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Genitive case

There are 6 cases in the Russian language. Students usually learn the genitive case at first because it has a wide range of necessary functions for the first stage of language learning. We need the genitive case to say that someone has something or does not. This is the function of possession.

У меня нет собаки, у меня есть попугай - I do not have a dog, I have a parrot.

In this example the subject is in genitive case (Я - МЕНЯ), and the object, when we talk about lack of something (ЕСТЬ СОБАКА - НЕТ СОБАКИ).

The structures "нет чего-то" (do not have anything) and "у меня есть" (I have something) - are two basic functions of the genitive case which you should learn from the very beginning and only then turn to others.

У меня есть машина. У меня нет дома. - I have a car. I don't have a house.
У тебя есть дом. У тебя нет дачи. - You have a house. You don't have a dacha.
У него есть дача. У него нет собаки. - He has a dacha. He doesn't have a dog.
У нее есть собака. У нее нет кошки. - She has a dog. She doesn't have a cat.
У них есть кошка. У них нет компьютера. - They have a cat. They don't have a computer.
У нас есть компьютер. У нас нет телевизора. - We have a computer. We don't have TV.
У вас есть телевизор. У вас нет кофеварки. - You've got TV. You don't have a coffee-machine.

We need the genitive case for the usage of numerals from 2 to 4 in singular, from 5 in plural and for the words denoting quantity - мало (few), много (much/many), несколько (several/some).

(Pay attention to the changing of nouns' endings; I have used feminine, masculine and neuter gender in the following example).

Два стакана - Two glasses.
Три сестры - Three sisters.
Четыре яблока - Four apples.

We also use the genitive case to denote quantity.

Килограмм сахара - a kilo of sugar.
Литр молока - gallon of milk.
Мешок крупы - a bag of grain.

We use the genitive case to characterize an object or a person.

Бутылка зелёного стекла. (= Бутылка из зелёного стекла) - A green glass bottle. (=A bottle made from green glass).
Девушка невысокого роста. (= Невысокая девушка) - A girl of a short height. (=A shortish girl).

When we describe space and time, we also use the genitive case.

У театра с утра до вечера стоит очередь за билетами на спектакль - There is a queue near the theater all day long wishing to buy tickets for the play.


And a lot of other cases, such as cause and aim.

Из-за грозы мы не пошли гулять - We didn't go for a walk because of the storm.
Ради любимой работы он готов на всё - He will stop at nothing for his job.

I give consideration to the usage of the genitive case in the structures expressing time and answering the question "Когда?" (When?) in a separate article.

We use the genitive case with the prepositions У [u], ВОКРУГ [vakrug], ДО [do], ОТ [ot], ДЛЯ [dlya], КРОМЕ [krome], МИМО [mina], ОКОЛО [okala], БЕЗ [bez] etc.

Дом у озера - A house near the lake.
Недалеко от моря - Not far from the sea.
Вокруг Солнца - Around the Sun.
Посреди леса - Right in the woods.
Кофе без молока - Coffee without milk.
Письмо от мамы - A letter from my mother.
Идти мимо вокзала - to pass by a railway station.

Here are the rules of the changing in nouns' and adjectives' endings in the singular form, genitive case:

Feminine gender: А-Ы, Я-И, Ь-И, ИЯ-ИИ. АЯ-ОЙ, ЯЯ-ЕЙ.

Masculine gender: consonant -А, Ь-Я, Й-Я. ЫЙ-ОГО, ИЙ-ЕГО.

Neuter gender: Е-Я, О-А, Е-Я. ОЕ-ОГО, ЕЕ-ЕГО.

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