Prepositional Case of Russian Nouns – Easy for Beginners

In this opportunity we will continue our progress of learning Russian language by knowing prepositional case of Russian nouns. As we know that Russian language has six grammatical cases which one of them is prepositional case or usually called case 6, this case is one of the easiest case in Russian grammar. If you want to use phrases such as “I live in England” then prepositional case must be included. This type of case will answer question “где?” (where) and would work if it is used after certain Russian preposition.

Without much ado, let’s  take a look at prepositional case of Russian nouns which is understandable for beginners. For newbie who just studied Russian language, we recommend you to read How to Learn Russian for Beginners that contains introduction to Russian alphabet and proceed to Basic Russian Words for Beginners to enrich your vocabularies.

How to Use prepositional Case

1. To Indicate location or to answer question “где? (where)”, using preposition “на” or “в”

The difference between those two are preposition “в” / “во”means “in” or “inside”. Meanwhile for preposition “на” means “on” or “on the surface”. Here are the examples :

  • Моя книга в сумке
    (maya knyiga v sumke)
    My book is in the bag
  • Портативный компьютер на столе
    (Portativniy kamp’yuter na stalye)
    Laptop on the table

Note : The preposition “в” becomes “во” if sided with a noun that has first consonant “Ф” or “в”. For example во Франции или во Владивостоке.

2. To designate location of places, both preposition (“на” or “в”) are used. There are some condition to use both preposition, take a look below.

– Preposition “в” means that you are inside certain building or if you are in larger area such as town or country. For example :

  • В университете – Ve universitete (in/at university)
  • В комнате – Ve komnate (in/at room)
  • В России – Ve Rossii (in Russia)
  • В Деревне – Ve jerevnie (in a village)

– Prepostion “на” mostly defined if a person outside a building or at specific outdoor area such as events, island, activities or certain parts of city. For example :

  • На рынке – Na rynke (on the market)
  • На уроке – Na uroke (on the lesson)
  • На Аляске – Na Alaska (on the Alaska)
  • На улице – Na ulitse (on the road)

However there are still some exception for using both preposition, It is not absolute definition for “в” means inside a building or “на” at outdoor area. There are few places that must be memorized which is already paired with one of those preposition although you may find a situation like someone inside a building but it is paired with preposition “на”. Let’s take a look at the table below completed with translation and how to pronounce it:


[tr][th]Must be memorized[/th] [th]Pronounciation[/th] [th]Translation[/th][/tr]

[tr][td]на факультете[/td] [td]na fakul’tete[/td] [td]in/at faculty[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на кухне[/td] [td]na kuhnye[/td] [td]in/at kitchen[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на вокзале[/td] [td]na vakzlye[/td] [td]in/at railway station[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на курсе[/td] [td]na kurse[/td] [td]in a course of university[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на севере[/td] [td]na severe[/td] [td]in the nort[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на работе[/td] [td]na rabote[/td] [td]in/at work[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на острове [/td] [td]na astrove[/td] [td]in/at island[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на площади[/td] [td]na plosyaji[/td] [td]in/at square[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на даче[/td] [td]na dache[/td] [td]in/at village country our of town[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на стадионе[/td] [td]na stadione[/td] [td]in/at stadion[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на заводе[/td] [td]na zavode[/td] [td]in/at factory[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]на станции[/td] [td]na stantsii[/td] [td]in/at station[/td][/tr]


Those are some words already paired with preposition “на” that must be memorized.

3. To talk thoroughly about something or someone, you need to use “о/обо” (about) as one of the preposition in prepositional case. The preposition “о” becomes “обо” only works after word “мне” (myself). Here are the example :

  • Студенты говорите о России
    (stujyenty gavarite a rassii)
    Students talks about Russia
  • Олег думает обо мне
    (Olyeg dumayet aba mnye)
    Oleg think about me

Note : The preposition “о” also may becomes “об” before a word with vowel ending starts with “а, у, э, о, и” for example : об Индии (about India), об Ирине (about Irina).

