for masculine and neuter gender nouns and -ы /-и for feminine nouns, if they follow numbers 2, 3, 4 (Actually this is another usage of the genitive case).

  • два дома, три друга, четыре ресторана – two houses, three friends, four restaurants
  • две машины, три девушки, четыре собаки – two cars, three girls, two dogs
  • два яблока, три яйца, четыре окна – two apples, three eggs, four windows
Pay attention that numbers "один" and "два" have gender
1. один дом, одна машина, одно яблоко – 1 house, 1 car, 1 apple
2. два дома, две машины, два яблока – 2 houses, 2 cars, 1 apples

We use endings -ов/-ев/-ей or dropping last vowel for feminine nouns (endings for plural nouns in the genitive case), if the noun follows number «five» or bigger numbers up to 20.

  • 5 домов, 10 апельсинов, 12 месяцев, 20 учителей – 5 houses, 10 oranges, 12 trees, 20 teachers
  • 5 машин, 10 девушек, 12 школ, 20 собак – 5 cars, 10 girls, 12 schools, 20 dogs


After number 20 the choice depends on the last number. So if the number ends with 1, there is no change, 2 – 4 – genitive singular endings, 5 and more – genitive plural.

  • двадцать один дом, двадцать два дома, двадцать пять домов – 21 house, 22 houses, 25 houses
  • двадцать одна машина, двадцать две машины, двадцать пять машин – 21 cars, 22 cars, 25 cars


So let’s see how you understand the rule.

Сколько бананов, ананасов, персиков, грибов, хот-догов и яблок вы видите? – How many oranges, bananas, pineapples, peaches, mushrooms, hot dogs and apples do you see?

  1. апельсин – orange
  2. персик  peach
  3. ананас – pineapple
  4. банан – banana
  5. гриб – mushroom
  6. яблоко – apple
  7. хотдог – hot dog



I hope you have said:

Я вижу 2 апельсина, 4 персика, 1 хотдог, 5 ананасов, 8 грибов, 6 бананов и 3 яблока.

Keep practicing with counting things and very soon you will be perfect with it!

Everything you need to know about CASES

Russian cases seem to be the hardest part of the Russian grammar for non-Slavic speakers. Today I will try to explain what the cases are and share with you my tables of all cases with endings and usage.

So the CASE is a grammar category which expresses the position and the role of a word in a sentence. Let me explain you what I mean.  Let’s use as an example a simple sentence like,

Дочка любит маму. – Daughter loves her mother.

So we can say that «the daughter» is a subject (she makes an action), and «the mother» is an object because she is the object of her daughter’s love. And when we speak English we cannot change the order of words. Because if I say:

Маму любит дочка                       Mother loves her daughter.

We can see that the subject and the object have changed (Now the daughter is an object). But they haven’t changed in Russian. Because the word «мама» is in the accusative case (it has the ending ). And we use the accusative case for objects (things or people we love, hate, look at etc.).

So thanks to the cases we can change the order of words in a sentence and the meaning will be the same.

Now you are going to learn all 6 cases and when we have to use them.

ирина мозелова



Subject – Object Distinction. Субъект – Объект. Различия.

The Subject – Object distinction (S – O distinction) is a basis of the Russian Grammar. Let’s see how it works in the English language to understand the idea of it.

  •  Я люблю его. – I love him.

«I» is a subject in this sentence because I make an action. Subject is a person (or a thing) that makes an action. The verb always matches with the subject.

«Him» is a direct object in this sentence because he is accepting the other person’s action. He is not doing anything.

There are few more examples with subjects and objects:

  • Я знаю вас– I know you.
  • Я хочу кофе– I want some coffee.
  • Я понимаю их– I understand them.
  • Они видят нас– They see us.
  • Я слушаю тебя. – I am listening to you (informal).
  • Он понимает меня. – He understands me.

There are 5 types of objects (we call them cases). In this article there is the most important case. We call it the accusative case. It is used for direct objects.

Subject (Субъект)

  • я – I
  • ты – you (singular informal)
  • он – he
  • она – she
  • оно – it
  • мы – we 
  • вы – you (plural or formal)
  • они – they

Object (Объект)

  • меня – me
  • тебя – you (singular informal)  
  • его – him («г» sounds like [v] here)
  • её – her
  • его – it  («г» sounds like [v] here)
  • нас – us
  • вас  you (plural or formal)
  • их – them


Instrumental case. Accompaniment / Творительный падеж. Сопровождение

The instrumental case is used after the preposition «с» (with). Let’s see an example, how it works.

instrumental case in russian for beginners

There are Michael, Tamara, pizza and mushrooms. So if we want to say in Russian, «Michael and Tamara love pizza with mushrooms», we need to put «грибы» (mushrooms) into the instrumental case. We do it because «грибы»are following the preposition «с». And plural ending for instrumental is -ами or -ями.

So it is right to say,

  • Майкл и Тамара любят пиццу с грибами.

the instrumental case-example

Here are all the Instrumental case endings (masculine, feminine, neuter and plural nouns). Turn your attention that if a noun ends in ш, щ, ж, ч, х, ц and not the last syllable is stressed, there is an -e in the ending instead of -o. For example, салат с курицей (not с курицой). 

окончания творительного падежа

In case if you wonder, why we have changed «пицца» to «пиццу«, look up the article about the accusative case here.