The Genitive Case in Russian: The Definitive Guide


Genitive case in russian

I was surfing through a lot of websites, but couldn’t find one that could not only explain the nature of the genitive case, but present the case and all of its many parts of speech, and most importantly give students the chance to practice endings. So, I decided to create the one!

The Russian genitive case has many functions: we use it to illustrate possession, to talk about a part of something, after numerals, and with certain prepositions such as без (without), для (for, to), после (after) and so on. To put a word into its genitive form you should add a certain ending to it.

That’s the short version. As we continue, I’ll show you when specifically to use this case, and how to form genitive words in detail. Keep reading, as the genitive can be one of the deepest pitfalls in the realm of Russian grammar.

Where to Use the Genitive Case

First of all, before moving on to the Russian genitive case,  let’s briefly recall what a grammar case is.

It’s a special category that people created to describe the relationship between how a word looks and what role it plays in a sentence.

For those of you who need further explanation, I wrote a special post where I put the concept of Russian cases under a microscope.

So, what roles belong to the genitive case? As is usually the case in Russian, the genitive case has a range variety of functions. In this paragraph, I’ll explain all of the functions that an average student needs to know by an intermediate level.

Function 1: Possession

This is one of the most frequently used functions of the Russian genitive: to show possession or the absence of possession. Put simply:

We use the Russian genitive case to say that something belongs to someone or by contrast, someone or hasn’t got something.

Here’s a little tip: if your English sentence has one of the following things then you’ll need to use the genitive.

  • Apostrophe ‘s (that means someone’s)
  • The preposition “of”
  • A word order that indicates possession

They’re like huge road signs saying: “WARNING! GENITIVE CASE AHEAD!”

Sign 1: with the apostrophe ‘s: Ivan’s, Pavel’s:

  • Это книга Натальи. (This is Natalia’s book) – Natalia is the owner, so the word Натальи is in the genitive. Apostrophe ‘s also says: use the genitive here.

Sign 2: with the proposition of: a street of a city

  • Президент Америки (The president of America) – In this phrase America has a president. So, the word Америки is in the genitive. The marker of also brightly reflects the genitive case.

Sign 3: with a word order that reflects possession.

  • Детёныши панды такие милые! (Panda babies are so cute!) In this sentence panda has babies, so the word панды is in the genitive.

How to Say that Someone Has (hasn’t) Something in Russian

Let’s continue discussing the possessive function of the genitive case. Here, we need to stop and ask ourselves a question: “How do I express whether someone has something, or does not have something?”

In Russian, we use the structure which is completely different from the English “I have (got)” where the genitive case plays a major role.

With the help of the following formula, you’ll be able to create any sentence, meaning that someone has something.

У + someone/something (in the genitive) + есть + someone/something (in the nominative)

Pay attention that when we express a positive statement (somebody has something), we put the subject (the word after the preposition y) in the genitive, while the object (the word after the verb есть) remains in the nominative case.

Here are some examples. Again, in this model, we use the genitive once: to say about a person/object who has got something.

  • У Николая (gen.) есть семья (nom.) (Nikolay has got a family)
  • У тебя (gen.) есть ручка (nom.)? (Have you got a pen?)
  • У неё (gen.) есть машина (nom.) (She has got a car.)
  • У компании (gen.) есть сотрудники (nom.) (The company has got employees)

The construction that says that someone hasn’t got something looks pretty much the same, except for the fact that we use the genitive twice: both when we name a subject and an object of a sentence.

У + someone/something (in the genitive) + нет + someone/something (in the genitive)

Have a look at the following examples:

  • У Николая (gen.) нет семьи (gen.) (Nikolay hasn’t got a family)
  • У тебя (gen.) нет ручки (gen.)? (Haven’t you got a pen?)
  • У неё (gen.) нет машины (gen.) (She hasn’t got a car.)
  • У фонда (gen.) нет таких целей (gen.) (The fund hasn’t got such goals)

Congratulations! We’ve completed our talk about the most frequent function of the genitive case in Russian: possession. Now you know what the markers of the genitive are, and how to say that someone has or hasn’t got something in Russian, and what the differences in the structure of the positive and negative “have got” sentences in Russian are.

Function 2: a Part of a Whole

Now we’re moving to the next function of the genitive.

