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Declension of surnames and names in Russian

Hello, dear student! Today I would like to give consideration to the important and necessary topic. It has been useful for my students because people often use names and surnames in the Russian speech especially those who study or work. Well, surnames in Russian usually have the following suffixes:

- ов (Круглов) - [-ov] [Kruglov]
-ев (Тургенев) - [-ev] [Turgenev]
-ин (Путин) - [-in] [Putin]
-ск (Ржевский) - [-sk] [Rzhefskiy]

Let's decline the surname with the suffix -ов [ov] as an example:

Nom. кто? Смирнов [Smirnof]
Gen. кого? Смирнова [Smirnova]
Dat. кому? Смирнову [Smirnovu]
Acc. кого? Смирнова [Smirnova]
Inst. кем? Смирновым [Smirnovym]
Prep. о ком? О Смирнове [A Smirnove]

Speaking about names and patronymic names, it's necessary to note that there are also some nuances:

For example, masculine names of the 2nd declension - Александр [Aliksandr], Владимир [Vladimir], Евгений [Yevgeniy] - form the patronym name with the help of suffix -ович [ovich], and for feminine names - the suffix -овна [ovna].

Александрович/Александровна [Aliksandrovich/Aliksandrovna]

If we put the suffixes -евич/евна [yevich/yevna], we get the following patronymic names:

Евгеньевич/Евгеньевна [Yevgen'yevna/Yevgen'yevna]

But, please, pay attention that masculine patronymic names formed from the names ending with -ий [-iy] (Валерий [Valeriy], Евгений [Yevgeniy]) change the ending to -ь, for example:

Валерьевич [Valer'yevich], Евгеньевич [Yevgen'yevich]

Masculine names of the 1 declension (e.g. Никита [Nikita]) form masculine patronymic names with the help of the suffix -ич [ich]:

Никитич [Nikitich]

For feminine patronymic names - the suffix -ична [ishna]:

Никитична [Nikitishna]

Pay attention, if the stress falls upon last syllable in a masculine name (Илья [I'liya], Лука [Luka], Фома [Foma]), then feminine patronymic names are formed through adding the suffix -инична [inishna] - from the masculine name Илья (stress falls upon last syllable). If you want to decline patronymic names in cases correctly, you should add or replace certain endings. For example, let's decline such patronymic names as Ильич [Il'ich] (masculine gender) and Львовна [L'vovna] (feminine gender):

Nom. кто ? Ильич [Il'ich] (masculine gender) Львовна [L'vovna] (feminine gender)
Gen. кого? Ильича [Il'icha] Львовны [L'vovny]
Dat. кому? Ильичу [Il'ichu] Львовне [L'vovne]
Acc. кого? Ильича [Il'icha] Львовны [L'vovny]
Inst. кем? Ильичом [Il'ichom] Львовной [L'vovnoy]
Prep. о ком? Об Ильиче [Ob Il'iche] о Львовне [o L'vovne]

Masculine names, ending with any consonant (we know that consonants can be hard and soft) and the letter -й [y], decline in the same manner as any other masculine nouns, for example:

Иван (кто) [Ivan], Ивана (кого), Ивану (кому) and so on.

It is important to remember that stress remains in the same place (vowel) as in the nominative case. But there are some exceptions: two Russian names Лев [Lev] and Пётр [Pyotr] have the stress in the endings of other cases, for example,

Петра (кого? Genitive case) [Pitra], Петру (кому? Dative case) [Pitru], Петром (кем? Instrumental case) [Pitrom]

In the name "Лев" [Lev] the vowel changes to "-ь" in declension:

Льва-Льву-Львом [L'va - L'vu - L'vom]

Sometimes the situation, when a name has 2 parts and hyphen between then, raises the questions: what should I do and how to decline it?
There is nothing difficult here, you just should remember that we decline only last part of such name, the first remains without any changes, for example:

Nom. Сент-Луис [Sent-Luis]
Gen. кого? Сент -Луиса [Sent-Luisa]
Dat. кому? Сент- Луису [Sent-Luisu]
Acc. кого? Сент- Луиса [Sent-Luisa]
Inst. кем? Сент-Луисом [Sent-Luisom]
Prep. о ком? О Сент-Луисе [A Sent-Luise]

Names endings with -a [a] - regardless gender: masculine or feminine - are declined as other nouns in the Russian language: Вера-Веры-Вере [Vera-Very-Vere] and so on.

Masculine and feminine names wndings with -я [ya], -ья ['ya], -ия [iya] and -ея [yeya] are declined as nouns with the same endings: Мария-Марии-Марией [Mariya-Marii-Mariyey].

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