The Instrumental Case
Russian Grammar

Russian Instrumental Case (With, By)

In Russian, the instrumental case is used to indicate how something is done. In English we commonly use the words "by" or "with" to do this. You would use the instrumental in a sentence like "we went there by car". Refer to Lesson 14 - Instrumental Case for more detailed information.

Forming the Russian Instrumental Case

Masculine Nouns:

1. All consonants, add “ом”. Except...
2. If the noun ends in unstressed “ж”, “ц”, “ч”, “ш” or “щ”, then add “ем”. (This is to comply with the spelling rules)
3. Replace “й”, with “ем”, if stressed “ём”.
4. Replace “ь”, add “ем”, if stressed “ём”.

Feminine Nouns:

1. Replace “а” with “ой” (or rarely “ою”). Except...
2. If the stem of the noun ends in “ж”, “ц”, “ч”, “ш” or “щ”, replace “а” with “ей” (This is to comply with the spelling rules)
3. Replace “я” with “ей”, if stressed “ёй”.
4. Replace “ь” with “ью”.

Neuter Nouns:

1. Add “м”

The phrase "if stressed" in this case, means if the end of the word is stressed.

The exceptions for “ж”, “ц”, “ч”, “ш” or “щ” are to comply with the spelling rules.

Plurals - Russian Instrumental Case

Look at the last letter nominative singular form (dictionary form) and...
1. All consonants, add "ами".
2. Replace "а", "о" with "ами".
3. Otherwise replace with "ями"

Exceptions: дочь - дочерьми (daughters), ребёнок - детьми (children), человек - людьми (people)

Pronouns - Instrumental Case

Мной - Me

Тобой - You

Им - Him

Ей - Her

Им - It

Нами - Us

Вами - You (plural)

Ими - Them

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.