The Genitive Case
Russian Grammar

The Genitive Case - (Possession)

The primary use of the Russian genitive case is to show possession. In English we often indicate this with an apostrophe (‘s), or the word “of”. Grammatically, the definition of possession may be larger than we are used to thinking of in English. In Russian the possessor always follows the object it possess. (This is the reverse of the normal English ‘s).

For example in the sentence “this is Adam’s dog”, the word “Adam” is in the genitive case. But to convert it to Russian you should think of it like “the dog of Adam’s”, placing the possessor after the object.

You should also use the genitive in most cases where you would use the word “of” in English.

You should use the genitive case for words, where in English you could place “some” or “any” before them.

The genitive is commonly used after negation.

Forming the Genitive Case

Masculine Nouns:

1. If the noun ends in a consonant, add “а”.
2. Replace “й”, with “я”.
3. Replace “ь”, add “я”.

Feminine Nouns:

1. Replace “а” with “ы”.
2. Replace “я” with “и”.
3. Replace “ь” with “и”.

Neuter Nouns:

1. Replace “о” with “а”
2. Replace “е” with “я”

Forming Plurals.

Masculine Nouns:

If ends in "ж,ч,ш,щ,ь" then add "ей"
If ends in "й, ц" (stressed) add "ев"
All other masuline nouns end in "ов"

Feminine Nouns:

If ends in "а" then drop "а" (no ending)
If ends in [consonant] "я" then "ь"
If ends in [vowel] "я" then "й"
If ends in "ь" then add "ей"

Note: If a feminine word ends in a double consonant it is quite common for a vowel (о, е) to be inserted for easy pronunciation. (марка - марок, англичанка - англичанок, девушка - девушек)

Neuter Nouns:

If ends in "о" then drop "о" (no ending)
If ends in "е" becomes "ей"
If ends in "ие" becomes "ий"

Personal Pronouns Of The Genitive Case

Here are the Russian pronouns that can be used as the object of a sentence. (Accusative case)

Меня - Me

Тебя - You (informal)

Его ("yevo") - Him

Её - Her

Нас - Us

Вас - You (formal, or plural)

Их - Them

Pronouns that start with vowels may be proceeded by the letter "н" when used with some prepositions.

Recommended Books For Learning Russian

The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners - Probably the best course in a book.

Russian-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary - A visual dictionary with lots of illustrated examples.

A Comprehensive Russian Grammar - A great reference on Russian grammar.

The Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs - A great reference book of conjugated Russian verbs.

Russian Learners' Dictionary: 10,000 Russian Words in Frequency Order - A simple but powerful concept. Expand your vocabulary by learning the most used words first.