If you want to understand the idea of subject-object in Russian, first you need to see, how it works in English with pronouns. Let me remind you what a pronoun is. Pronouns are the words that replace nouns in a sentence. For example, I, he, she, it, you, they, us, him etc.
We have two kinds of personal pronouns in the English language. The first kind is always the subject in a sentence (the person or thing that makes an action). Example,
He works everyday (“He” is a subject, because he makes an action).
And the second kind of pronouns is for objects (someone or something that accepts other people’s actions) . For example,
I love him (he is my object. Because I’m doing the action on him and he’s just accepting it. I don’t say, “I love
The same thing is existing in the Russian language. You just need to learn 2 kinds of pronouns:
- I – я
- you (singular informal) – ты
- he – он
- she – она
- it – оно
- we – мы
- you (plural and formal) – вы
- they – они
- me – меня
- you (singular informal) – тебя
- him – его (it sounds like /ee-vO/)
- her – её
- it – его (it sounds like /ee-vO/)
- us – нас
- you (plural and formal) – вас
- them – их
Look at the examples:
- Я люблю их – I love them
- Ты смотришь на меня – you look at me
- Я знаю вас – I know you (formal/plural)
- Я слушаю тебя – I am listening to you (informal)
- Он понимает меня – he understands me
And there is one more kind of objective pronouns in Russian which beginners should learn. I call it “Dative pronoun”. Dative Pronoun is a special form of pronouns which is used in 3 situations:
1. When we want to say that we need something with “нужно ”
- Мне нужно работать – I need to work
- Тебе нужно это? – Do you need this?
2. With the verb “нравиться” which means “to like”
- Мне нравится это – I like it
- Тебе нравится это? – Do you like this?
3. When we are talking about age
- Мне 26 лет. – I am 26 years old.
- Ему 80 лет. – He is 80 years old.
- Ей 15 лет. – She is 15 years old.
So here is the form of Dative pronouns
- мне – me
- тебе – you (singular informal)
- ему – him
- ей – her
- ему – it
- нам – us
- вам – you (plural or formal)
- им – them
Later, when you will be more advanced, you will learn 3 more forms of pronouns and cases when to use them. But for beginners to know these 3 kinds of pronouns is more than enough.
I hope it was useful!