We use the genitive case to talk about a part of something.

That becomes much more clear when we compare examples from the real speech:

  • Он съел пирог (nom.) (He’s eaten a pie)

That would mean that he’s swallowed all the pie.

VS

  • Он съел пирога (gen.) (He’s eaten some pie)

The genitive form пирога means that not the whole pie was eaten, but just a piece of it.

Here are some other sentences on the point:

  • Принесите, пожалуйста, воды (gen.) (Could you please bring some water?) – We’re asking not about all the water on the planet, but about a glass or a bottle.
  • Я хочу мороженного (gen) (I want an ice-cream) I don’t want all possible ice-creams, but just a tiny bit of one.
  • Захвати газет (gen.) по дороге. (Grab some newspapers on your way). You don’t need to grab every paper you find in your city, one or two is enough

Here is another tip:

Very clear indicators of the genitive in Russian will be “quantity” words such as:

  • Много (much, many, a lot of),
  • Немного (not many, not much),
  • Чуть-чуть (a little bit),
  • Несколько (a few, some)  and
  • A question word сколько (how many? how much?)

I’ve come up with a couple of examples to show you how these words-”markers” work with the genitive case.

  • У меня много вопросов (gen.) (I’ve got many questions)
  • В холодильнике есть немного молока (gen.) (There’s not much milk in the fridge)
  • Можно чуть-чуть вина (gen.)? Can I have a little bit of wine?
  • Сколько времени (gen.) у нас есть ? How much time do we have?
  • Прошло несколько недель (gen.) (A few weeks have passed)

That’s all you need to know about the second function of the genitive case. Now, when you ask for some water in Russian, you’ll use the genitive. The list of “helping” words will not allow you to make a mistake with the genitive usage.

Function 3: Counting

Now, we’re moving to the third function of the genitive case – counting. On the one hand, it’s relatively simple, but on the other, it’s often confusing for new learners of the language. Here’s why:

We use the genitive case after numerals.

This was the easy part. The next two will be baffling:

Use the genitive singular after 2, 3 and 4 and also numerals that end up with them (22, 53, 64…)

Here are some examples:

  • 33 литра (gen., sin.) (33 litres)
  • 94 вопроса (gen., sin.) (94 questions)
  • 62 года (gen., sin.) (62 years)

Use the genitive plural with 5 – 19 (including 12, 13, 14) and everything ending with 5-9 (25, 138, 4986)

And again, a couple of phrases to illustrate what I mean.

  • 12 тарелок (gen., pl.) (12 plates)
  • 35 студентов (gen., pl.) (35 students)
  • 87 квартир (gen., pl.) (87 flats)

The way Russian speakers count roubles, for instance, blows my students minds. We say: 1 рубль (nom.), 2 рубля (gen. sin.) and 5 рублей (gen. pl.)

I know, that most of you will probably ask something like “WHHHHYYY?!?!?” and I have an answer that you can find it here.

Function 4: Genitive Case with Prepositions

I know that generally speaking, making a pair with a certain preposition is not a function. However, this is what the genitive case words do: they follow certain prepositions that are unfortunately very random.

Без (without)

  • Он сделает это без вопросов (gen.) He will do that without any questions.
  • Это вегетарианский суп без мяса (gen.) It’s a vegetarian soup without meat.

Для (for, to)

  • Это материалы для новой статьи (gen.) These are the materials for a new article
  • Это для меня (gen.) сюрприз! This is a surprise to me!

После (after)

  • Я очень устал после перелёта (gen.) I was very tired after the flight.

У, около, возле (by, near, nearby)

  • Он стоял у дома (gen.) He stood by the house.
  • Магазин около автобусной остановки (gen.) The shop is near the bus stop.
  • Они гуляют возле школы (gen.) They’re walking by the school.

Вокруг (around)

  • Земля вращается вокруг солнца (gen.) The Earth is spinning around the Sun

Из, от, с (from, out of)

  • Катя приходит с работы (gen.) в 18:00. Katya comes from work at 6 p.m..
  • Достань платье из шкафа (gen.) Take the dress from the wardrobe.
  • Он из Италии (gen.) He’s from Italy.
  • Она вернулась от подруги (gen.) поздно. She came late from her friend.

