Genitive Case in Russian


This article will teach you of Genitive case. Genitive case in Russian language is used to express that something or somebody belongs (refers) to something or somebody. In Russian language we have Genitive case in English this part of speech represents the preposition “of”.

Genitive case can be easily divided into 6 main rules:


1) Genitive case shows a possession in the sentence. Basically, the possessor or the object that belongs to something or somebody has to be used in Genitive case form.

For example:

Это машина Вовы. – This is Vova’s car.

The object “Вовы” stays in Genitive case form but in Nominative case it would be “Вова”. So the object “Вовы” indicates the possessor of the subject “машина” (car).

Describing the Genitive case and the ways to designate a possession, we should also mention a prepositional construction. This construction is commonly used for expressing ownership in Russian. It requires the preposition “у” (which is English equivalent – “by”) followed by the Genitive case form. The construction can be used with the verb “есть” (which is English equivalent – “there is/there are”). But the presence of such verb is not always required. The verb usually is used if this construction emphasizes the existence of the subject. In case when such construction emphasizes the new information about some features (like quantity, color, size…) of the possessed subject, then the verb can be absent at all.

For example:

У Вовы есть телефон. – Vava has a phone. (Basically it means:  By Vova there is a phone)

In case of emphasizing some feature:

У Вовы чёрный телефон. – Vova has a black phone. (Basically it means:  By Vova a black phone)

2) Genitive case is always used with quantity words and cardinal numerals.

Let’s subdivide this rule into two parts:

  1. Genitive case is used after quantity words, such as “много – many/much”, “мало – a few/not much”, ”несколько – several”, as well after words indicating a measure/ package, such as “бокал – wineglass”, “бутылка – bottle”, “грамм – gram”, “сантиметр – centimeter” etc.

For example:

В бокале много вина. – There is much wine in the wineglass.

The word “вина” is the Genitive case form. In Nominative case form it would be “вино”. There is Genitive case being used because after quantity word много we have to use Genitive case form.

   2. Genitive case is used after cardinal numerals. In simple sentences, the Genitive case often follows after cardinal numerals.

Genitive singular case form has to be used after numerals 2, 3, 4 and numerals ending with 2, 3, 4 (such as 23, 43, 54 etc.):

В этом доме 3 комнаты. – There are 3 rooms in this house.

Genitive plural case form has to be used after numerals 5 and upwards (except numerals mentioned above):

У паука есть 6 лап. – The spider has 6 paws.

3) Genitive case is also used in the construction with negative word “нет” – “English equivalent – No”. In English it means “there’s not/ there’re not


For example:

У меня нет телевизора. – I have no TV set.

В нашем доме нет телефона. – There is no phone in our house.

4) Genitive case is used after negated transitive verbs.

Transitive verbs take a direct object. In the dictionary they are indicated by a “t.v.”.


For example:

Она не пьёт молока. – She does not drink milk.

5) Genitive case is used for food and drinks nouns when they mean some”. Which means in Russian “немного/некоторые”.


Ему хочется немного хлеба. – He wants some bread.

Sometimes the words “some” can be absent in Russian sentence but still it has the same meaning.

Она купила апельсин. – She bought some oranges.

6) Genitive case is used after a large number of prepositions. We have found 10 the most frequently used prepositions for you.


Sl. No Russian English
1 без without
2 для for
3 из-под from under, from near
4 из from
5 кроме except
6 от belonging to, of
7 около near/nearby/approximately
8 напротив opposite, to the contrary
9 позади behind
10 посреди amid, in the middle, among

To get more examples and comprehensible explanation on this topic, you can find in the video course that is available on our website. There are materials related to Grammar of Russian language that is enough to start speaking.

Formation of endings of Genitive case

Genitive singular case endings


Gender Nominative Remove Add Genitive English
masculine стол
музей

й
а
я
стола
музея
table
museum
neuter озеро
печенье
о
е
а
я
озера
печения
lake
cookie
feminine дверь
икона
ь
а
и
ы
двери
иконы
door
icon

Genitive plural case endings

GenderNominativeRemoveAddGenitive PluralEnglish
masculineстол
брат
чай
музей
лось


й
й
ь
ов
ьев
ёв
ев
ей
столов
братьев
чаёв
музеев
лосей
table
brother
tea
museum
moose
neuterозеро
море
о

й
озёр
морей
lake
sea
feminineдверь
шляпа
ь
а
ей
дверей
шляп
door
hat

Russian Grammar

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