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If you learned Latin, then you know what a case system is. There are two cases of nouns in English: Nominative and Genitive. In Russian there are 6 cases.
I find it the most difficult part of Russian grammar as it has no equivalents in English and I must admit it is quite difficult to lear.
But if there is a will... lets start:
I believe you are already familiar with the Nominative case in Russian:
Именительныи падеж [Imenitel'nyi padezh] (Nominative case)
The subject of the sentense usually is in Nominative case (if its a noun, of course)
Ex., Мальчик пошел в школу. "Мальчик" is in the Nominative case. In the dictionary the nouns are given in the Nominative case.
In Russian we ask questions that help to defind the case. There are two question words for each case: for living and non living things. That is why we should revise them now before proceeding to the other cases:
кто? - kto? - who? as in: Who is he?
что? - chto? - what? as in: What is this?
кого? - kogo? - whom? as in: Whom did you see? Whom do you know of these people?
чего? - chego? - what? (same as kogo? but for non living things): What did you see? What have you seen?
кому? - komu? - for/to whom? whom? To whom did you give it? Whom do you trust?
чему? - chemu? - for/to what? what? (no example)
кого? - whom? as in: To blame whom? что? - what?
кем? - kem? - of whom? as in: to be proud of whom?
чем? - chem? - of what? as in: to be proud of what?
o ком - o kom? - about whom? as in: to think about whom?
о чем - o chem? - about what? as in: to think about what?
I hope I managed to render the difference by using English. You could see that in English we do not have same case system. But in English we usefixed word order and PREPOSITIONS.
It is also important to learn the case used after the verbs. As in English we have to learn the prepositions the verb is used with (depen on, care about, think of etc), same about Russian verbs.
Here are the cases:
Именительныи [Imenitel'nyi] Nominative
Родительныи [Roditel'nyi] Posessive case
Дательныи [Datel'nyi] Dative
Винительныи [Vinitel'nyi] Accusative
Творительныи [Tvoritel'nyi] Instrumental
Предложныи [Predlozhnyi] Ablative
Other cases (except Nominative) are applied to the objects on the sentense, they are never a subject of the sentence.
The questions are: кого?, чего?
Нет кого, чего?
Нет мальчика. Нет кого? Мальчика.
Нет дерева. Нет чего? Дерева.
Рад кому, чему?
Я рад другу. Я рад кому? Другу.
Я рад весне. Я рад чему? Весне.
Вижу кого, что?
Я вижу мальчика. Я вижу кого? Мальчика.
Я вижу дераво. Я вижу что? Дерево.
Горжусь кем, чем?
Я горжусь другом. Я горжусь кем? Другом.
Я горжусь машинои. Я горжусь чем? Машинои.