Noun Cases

Table of endings of nouns of the 1st declension (lesson about declensions).

I Declension

Case

Function

Preposi-tions

Singular

Plural

Nominative

Subject of the sentence

(Who?)

а, я

ы, и

Accusative

Direct object

у, ю

ы, и, ей or zero ending

Genitive

Possession Negation Quantity

of, some, a little, a lot of, no

ы, и

ей or zero ending

Dative

Indirect object, Recipient

to

е

ам, ям

Prepositional

Object of speech or thoughts, Location

about, in, at

е

ах, ях

Instrumental

Means or Instrument

with, by

ой, ей

ами, ями

Let’s see how nouns девушка (girl) and книга (book) change in all cases:

I Declension

Case

Function

Preposi-tions

Singular

Plural

Nominative

Subject of the sentence

Девушка идет по мостовой.

The girl is walking on the pavement.

Книга лежит на столе.

The book is on the table (litterally: The book is lying on the tabe)

Девушки идут по мостовой.

The girls are walking on the pavement.

Книги лежат на столе.

The books are on the table.

Accusative

Direct object

Я знаю эту красивую девушку.

I know this beautiful girl.

Я вижу эту книгу.

I see this book.

Я знаю этих красивых девушек.

I know these beautiful girls

Я вижу эти книги.

I see these books.

Genitive

Posse-ssion Negation Quantity

of, some, a little, a lot of, no

Вещи девушки.

Girl’s things.

Книги там нет.

There is no book.

Вещи девушек.

Girls’ things.

Книг там нет.

There is no books.

Dative

Indirect object, Recipient

to

Подарить цветы девушке.

Give flowers to a girl.

Моей книге несколько столетий.

My book is several centuries old.

Подарить цветы девушкам.

Give flowers to girls.

Моим книгам несколько столетий.

My books are several centuries old.

Prepositional

Object of speech or thoughts, Location

about, in, at

Говорить о девушке.

To talk about a girl.

В этой книге много ошибок.

There is a lot of mistakes in this book.

Говорить о девушках.

To talk about girls.

В этих книгах много ошибок.

There is a lot of mistakes in these books.

Instrumental

Means or Instru-ment

with, by

Ссориться с девушкой.

To quarrel with a girl.

Убить паука книгой.

To kill the spider with a book.

Ссориться с девушками.

To quarrel with girls.

Убить паука книгами.

To kill the spider with books.

The 2nd declension.

II Declension

Case

Function

Preposi-tions

Singular

Plural

Masculine

Neutral

Nominative

Subject of the sentence

(Who?)

о, е

а, я, ы, и

Accusative

Direct object

о, е

а, я, ы, и

Genitive

Posse-ssion Negation Quantity

of, some, a little, a lot of, no

а, я

ов, ев, ей or zero ending

Dative

Indirect object, Recipient

to

у, ю

ам, ям

Prepositional

Object of speech or thoughts, Location

about, in, at

е, и

ах, ях

Instrumental

Means or Instru-ment

with, by

ом, ем

ами, ями

For example, друг (friend) and лицо (face):

II Declension, masculine

Case

Function

Preposi-tions

Singular

Plural

Nominative

Subject of the sentence

Друг всегда поможет.

A friend will always help.

Друзья всегда помогут.

Friends will always help.

Accusative

Direct object

Увидеть друга.

To see a friend.

Увидеть друзей.

To see friends.

Genitive

Posse-ssion Negation Quantity

of, some, a little, a lot of, no

У него нет друга.

He has no friend.

У него нет друзей.

He has no friends.

Dative

Indirect object, Recipient

to

Позвонить другу.

To call a friend.

(In the meaning of calling by phone)

Позвонить друзьям.

To call friends.

Prepositional

Object of speech or thoughts, Location

about, in, at

Гулять с другом.

To walk with a friend.

Гулять с друзьями.

To walk with friends.

The 3rd declension.

II Declension, neutral

Case

Function

Preposi-tions

Singular

Plural

Nominative

Subject of the sentence

Лицо человека.

A face of a human.

Лица людей.

Faces of people.

Accusative

Direct object

Помнить лицо.

To remember a face.

Помнить лица.

To remember faces.

Genitive

Posse-ssion Negation Quantity

of, some, a little, a lot of, no

Выражение лица.

Expression of a face.

(Facial expression)

Выражение лиц.

Expression of faces.

Dative

Indirect object, Recipient

to

По лицу текут слезы.

Tears flow down the face.

По лицам текут слезы.

Tears flow down the faces.

Prepositional

Object of speech or thoughts, Location

about, in, at

Вспомнить о лице.

Call the face to memory.

Вспомнить о лицах.

Call the faces to memory.

Instrumental

Means or Instru-ment

with, by

Людям с таким лицом суждено быть актерами.

People with such a face are made to be actors.

Людям с такими лицами суждено быть актерами.

People with such faces are made to be actors.

III Declension

Case

Function

Preposi-tions

Singular

Plural

Nominative

Subject of the sentence

(Who?)

и

Accusative

Direct object

и, ей

Genitive

Possession Negation Quantity

of, some, a little, a lot of, no

и

ей

Dative

Indirect object, Recipient

to

и

ам, ям

Prepositional

Object of speech or thoughts, Location

about, in, at

и

ах, ях

Instrumental

Means or Instrument

with, by

ю

ами, ями

The examples of the nouns of the 3rd declensions are мышь (mouse) and ночь (night):

III Declension

Case

Function

Preposi-tions

Singular

Plural

Nominative

Subject of the sentence

(Who?)

Белая мышь.

White mouse.

Черная ночь.

Black night.

Белые мыши.

White mice.

Черные ночи.

Black nights.

Accusative

Direct object

Бояться мышь.

To be afraid of a mouse.

Любить ночь.

To love the night.

Бояться мышей.

To be afraid of mice.

Любить ночи.

To love the nights.

Genitive

Possession Negation Quantity

of, some, a little, a lot of, no

Усики мыши.

Whiskers of a mouse.

Создание ночи.

Creature of the night.

Усики мышей.

Whiskers of mice.

Создания ночи.

Creatures of the night.

Dative

Indirect object, Recipient

to

Дать сыр мыши.

To give cheese to a mouse.

Дать шанс этой ночи.

To give a chance to this night.

Дать сыр мышам.

To give cheese to mice.

Дать шанс этим ночам.

To give a chance to these nights.

Prepositional

Object of speech or thoughts, Location

about, in, at

Говорить о мыши.

To talk about a mouse.

Думать о ночи.

To think about the night.

Говорить о мышах.

To talk about mice.

Думать о ночах.

To think about the nights.

Instrumental

Means or Instrument

with, by

Жить с мышью.

To live with a mouse.

Гулять ночью.

To walk at night.*

Жить с мышами.

To live with mice.

Гулять ночами.

To walk at nights.

* Russian words meaning parts of the day (утром — in the morning, днем – in the afternoon, вечером – in the evening, ночью – at night) and seasons (летом – in summer, зимой – in winter, весной – in spring, осенью – in autumn) are oficially adverbs of time. However, their stems are nouns and they have exactly the same endings as nouns in prepositional case, that’s why I present them as such. I believe that it is better than to learn them by heart as adverbs without any logical explanation.