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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 genitive case singular: nouns




The genitive case (родительный падеж) is used for lots of different things. In this lesson we'll just cover a few of its uses.


1) It's used to say that something belongs to someone:


Это кот Анны. = This is Anna's cat.

Это собака Олега. = This is Oleg's dog.

If we translate the sentences literally into English, it'll be something like "This is the cat of Anna", "This is the dog of Oleg". As you can see, in this type of sentences we put the thing that belongs to someone first (the noun will be in the nominative case - meaning it doesn't change) and then the owner in the genitive case.

Generally, if you use "of" in English, the noun which follows it will usually be in the genitive case when you tranlate it into Russian (no preposition):

a jar of honey = банка мёда


2)  It's used after many prepositions, for example: из, у, возле, вокруг, напротив, от, до, после, для. Note that this list is non-exhaustive.


У Наташи есть брат. = Natasha has a brother.

Он из Одессы. = He is from Odessa.

Возле школы есть автобусная остановка. = There's a bus stop near the school.

До следующей недели! = See you next week! (literally: until next week).

Наш дом справа от кинотеатра. = Our block is to the right of the movie theater.

Это подарок для моего друга. = This is a gift for my friend.


3) It's used after "нет":


У меня нет сестры. = I don't have a sister.

В холодильнике нет молока. = There's no milk in the refrigerator.




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


For feminine nouns, "я" always changes to "и":

Россия - России


 "А" changes to "и" after Г, К, Х, Ж, Ч, Ш, Щ:

Вика - Вики; лужа - лужи


 After other consonants, "а" changes to "ы":

Марина - Марины; рыба - рыбы


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

дом - дома; дед - деда

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

Алексей - Алексея; гость - гостя


Neuter nouns behave like masculine nouns:

окно - окна