Accusative case in Russian language

Accusative case is the fourth case of Russian language and has 4 rules that we want to discuss in the article:

1.) Accusative Case Most Often Designates a Direct Object of an Action in a Sentence

Usually, we use Accusative case after transitive verbs; verbs that take direct object. Basically, it means “to do something, to write something, to bring something, to see somebody, to love somebody, or to like something”, etc.

For example:

Russian English
любить to love, to like
читать to read
видеть to see
покупать to buy
брать to take
давать to give
знать to know
писать to write

Here are few examples for better comprehension:

Я люблю маму – I love mother.

The verb “to love” is a transitive verb and has a direct object “mother” in this sentence. So the word “маму (mother) is the Accusative case form. In the Nominative case form, the Russian word “mother” will be “мама”. The Accusative case is used here because it indicates the object of the action “люблю” (to love). Note: the verb “люблю” is conjugated with personal pronoun “Я”. The infinitive form of the word “to love” in Russian is “любить”.

Папа покупает газету – Father buys a newspaper.

In this sentence, the situation is very similar to the above-mentioned example. The verb “to buy” is a transitive verb and has a direct object “newspaper” in this sentence. So the word “газету (newspaper) is the Accusative case form. In the Nominative case form, the word “newspaper” is “газета”. The Accusative case is used here because the sentence indicates the object of the action “покупает” (to buy). Note: the verb “покупает” is conjugated with pronoun “папа” which is equivalent to personal pronoun “он” (He). The Russian infinitive form of the word “to buy” will be “покупать” as it was shown in the table above.

2.) The Accusative Case is used with Prepositions “на” (on/onto) and “в” (in/into) to Express Motion to Some Direction (Somewhere)


For example:

Поезд едет в Россию – The train is going to Russia. Literally: The train is going into Russia.

The Nominative case word Россия (Russia) had to be changed into the Accusative case form of the word “Россию” because the sentence indicates the motion to the country and it has used the preposition “в” (into).

3.) The Accusative Case is used in Certain Expressions Which Describe Frequency or Duration of an Action

For example:

Russian English
одну секунду one second
одну минуту one minute
пару раз в году a couple of times a year
два раза в неделю two times a week
один раз в месяц one time a month
одну неделю one week
один месяц one month

Мы ездим в Россию с семьёй один раз в год – We go to Russia with my family once a year.

And again the Accusative case is used in both ways: “в Россию” and “один раз в год”.

4.) The Accusative Case is used After Certain Prepositions

For example:

Russian English
через across, after a period of time
за for (in return for)
про about

Я иду через дорогу – I go across the road.

The Accusative case form of the word “дорогу” (the road) is being used after one of the three above-mentioned prepositions. And Nominative case of the word (the road) is “дорога”.

Before we start with the formation of Accusative case, it’s worth it to mention the following advice:

Keep in mind that the formation of Accusative case is similar to the formation of Nominative case!

  • It’s similar for all inanimate nouns
  • It’s similar for singular feminine nouns ending in –ь
  • It’s similar for plural feminine nouns; the singular form of which ends in -а, -я

And keep in mind as well that the formation of Accusative case is similar to the formation of Genitive case!

  • It’s similar for plural feminine and masculine nouns ending in -а, -я

Formation of Accusative Singular Case:


  Gender Nominative Singular Remove Add Accusative Singular English
Inanimate*

Accusative is equal to singular Nominative
masculine компьютер
музей
склад
компьютер
музей
склад
computer
museum
warehouse
neutral озеро
солнце
озеро
солнце
lake
sun
feminine дверь дверь door
Animate**

Accusative is equal to singular Nominative
feminine ending in  дочь дочь daughter
masculine друг
олень

ь
а
я
друга
оленя
friend
deer
feminine and masculine ending in -а, -я машина
воля
а
я
у
ю
машину
волю
car
volition
Inanimate feminine ending in -а, -я газета а у газету newspaper

*- Inanimate means not alive. 

**- Animate means alive or having life.

Formation of Accusative Plural Case


  Gender Nominative Singular (Plural) Remove Add Accusative Plural English
Inanimate

Accusative is equal to plural Nominative
masculine компьютер (компьютеры)
музей (музеи)
склад (склады)

й
ы
и
компьютеры
музеи
склады
computer
museum
warehouse
neutral письмо (письма)
здание (здания)
о
е
а
я
письма
здания
letter
building
feminine ночь (ночи) ь и ночи night
Animate

Accusative is equal to plural Genitive
feminine ending in  дочь (дочки) ь ей дочерей daughter
masculine волк (волки)
олень (олени)

ь
ов
ей
волков
оленей
wolf
deer
feminine and masculine ending in -а, -я чайка (чайки)
стая (стаи)
а
я
и
и
чайки
стаи
gull
flock
Inanimate

Accusative is equal to plural Nominative
feminine ending in -а, -я машина (машины)
рука (руки)
а
a
ы
и
машины
руки
car
hand

Russian Grammar

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