Dative Case for Beginners

Hello, my dear friends!

Today I would like to tell you about the Dative Case.

First I want you to look at the example and tell, which of these three nouns is a subject (the person who makes an action), an object (a person or a thing which others make actions with) and an addressee (the person who receives).

Usage of the dative case for beginners


Of course, you think right:

  • Michael is the subject;
  • Tamara is the addressee;
  • Flowers are the object.

So the rule says – if we have an addressee (the person we give something to, we say something to, we promise, recommend, tell or advise), they should be in the dative case. Which means we have to change the ending of the word.

As you can see from the table below masculine and neuter gender nouns change their endings to or soft version . Feminine nouns change their endings toor.

This is why in the example we have changed “Tamara” to “Tamare“.

when should I use the dative case in Russian


  • Я сказал другу I said it to my friend (“друг” is my addressee);
  • Я дал  слово маме – I gave a word to my mother (“мама”  is the addressee);
  • Я позвонил друзьям – I called my friends (“друзья” in the dative case);
  • Я рассказал всё Марии – I told everything Maria (“Мария” is in the dative case);
  • Я подарил подарок директору – I gave a gift to the director (“директор”  is the addressee).

I also recommend you to learn some verbs that always need an addressee. Which means you always have to use the dative case with them:

  • говорить – to say, to speak 
  • рассказывать – to tell
  • дать – to give
  • дарить – to give a gift, to make a present
  • рекомендовать – to recommend
  • советовать – to advise
  • звонить – to call
  • обещать – to promise
  • помогать – to help
  • объяснять – to explain
  • отвечать – to answer
  • желать – to wish
  • показывать – to show

If you feel you are ready to learn all the other situations when you have to use the dative case (besides “the addressee” situation) visit here.

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