Don’t miss the following quiz to make sure you got all the information correctly and keep on reading to learn how does the Russian genitive case influences different parts of speech. Lots of practice is guaranteed!

We’ve completed the first big section of the article, and now you know where to use the genitive case. Our next goal is to explore how to form the genitive out of different parts of speech.

How do You Form the Genitive in Russian?

Well, you know the main functions of the Russian genitive case. In the second part of this post, we’ll explore how different parts of speech behave in the genitive. Nouns, adjectives, numerals, and pronouns –  I’ll show each part of speech in detail.

As you know, words in different cases have different endings, and yes, the Russian language is full of their variations. It takes time to memorize them but I have a special method that will make this work much easier. I described my way to memorize cases endings in the article.

And another little prerequisite. For some cases you’ll need to know three definitions:

  • A stem of a word – is the whole word without ending
  • Soft consonants – are consonants followed by the letters ь, и, е, ё, ю, я. The letters ч, щ, й are always soft.
  • Hard consonants – are all other consonants except for the soft.

How to Put a Noun in the Genitive?

We’ll begin by answering the question “How do you form the genitive case in Russian?” with the most frequent words – nouns. This part of speech requires one type of ending when we talk about a single object and another when we talk about multiple objects.

So, in the first part, we’ll cover the rules that regulate the genitive case’s singular endings, and in the second , we’ll look at what we should apply to the genitive plural. And of course, I’ll tell you how to deal with multiple exceptions to the rule that the Russian nouns have in the genitive.

What are the Genitive Singular Nouns’ Endings?

All right, let’s go. In the genitive singular, we have 2 rules for masculine and neutral nouns and 3 for the feminine ones.

Gender, Number

Rule

Nominative, sin.

Genitive, sin.

Masculine,

Neutral

Hard stem —> А Морс Морса
Soft stem —> Я Кисель Киселя
Feminine Hard stem —> Ы Карта Карты
Soft stem —> И Тетрадь Тетради

Steam ends with

к, г, х, ж, ш, ч, щ —> И

Книга Книги

Rules for masculine and neutral nouns:

  1. If the stem of a word ends with a hard consonant, add the ending a
    • мыло -> мыла ( neut., a teacher)
    • друг  -> друга (masc., a friend)
    • суп -> супа (masc., soup)
  2. If the stem of a word ends with a soft consonant, add the ending  я
    • словарь -> словаря (masc., a dictionary)
    • писатель  -> писателя (masc., a writer)
    • музей -> музея (masc., a museum)

Rules for feminine nouns:

  1. If the stem of a word ends with a hard consonant, change the ending for ы
    • мама -> мамы (fem., a mother)
    • сестра -> сестры (fem., a sister)
    • страница -> страницы (fem., a page)
  2. If the stem of a word ends with a soft consonant, change the ending for и
    • боль -> боли (fem., pain)
    • соль -> соли (fem., salt)
    • бровь -> брови (fem., an eyebrow)
  3. If the stem of a word ends with the letters к, г, х, ж, ш, ч, щ, change the ending for и
    • подруга -> подруги (fem., a female friend)
    • лодка -> лодки (fem., a boat)
    • книга -> книги (fem., a book)

Nouns in Genitive: Exceptions (Singular)

The genitive case is rich with exceptions. For your convenience, I’ve divided all the beginner’s level exceptions into two groups.

  1. When a word gets a special suffix with the letter -e:
    • мать -> матери (fem. a mother)
    • дочь -> дочери (fem. a daughter)
    • имя -> имени (neut. a name)
    • время -> времени (neut. time)
  2. When a word loses a vowel at the end:
    • отец -> отца (masc. a father)
    • любовь -> любви (fem. love)
    • подарок -> подарка (masc. a present)
    • цветок -> цветка (masc. a flower)

What are the Genitive Plural Nouns’ Endings?

The Russian genitive charts look pretty difficult but keep in mind that with all these tables we are trying to organize a very large, diverse and chaotic system.

Here are the common rules that we apply to the genitive plural.

Rule

Nominative, sin.

Genitive, pl.

