Instrumental case in Russian language

Instrumental case is the fifth case of Russian language and consists of 5 rules. We are going to discuss them in the following article.

1) Instrumental Case is Used to Designate an Instrument that is Used to Carry out the Action.

Instrumental case in Russian language can be understood with the equivalent meaning in English – “with” or “by”.

Here are some examples:

  • Мария пишет карандашом. – Maria is writing with a pencil.

In this sentence, the word карандашом (with a pencil) is the Instrumental case form of the word карандаш (pencil), and indicates the instrument that “Maria” uses to carry out the action – “писать” (to write).

Or another example:

  • Пилот управляет самолётом. – The pilot is running the airplane.

And again, this sentence has the word самолётом (by airplane), which is Instrumental case form of the word самолёт (airplane). It denotes the instrument that the “Pilot” carries out the action – “управлять” (to run).

2) Instrumental Case is Used in Passive Voice Construction, Where the Author of the Action is Indicated.

For example:

Дом построен работниками – The house has been built by workers.

The word работниками (by workers) is the Instrumental plural case form of the Nominative singular case word работник (worker) and indicates the author of the action построить (to build). Passive voice is used here since the “дом” – “house” cannot be built by itself.

Or another example:

Пирог приготовлен мамой. – The pie is cooked by mother.

It’s the same story like we mentioned above. The word мамой (by mother) is the Instrumental case form of the Nominative case word мама (mother) and indicates the author of the action приготовить (to cook/prepare).

3) The Instrumental Case is Also Used After Certain Verbs, such as:


Russian English
называться to be called, to assume the name
становиться to be, to serve as
управлять to govern
увлекаться to take a great interest
быть to be
являться in spite of, despite
восхищаться to admire

Here are some examples with these verbs:

Я хочу быть президентом. – I want to be a president. (Nominative case form of the word “president” – президент)

Or another one:

Ребёнок восхищается игрушкой. – A child admires a toy. (Nominative case form of the word “toy” – игрушка)

Or one more example:

Мой брат увлекается машинами. – My brother takes a great interest in cars. (Nominative case form of the word “car” – машина)

4) Instrumental Case is Used After Certain Prepositions, such as:


Russian English
между between
перед in front of, before
с with
над above, over
за behind
под under

Here are some examples with these prepositions:

Мы летим над Москвой. – We are flying over Moscow. (Nominative case form of the word “Moscow” – Москва)

Or another one:

Я люблю гулять с моим братом. – I love to walk with my brother. (Nominative case form of the word “brother” – брат)

Or one more example:

Наш мяч под столом. – Our ball is under the table. (Nominative case form of the word “table” – стол)

5) Instrumental Case is Used with Parts of the Day and Seasons of the Year, in such increments:


Russian English
утром in the morning
днём in the afternoon
вечером in the evening
весной in spring
летом in summer
осенью in autumn
зимой in winter

Formation of Instrumental Singular Case Nouns:

Gender Nominative Singular Remove Add Instrumental Singular English
masculine доктор
чай

й
ом
ем
доктором
чаем
doctor
tea
neuter озеро
здание
о
е
ом
ем
озером
зданием
lake
building
feminine дверь
машина
фамилия
ь
а
я
ью
ой
ей
дверью
машиной
фамилией
door
car
surname

Formation of Instrumental Plural Case Nouns:

GenderNominative SingularRemoveAddInstrumental PluralEnglish
masculineдоктор
брат
чай
словарь


й
ь
ами
ьями
ями
ями
докторами
братьями
чаями
словарями
doctor
brother
tea
dictionary
neuterозеро
здание
о
е
ами
ями
озерами
зданиями
lake
building
feminineдверь
машина
фамилия
ь

ями
ми
ми
дверями
машинaми
фамилиями
door
car
surname

Russian Grammar

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