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How can I improve my use of grammar in Russian? I frequently make mistakes with endings in Russian - it's not such a problem when I'm speaking, but it's not good in written format? When should I use Dative, Genitive, Instrumental......? Any advice would be very much appreciated - Thank you!
Oct 20, 2014 2:42 PM
Answers · 10
The best way to learn Russian cases is to learn them one at a time, otherwise you will be overwhelmed and will struggle to remember any of them. Tackle one gender, one case, one at a time. Also do singular and plural separately. If you cover too much at once, your brain will get into too much of a muddle. I suggest you get yourself a Russian grammar book, at least one, preferably several. Read the explanation of the case to get a basic understanding of how it is used. Then next comes the important bit. For each ending find some example sentences, which any good textbook should provide, I would try to find at least five, preferably more, and memorise them. I used flashcards to do this, but choose whatever method suits you best. You will need to do all of this twice, once for nouns and once for adjectives. It will take you a while but once you've been through this process you should have a pretty good grip on the endings. It's tempting to go faster than this, out of a desire to get them all done, but you have to accept the fact it will take a while and work through it. Pretty much all the advice I've read from English speakers who've learned the Russian cases have suggested something similar: drill example sentences. You may find some of the lessons on this site useful for example sentences: Any good textbook should explain when the cases are used, but whilst there are some fundamental principles that will cover most situations, the process of learning which case goes with which verbs or expressions is an ongoing process. The good news is that you can carry on using and enjoying and learning the language whilst you're doing this. You can make plenty of mistakes with grammar and still be understood, and just the accusative case will get you quite far. It's just that cases take a bit of work and patience but you will get there. At a steady pace you can cover it all in 6 months or less.
October 20, 2014
I agree! Most grammars unfortunately don't handle cases one by one, but rather devide the chapters into: noun, adjectives, adverbs and so on. I found a lot of good videos on youtube, handeling cases one by one. I especially like the videos (in English) made by OSUEcampusFL and drpedsen.
October 20, 2014
Maybe, this can help: imho: the easyest way to write the proper ending is to "correlate" it with words which surround noun making simple questions in your mind: Именительный: Кто? что? (У меня есть (что?) ручка) Родительный: Кого? чего? ( у тебя нет (чего?) ручки) Дательный: Кому? чему? ( сломать крепление (чему?) ручке) Винительный: кого? что? (забрать у друга (что?) ручку) Творительный: кем? чем? (писать эссе (чем?) ручкой) Предложный: О ком? О чём? В ком? В чём? На ком? На чём? При ком? При чём? and so on. and yes, the only thing that can help is practice....
October 20, 2014
There are only six cases in russian: 1. Именительный. (derivative from имя\name) 2. Родительный. (derivative from родить\to born. Just ask - What did it born?) 3. Дательный (derivative frome дать\to give. Just ask - Give to whom\to what?) 4. Винительный. (derivative from винить\to judge (smb.) Judge who? Judge what?) 5. Творительный.(derivative from творить\to create. Create by who \by what? ) 6. Предложный. (Ask - About what? About who?) Some samples are: 1. стол, ручка, кровать, дверь (a table, a pen, a bed, a door) 2. стол, ручку, кровать, дверь 3. столу, ручке, кровати, двери 4. стол, ручку, кровать, дверь 5. столом, ручкой, кроватью, дверью. 6. о столе, о ручке, о кровати, о двери. You need more practice to use these endings. The most russians dont think about rules, they just use the endings they have taught from the birth in common speech.
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October 20, 2014
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Language Skills
English, Kazakh, Russian
Learning Language
Kazakh, Russian