Delete the last vowel sound дыра дыр
ж, ч, ш, щ, ь —>ей вещь вещей
Ends with a hard consonant —> ов дурак дураков
Ends with a soft consonant —>ев\ёв хлопья хлопьев
Change the ending –ия or –ие to –ий здание зданий

As you probably know, we don’t have genders in the plural, so this time we need to learn five rules.

  1. If a word ends with a vowel sound, just delete this sound. When I say “a sound” I literally mean a sound. For example, to put my name Настя in the genitive plural delete the last sound [Н а с т ‘ a] and get Насть.
    • книга -> книг (fem., a book)
    • собака -> собак (fem., a dog)
    • картина -> картин (fem., a painting)
  2. If a noun ends with the letters ж, ч, ш, щ, ь add ей
    • муж -> мужей (masc., a husband)
    • овощ -> овощей (masc., a vegetable)
    • луч -> лучей (masc., a ray)
  3. If a word ends with a hard consonant,  add the ending for ов.
    • дом -> домов (masc., a house)
    • сад -> садов (masc., a garden)
    • лес -> лесов (masc., a forest)
  4. If the last consonant of a word is soft, add ёв (if the ending is stressed) and ев (if the ending is unstressed).
    • край -> краёв (masc., an edge)
    • музей -> музеев (masc., a museum)
    • копьё -> копьев (masc., a spear)
  5. Change the ending –ия or –ие to –ий
    • аудитория -> аудиторий (classrooms)
    • лекция -> лекций (lections)
    • задание -> заданий (buildings)

This is a mess of information; I get it. If memorizing charts doesn’t work for you, try to create examples and remember them instead. That might be challenging at first. By the way, in the article, devoted to memorizing cases endings I go through the process of creating examples with you.

Nouns in Genitive: Exceptions (Plural)

The amount of Russian genitive case exceptions is really huge, that’s why this case is the most hated one.

Dictionaries can help a lot: if a word follows a strange pattern in a certain case, you’ll a see a note about that. However, some groups of Russian genitive exceptions are worth it to learn by heart.

  1. Some of the words end up with a vowel that we omit in the genitive according to the rule. However the combination of two consonant sounds, especially чк, жк, шк is so difficult to pronounce at the very end of the word, that we dilute it with the letter -e-:
    • бабушка -> бабушек (grandmothers)
    • дедушка -> дедушек (grandfathers)
    • внучка -> внучек (granddaughters)
    • девочка -> девочек (girls)
    • девушка -> девушек (ladies)
    • кошка -> кошек (cats)
    • ложка -> ложек (spoons)
    • рубашка -> рубашек (shorts)
    • чашка -> чашек (cups)
    • песня -> песен (songs)
    • письмо -> писем (letters)
  2. Obviously, the language doesn’t like to leave two consonants at the end of the word. So, in other words it uses the letter -o- to “clear the air”:
    • артистка -> артисток (actresses)
    • выставка -> выставок (exhibitions)
    • иностранка -> иностранок (foreigners (female)
    • марка -> марок (stamps)
    • окно -> окон (windows)
    • остановка -> остановок (stops)
    • ошибка -> ошибок (mistakes)
    • соседка -> соседок (neighbours)
    • студентка -> студенток (students)
    • сумка -> сумок (bags)
    • шапка -> шапок (hats)
  3. And a word I can’t refer to any of the above-mentioned groups is:
    • яйцо -> яиц (eggs)

Congratulations! You’ve just gone through one of the most challenging parts of the Russian genitive. Now, you should know how to change a Russian noun. You could even build up your own sentences with the genitive.

If you want to practice this further (and you should!), I advise you to create your own list of simple examples. The more sentences that have different nouns, the faster you’ll memorize the Russian genitive functions and the nouns’ endings.  

Next, I’m gonna show you how to enrich your speech with adjectives that properly agree with genitive nouns.

Genitive Adjectives

Russian genitive adjectives are not a tough nut to crack. The whole system may be described in 8 rules and be placed at one table. Though the chart seems quite large, it has its inner logic.

Gender Number

Rule

Nominative, sin.

Genitive, pl.

