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Lesson 3: Grammar


Genitive case is used for several roles in the sentence:
  • when you are talking about „where do you come from“, for example, from country, from a theater, etc. It is used after the proposition „из“ (from)
  • when you are talking about posession: from example „my dad's pencil“, if you use preposition „of“ in English, it is a good sign you should use Genitive case in Russian
  • when talking about quantities
  • after „нет“ to indicate the absence of someone or something

In this and following lessons we will first cover only rules for singular. It would be too much informations to learn all the rules, and it will be easier for you to focus and get the grasp of case system in Russian without being overwhelmed with many different transformation rules.

Here are the transformation rules for Genitive singular:

Masculine nouns: add –a or –я

  • use –я if the noun ends on soft sign „Ь“ or if the noun ends on „Й“
  • use –a in all other cases


     нет ножa = there is no knife (knife = нож)
     нет преподавателя = there is no teacher (teacher = преподаватель)
     Книга ученика = book of a pupil (pupil's book) (pupil = ученик)

Feminine nouns: change the ending to –Ы or –И

  • use –И if the noun after the removing standard feminine ending –A, ends on К, Г, Х, Ч, Ж, Ш or Щ
  • use –И if the noun ends on Я or Ь
  • for all other cases use –Ы


     нет тетради = there is no notebook (notebook = тетрадь)
     нет бабушки = there is no grandmother (grandmother = бабушка)
     звук ГИТАРЫ = sound of the guitar (guitar = ГИТАРА)
     из Англии = from England (England = Англия)

Neuter nouns: change the ending to –А, -Я, or –ЕНИ
  • use –А if the noun ends on –O
  • use –Я if the noun ends on –E
  • use –ЕНИ if the noun ends on –МЯ


     нет слова = there is no word (word = слово)
     нет моря = there is no sea (sea = море)
     нет времени = there is no time (time = время)

Lesson 3
Genitive drill
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