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Word in focus

чувак  [choo-VAK] (masculine noun) – dude, man, guy

А кто этот чувак? Ты его раньше здесь видел? = Who is that guy? Have you seen him here before?

У тебя что, чувак, совсем крыша поехала? =  Dude, are you nuts?

The dative case: nouns




The dative case (дательный падеж) is mainly used for indirect objects. What is an indirect object? Please, have a look at this sentence:

Олег дал цветы Марине. = Oleg gave the flowers to Marina.

The word "flowers" is the direct object, and "Marina" is the indirect object.

The direct object usually answers the question "what?" (что?). - Что Олег дал Марине? - Цветы.

The indirect object usually answers the question "to whom?" or "for whom" (кому?). - Кому Олег дал цветы? - Марине.


Here is a non-exhaustive list of Russian verbs that are often used with indirect objects:

Дать = to give 

Купить = to buy

Подарить = to give a gift

Сказать = to say

Ответить = to answer

Рассказать = to tell (a story)

Помочь = to help

 Позвонить = to phone


For example:

Он сказал Ане, что не придёт. = He told Anya he wouldn't come.

Позвони Владу! = Call Vlad!

Что ты купила маме? = What did you buy for Mum?

Надо помочь учителю. = We need to help the teacher.


The dative case is also used after certain prepositions. The most common ones are probably "к" and "по":

Завтра я иду к врачу. = Tomorrow I'm going to the doctor.

У нас завтра контрольная по физике. = Tomorrow we have a test on physics.





The choice of the ending depends if the noun is masculine, feminine or neuter.


For feminine nouns, "а" changes to "е":

мама - маме


"я" changes to "и":

Мария - Марии


For masculine nouns, we add "у" at the end:

Иван - Ивану


If the noun ends in "ь" or "й", we change it into "ю":

Алексей - Алексею


Neuter nouns behave like masculine nouns:

окно - окну


For plural nouns, the ending is "ам" regardless of gender:

студент - студентам

женщина - женщинам


Need practice? Try this exercise!