Masculine,

Neutral

hard stem -> ого красный красного
soft stem -> его синий синего
ий that goes after г к х  -> ого легкий легкого
Feminine яя -> ей синяя синей

ая that goes after ж ш ч щ   -> ей

хорошая хорошей
ая -> ой розовая розовой
Plural hard stem -> ых новые новых
soft stem -> их синие синих

Rules for masculine and neutral adjectives:

  1. If a stem ends with a hard consonant, change the ending to ого:
    • зелёный -> зелёного (green)
    • классный -> классного (great)
    • отличный -> отличного (excellent)
  2. When a stem of a word ends with ий and a stem ends up with one of the special letters: г к хchange the ending to ого:
    • маленький  -> маленького (small, little)
    • долгий  -> долгого (long)
    • тихий  -> тихого (quiet)
  3. However, if a word ends with a soft consonant, we should change the ending to его:
    • ранний  -> раннего (early)
    • весенний  -> весеннего (spring, adj)
    • поздний  -> позднего (late)

Rules for feminine adjectives:

  1. If a word ends with яя, change this ending to ей:
    • домашняя -> домашней (homemade)
    • лишняя -> лишней (extra)
    • летняя -> летней (summer, adj)
  2. If an adjective ends with ая that goes after ж ш ч щ change this ending to ей:
    • хорошая -> хорошей (good)
    • рабочая -> рабочей (work, adj)
    • будущая -> будущей (future, adj)
  3. If a feminine adjective ends with ая, change this ending to ой:
    • милая -> милой (lovely)
    • новая -> новой (new)
    • известная -> известной (famous)

Rules for plural adjectives:

  1. When a stem of a word ends with a hard sound, the ending will be ых:
    • любимые  -> любимых (favorite)
    • старые  -> старых (old)
    • центральный  -> центральных (central)
  2. If a stem of a word ends with a soft consonant, the ending will be их:
    • высокие  -> высоких (high)
    • низкие  -> низких (low)
    • жаркие  -> жарких (hot)

That’s basically all you need to know about the Russian adjectives in the genitive. Of course, memorizing all the endings will take time, so save this post to get back to it later. To revise the adjectives’ endings I encourage you to take the following quiz. While doing it, don’t hesitate to reference this post.

Genitive for Numbers

Okay, guys, I really hope that this article is making things more clear to you. In this section, we’re going to have a look at a very controversial part of speech in the Russian language – numerals, and explore how they look in the genitive case.

We use numbers in the genitive very often, especially with the prepositions с (from) or до (till, to), while talking about time. By the way, not so long ago I made an exhaustive article for those who want to know how to talk about time with no mistakes.

In this section, I’ll tell you how to put different types of numerals into the genitive case: ordinal (like first, second, fifth…) and cardinal (one, five, twenty-six…) This topic is not going to be simple at all, but I’ll try my best to lay the information out in the most understandable way possible.

Ordinal Numbers in the Genitive

Ordinal numbers (first, second, fifth…) in the genitive are relatively easy to memorize, especially when it comes to the first 20 numbers, moreover the endings are borrowed from adjectives. So, here are the major rules:

The top 20 numbers and other tens (30, 50, 90…) have three different types of  endings for different genders:

Number Nom.

Gen. masc. neut.

Gen. fem.

Gen. plural

    -ого -ой -ых
1 первый первого первой первых
2 четвёртый четвёртого четвёртой четвёртых
4 десятый десятого десятой десятых
15 пятнадцатый пятнадцатого пятнадцатой пятнадцатых
40 сороковой сорокового сороковой сороковых

Exception! 3 – третий – третьего – третьей – третьих

  • У меня получилось в восьмой попытки! (I managed to do that from the 8th attempt).
  • Мы встретимся десятого числа (We’ll meet on the 10th)
  • Он родился в сороковых годах (He was born in 40s).

Cardinal Numbers in the Genitive

What about “usual” numbers (one, five, twenty-six…)? To tell you the truth, they are really annoying, because they follow at least five different rules. The only way I can make it easier is by explaining each of them and providing you with loads of examples. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

The numeral один (one) has all three forms, while all the rest have two:

1 – один (masc., nom.) – одного (masc., gen.) – одной (fem., gen.) – одних (pl., gen.)