4. To indicate time of an action with words such as год (year), месяц (month), and неделя (week). Here are the example:

  • На этой неделе я начинаю жить в России
    (na etoy nejele ya nachinayu zhit’ v Rossii)
    I start to live in Russia this week
  • Я отправилась в Париж в прошлом году
    (ya otpravilas’ v Parizh v prashlom gadu)
    I went to Paris last year
  • В этом месяце, у нас будет отпуск в парк
    (ve etom mesyatse)
    In this month we will vacation to the park

Those are explanation related to when you can use prepositional case of Russian pronounce. Keep practicing and memorizing especially the table contains some words that are paired with certain preposition only. Do not be your main concern since prepositional case only consist 3 preposition and it is easy to identify. We highly recommend you to visit first case form in Nominative Case in Russian Language as introduction about Russian cases.

Form of Nouns in Prepositional Case

All 6 cases in Russian would change ending form of nouns according to gender (masculine, feminine, neutral) and number (singular and plural) this called declension. In prepositional case, you will know that a word need different ending after you put one of preposition that belong to this case. At explanation below, we will provide you all form of noun endings in prepositional case.

Singular Form

  • Masculine Nouns

1. Nouns ending in a consonant add ending -е
– магазин – магазине (store)
– парк – парке (park)

2. Nouns ending in -ь and -й, change to -е
– музей – музее (museum)
– учитель – учителе (teacher)

3. Nouns ending in -ий change to -ии
– санаторий -санатории (sanatorium)

  • Feminine Nouns

1. Nouns ending in -а change to -е
– улица – улице (street)
– проблема – проблеме (problem)

2. Nouns ending in -я change to -е
– семья – семье (family)
– идея – идее (idea)

3. Nouns ending in -ия change to -ии
– станция -станции (station)

4. Nouns ending in -ь change to -и
– дверь -двери – (door)
– ночь – ночи – (night)

  • Neuter Nouns

1. Nouns ending in -о change to -е
– письмо – письме (letter)
– окно – окне (window)

2. Nouns ending in -е will not change ending
– море -море (sea)
– поле – поле (field)

3. Nouns ending in -ие change to -ии
– здание – здании (building)

4. Nouns ending in -мя, change -я into -ени
– имя – имени (name)
– время – времени (time)

Plural Form

  • Masculine nouns

1 . Nouns ending in consonant add the ending -ах
– магазин – магазинах (store)
– парк – парках (park)

2. Nouns ending in -ь and -й change to -ях
– музей – музеях (museum)
– учитель – учителях (teacher)

3. Nouns ending in -а/-я will change form as feminine nouns rules (look at the rules below)

  • Feminine Nouns

1. Nouns ending in -а add ending -х
– улица – улицах (street)
– проблема – проблемах (problem)

2. Nouns ending in -я and -ь change to -ях
– неделя – неделях (week)
– дверь – дверях (door)

  • Neuter Nouns

1. Nouns ending in -о change to -ах
– письмо – письмах (letter)
– окно – окнах (window)

2. Nouns ending in -е change to -ях
– море -морях (sea)
– здание – зданиях (building)

3. Nouns ending in -мя change to -енах
– имя – именах (name)
– время – временах (time)

Those are forms of prepositional case of Russian nouns. As an additional note that few masculine nouns have exceptional stressed endings such as -у and -ю after preposition “на” or “в” (not applicable for preposition “o”). You have to memorize these exception which became unique form of words in Russian language.

лес (forest)
– в лесу (in the forest)
– о лесе (about the forest)

сад (garden)
– в саду (in ther garden)
– о саде (about the garden)

шкаф (wardrobe)
– в шкафу (in the wardrobe)
– о шкафе (about the wardrobe)

порт (port)
– в порту (in the port)
– о порте (about the port)

угол (corner)
– в углу (in the corner)
– об угле (about the corner)

мост (bridge)
– на мосту (on the bridge)
– о мосте (about the bridge)

лёд (ice)
– на льду (on the ice)
– о льде (about the ice)

That is all about prepositional case in Russian nouns, as we can conclude that prepositional case will change only at the ending of each words after preposition “на”,  “в” or “o”. When the first time you look at the preposition in a sentence or phrase, there is no doubt that the case used is the formation of prepositional case. Keep in mind that declension of Russian cases dependent on gender and numbers (singular or plural).

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