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joe l.Wednesday 13th of July 2005 05:12:31 AM
Review of Basic Grammar III - Genitive Case (singular)

In Russian, the genitive case has several functions. It conveys possession. Quantities (definite or indefinite) will be in the genitive case. As well, many prepositions will be in this case. Finally, the genitive case can be used to indicate negation of the verb. For now, we’ll cover the rules for forming the endings in the genitive, and at the end of this lesson examples of quantities and negation will be included. In our sample sentence, we’ve added the word учитель (“teacher”) to show that our student is reading the book that belongs to his teacher.

Студент читает русскую книгу учителя.

Note that the noun doing the possessing (“teacher”), comes after the noun being possessed. To remember this structure, think of possession in Russian as “the property of someone”,ie: “the book of the teacher”.

On to the rules for forming the endings in the genitive case…

Masculine nouns:

- if the noun ends in a consonant, add –а to the noun

студент ---- студента (student)
мальчик ---- мальчика (boy)

- if the noun ends in –й or –ь, remove the –й or –ь and add –я

герой ---- героя (hero)
учитель ---- учителя (teacher)


Feminine Nouns:

Feminine nouns can have two possible endings in the genitive case, either –ы or –и.

- if the noun ends in –а, remove –а and add –ы

газета ---- газеты (newspaper)
комната ---- комнаты (room)

** Important!! Remember your Seven Letter Rule and never write –ы after г, к, х, ж, ч, ш, or щ. Use –и instead.**

So for example, the genitive form of кошка (cat) would be кошки


- if the noun ends in –я, remove the –я and add – и

неделя ---- недели (week)
тётя ---- тёти (aunt)

- if the noun ends in –ь, remove the –ь and add – и

дверь ---- двери (door)
плошадь ---- плошади (town square)


Neuter Nouns:

Again, two possible endings here. They are:

- if the noun ends in –о, remove –o and add -a

письмо ---- письмa (letter)
место ---- места (place)

- if the noun ends in –e, remove –e and add –я

поле ---- поля (field)
здание ---- здания (building)

A few neuter nouns have the ending –мя. For these nouns, you must use the irregular ending of -мени.

- время ---- времени (time)
- имя ---- имени (first name)

When I get some more time, I'll get up some lessons on the other uses of the genitive case, namely negations, quantities, and prepositions.
Bradley326Wednesday 13th of July 2005 08:49:26 AM
- Thanks!

The genetive case is by far (for me at least) the most confusing and difficult case. It has so many uses and so many different endings! Especially confusing is the feminine and neuter endings being so similar to the nominative plural form.
joe l.Wednesday 13th of July 2005 09:39:43 AM
- I'd agree with you Brad. So far, the 1st part of the gentive unit lesson was the hardest to sum up. That's why it was broken down into just possession - the other uses are coming up (as soon as I can get around to them - I'm kinda "genitived-out" right now lol). I think quantities will be next - we'll see...

Glad to know you appreciate the lessons! Quizzes will be coming up as well...stay tuned!

And please - offer feedback on these lessons - let me know what helps YOU guys as well!!!


sandmanWednesday 13th of July 2005 12:54:50 PM
- great job !
it's really good that you move this discuss towards being the most 'theoretically supported' among all others here %)
i will help as much as i can (pity that i don't have much time), and as much as you accept it %)

well one correction:
площадь ---- площади (not plain 'ш')

i guess one thing should be mentioned regarding those words in genitive that look identical with nominative plural - the stress (where it is different):
дверь (door) ---- двери (G, sg) / двери (N, pl) - some stress them identically, like in N pl, which is incorrect
место (place) ---- места (G, sg) / места (N, pl)
поле (field) ---- поля (G, sg) / поля (N, pl)