  • ни одного человека (no one man)
  • без одной минуты пять (one minute to five)

The numbers from 2 to 4 follow a similar model:

2 – два – двух

3 – три – трёх

4 – четыре – четырёх

  • нет двух стаканов (no two glasses)
  • нет трёх листов (no two pieces of paper)
  • Сегодня нет четырёх студентов (There are no four students today)

The numbers from 5 to 20 follow the next rule: the ь at the end of the word is changed for и.

6 – шесть – шести

8 – восемь – восьми (! pay attention to the fleeting “e”)

12 – двенадцать – двенадцати

  • Она спала до десяти утра (She was sleeping until 10 o’clock)
  • Он гулял до девятнадцати часов. (He was walking till 19:00 (07:00 p.m.))
  • Они проводили эксперимент в течение восьми недель (They conducted an experiment for eight weeks)

The tens from 50 to 80 also get this и ending in the genitive, but not only at the end of a word but also in the middle:

50 – пятьдесят_ – пятидесяти

60 – шестьдесят_ – шестидесяти

70 – семьдесят_ – семидесяти

80 – восемьдесят_ – восьмидесяти

  • Он дожил до восьмидесяти лет (He’s lived until 80 years old)
  • Нам не хватает пятидесяти долларов (We’re 50 dollars short)
  • У тебя нет шестидесяти секунд (You don’t have 60 seconds)

The tens 40, 90 and 100 follow a different strategy: they are added the letter a at the end:

40 – сорок – сорока

90 – девяносто  – девяноста

100 – сто – ста

  • Считай до ста (Count to 100)
  • Ему ещё нет сорока (He’s not 40 yet)
  • Слоны живут до девяноста лет? (Do elephants live until 90?)

Genitive Pronouns

This is the last part of the big genitive case story. Here we’ll learn to form the genitive forms of different types of pronouns: personal, possessive, reflexive and so on. There’s nothing wrong if these grammar terms don’t mean anything to you. Each type is accompanied by a broad explanation with multiple examples.

Firstly, let’s have a look at the “usual” or personal pronouns. We’ve actually already discussed them in the first part of the article when we talked about how to build an “I’ve got” phrase in Russian.

Below you can find a table of their declensions

Engl. I You He She It We You (pl./pol.) They
Nom. Я Ты Он Она Оно Мы Вы Они
Gen. Меня Тебя Его Её Его Нас Вас Их
  • У него нет времени (He has no time)
  • У нас есть знания (We have knowledge)
  • Посиди около меня, пожалуйста. (Sit near me, please)
  • Я не пойду без тебя (I won’t go without you)

Possessive Pronouns (my, his, their…) in the Genitive

The next type of pronouns are possessive like “his, her, my” etc. They also have their own forms in the dative.

As you remember, pronouns in Russian are divided into three “groups” or persons. The pronouns of the first two groups (1st and 2nd person) have specific dative forms for feminine, masculine, neutral and plural objects, while the pronouns of the 3rd person have only one possessive equivalent.

Below we’ll have a look at all the forms that all possessive pronouns take in the genitive.

First Person

This category includes the pronouns я (I) and мы (we). They get the forms my and our in English respectively. However, for the Russian language, it’s not enough to express just a person and number.

The language requires us to inform our partner what sort of an object is my or our: feminine, masculine, neutral or plural. For instance, if are we talking about my pencil (which is feminine in Russian), we’ll need to use special feminine my – моей. If we mean our table (which is masculine), we’ll use the masculine form нашего.

 

Gender, Number

My, Nom.

My, Gen.

 

Gender, Number

Our, Nom.

Our, Gen.

Я (I) masc. Мой Моего Мы (we) masc. Наш Нашего
fem. Моя Моей fem. Наша Нашей
neut. Моё Моего neut. Наше Нашего
plur. Мои Моих plur. Наши Наших

This is how the genitive possessive pronouns can be used in real speech:

  • Нигде нет моего телефона! (There isn’t my phone anywhere!) The word телефона is masculine, so we use the masculine pronoun моего.
  • Он тоже приехал из нашей деревни. (He also came from our country). The noun деревни is feminine, so we use the feminine form нашей as well.

Second Person

There’s only one pronoun of the 2nd person in English – you, while in Russian this group unites two: ты (you singular) and мы (you plural). These are the forms they take in the genitive.

 

Gender,

Number

My,

Nom.

My,

Gen.

 

Gender,

Number

Our,

Nom.

