Russian Dative Case

Dative case is the third case of Russian language and has only 3 main rules, which are going to be discussed in this article.

1) Dative Case Designates that Something is Addressed or Given to the Object (Person or Thing).

Usually, the Dative case is used after verbs that mean giving something, speaking, and communicating.

Russian English
говорить to tell
давать to give
разрешать to allow
помогать to help
звонить to call, to phone
приносить to bring

Here are some examples:

  • Я иду к другу. – I go to the friend.

In this sentence, the action is addressed to the person “другу – friend”, thus it has Dative case form. In Nominative case, the word “friend” in Russian will be “друг”.

  • Ты даёшь это врачу. – You give it to the doctor.

And again, the action is addressed to the object of the sentence “врачу” and it has Dative case formation. In other words – the object of the sentence is the receiver of the action. In Nominative case the word “doctor” will be “врач”.

  • Вы разрешаете доктору… – You allow the doctor to….
  • Я звоню маме. – I call to mother.

2) Dative Case is Used in Impersonal Constructions that Describe Emotional/Physical States and is Used to Indicate the Person Affected by this State.

(Impersonal sentences in Russian are sentences that don’t have a grammatical subject.)

For example:

Другу плохо. – Friend feels bad.

As you already know, in Nominative case, the English word “friend” will be “друг”. But because the word “друг” indicates the person who is affected by an emotional state (bad), the ending of the word has to be changed into the Dative case form, which is “другу”.

Or another example:

Маме скучно. – Mother feels bored.

It’s the same story like we mentioned above, except in this sentence, the Nominative case word “мама” has a different ending. Endings for Dative, both singular and plural, will be shown at the end of the article.

3) Dative Case is Always Used After Certain Prepositions, such as:

Russian English
к towards, to
по along
благодаря thanks
вопреки in spite of, despite
навстречу Towards, to meet
подобно likewise
согласно in accordance with

For example:

Ты идёшь навстречу к другу. – You go to meet a friend.

Or another one:

Ты живёшь благодаря твоей маме. – You give thanks to your mother.

Formation of Dative Singular Case Nouns


Gender Nominative Singular Remove Add Dative English
masculine доктор
чай
мама

й
а
у
ю
е
доктору
чаю
маме
doctor
tea
mother
neuter озеро
здание
о
е
у
ю
озери
зданию
lake
building
feminine дверь
машина
ь
а
и
е
двери
машине
door
car

Formation of Dative Plural Case Nouns

GenderNominative SingularRemoveAddDative PluralEnglish
masculineдоктор
брат
чай
словарь


й
ь
ам
ьям
ям
ям
докторам
братьям
чаям
словарям
doctor
brother
tea
dictionary
neuterозеро
здание
о
е
ам
ям
озерам
зданиям
lake
building
feminineдверь
машина
фамилия
ь

ям
м
м
дверям
машинaм
фамилиям
door
car
surname

Russian Grammar

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