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The Prepositional Case and How to Use It in Russian



The prepositional case is the sixth case in the Russian grammatical case system. In this post, we talk about the features of the Russian prepositional case and learn when and how to use it. If studying Russian on your own is proving to be too much of a challenge, work with a tutor to make learning easier. Our tutors will tailor your learning to your level and pace to ensure that the sessions address your unique needs.


Features of the Prepositional Case

As its name suggests, the prepositional case is always used with prepositions:

  • Она мечтает о любви. (Ona mechtaet o liubvi.)

  • She dreams about love.


Nouns in the prepositional case answer the questions “о ком?” (o kom? – about whom?) and “о чём?” (o chyom? – about what?):

  • Я думаю (о ком?) о тебе. (Ya dumaiu [o kom?] o tebe.)

  • I think about you.

  • Я часто вспоминаю (о чём?) о поездке. (Ya chasto vspomnaiu [o chyom?] o poezdke.)

  • I often think of the trip.


When Do We Use the Prepositional Case?

The prepositional case is used in several situations.


1. When we want to denote the place

In this case the nouns answer the question “где?” (gde? – where?) and are often used with the preposition “в” (v).

  • Я живу (где?) в России. (Ya zhivu [gde?] v Rossii.)

  • I live in Russia.

  • Она работает (где?) в школе. (Ona rabotaet [gde?] v shkole.)

  • She works at school.


2. When we talk or think about a person or an object

The preposition “о” (o) is used in this case. When the noun starts with a vowel, use the preposition “об” (ob):

  • Она говорит о погоде. (Ona govorit o pogode.)

  • She talks about the weather.

  • Он думает о своей семье. (On dumaet o svoei sem’e.)

  • He thinks about his family.

  • Я прочитал об этом в газете. (Ya prochital ob etom v gazete.)

  • I’ve read about it in the newspaper.


3. With the names of the months to denote time

  • Это было в декабре. (Eto bylo v dekabre.)

  • It was in December.


The Endings of Nouns in the Prepositional Case

Mostly, nouns in the prepositional case have the ending “–е” (–e).

  • В письме (v pis’me – in a letter)

  • На работе (na rabote – at work)

Approximately 15% of nouns have the ending “–и” (–i) or “–ии” (–ii).

  • В Германии (v Germanii – in Germany)

  • На собрании (na sobranii – at the meeting)

Plural nouns take the ending “–ах” (–ah), “–ях” (–yah).

  • В газетах (v gazetah – in the newspapers)

  • О людях (o liudyah – about people)


Learn to Use the Prepositional Case in Russian

The easiest way to learn a language is to practice. Learn the rules about the prepositional case, and then build sentences in Russian to practice. Remember to put the noun in the prepositional case with the right ending. For the best results, practice order a Russian lesson to practice with one of our expert tutors.

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