Our,

Gen.

Ты (You) masc. Твой Твоего Вы (You) masc. Ваш Вашего
fem. Твоя Твоей fem. Ваша Вашей
neut. Твоё Твоего neut. Ваше Вашего
plur. Твои Твоих plur. Ваши Ваших
  • Мама, я обойдусь без твоих советов! (Mom, I’ll do without your advice!). In this situation, we’re talking to a single person – a mother, so we pick up you singular – ты. Then, the word советов (advice) is plural, and we choose the plural form – твоих.
  • Друзья, я бы не справился без вашей поддержки! (Friends, I couldn’t have done it without your support) This sentence is addressed to a number of people, so we use the “plural” you – вы. Then, the word поддержки (support) is a feminine noun, consequently, we choose the feminine form вашей

Third Person

This group unites the pronouns он (he), она (she), оно (it) in singular and они (they) in plural. Each of them has just one possessive version, and it works for all of the cases.

Gender,

Number

Nom. Gen.
masc. Он Его / Него
fem. Она Её/ Неё
neut. Оно Его / Него
plur. Они Их / Них
  • У меня нет его номера телефона (I don’t have his telephone number)
  • У меня есть её электронная почта (I have her email)

As you see, the genitive case version of он (he), она (she) они (they) have double forms: его – него, её – неё их – них.

We use the form with additional н at the beginning (него, неё, них)  with prepositions. It makes such phrases more phonetically convenient:

  • У него новая девушка (He’s got a new girlfriend).
  • Мы не ожидали от неё такого поступка (We didn’t expect such an action from her).
  • Тебе не нужно прятаться за них (You don’t need to hide behind them).

Reflexive Pronouns (my own, his own…) in the Genitive

Except for “usual” pronouns, that have an analogy in English, there’s a is so-called possessive-reflexive pronoun свой that means one’s own. It’s applied to the object and consequently has only four forms:

Gender,

Number

Nom. Gen.
masc. Свой Своего
fem. Своя Своей
neut. Своё Своего
plur. Свои Своих
  • У него нет своего водительского удостоверения (He doesn’t have his (own) driving licence)
  • Спроси об этом у своего сына (Ask your (own) son about that)
  • Я так устал, что едва дошёл до своей кровати (I was so tired that I hardly got to my (own) bed).

Demonstrative Pronouns (that, these, those…) in the Genitive

There are two types of the demonstrative pronouns in Russian: тот  (that) and этот (this). They differ slightly depending on the gender and have special forms in the genitive.

 

Gender,

Number

Nom. Gen.  

Gender,

Number

Nom. Gen.
That (Those) masc. Тот Того This (These) masc. Этот Этого
fem. Той fem. Эта Этой
neut. То Того neut. Это Этого
plur. Те Тех plur. Эти Этих
  • Магазин около того дома. (The shop is near that house)
  • Дайте мне, пожалуйста, тех цветов. (Please give me those flowers)
  • У меня не было этих данных. (I didn’t have these data)
  • У меня нет этой информации. (I don’t have this information)

Determinative Pronouns (all, the whole) in the Genitive

The last class of pronouns that you’ll meet in speech are determinative pronouns that mean all, or the whole. It’s changed in genders and have genitive forms that should not be missed.

 

Gender,

Number

Nom. Gen.
All  (the whole) masc. Весь Всего
fem. Вся Всей
neut. Всё Всего
plur. Все Всех
  • Собери всех людей! (Gather all the people!)
  • Это гордость всей деревни! (It’s a pride of the whole village!)
  • Это лучший магазин всего района. (This is the best shop in the whole district)

This the last quiz, that I encourage you to take. It will help you to, if not to memorize them completely, discover which things you need to review again.

Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen, now you’re well-equipped with all of the essentials about the Russian genitive case. I intentionally omitted the participles in part, because this topic is generally saved for advanced levels of study and deserves its own, separate post.

Save this article, to look up later and don’t hesitate to upload or add in Pinterest all the charts and tables you need. And if you have any questions, I’m here to answer them in comments below!

Anastasia Korol

Anastasia Korol is an enthusiastic Russian language tutor. She gives effective, goal-oriented lessons to students all over the world. Thousands of people have already followed her Instagram.

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