Prepositional Case in Russian

The prepositional case (предложный падеж) is used in combination with certain prepositions, i.e. “in,” “on,” “at,” and “about.” The Prepositional Case modifies nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. It typically answers the questions о ком? (about whom?) and о чём? (about what?), as well as где? (where?) when used with certain prepositions.

The prepositional case and location

The prepositional case in Russian designates the place or where the object is, using the prepositions “в” and “на.” For example:

  • Я живу в Нью-Йорке. = I live in New York.
  • Она на вокзале. = She is at the station.
  • На столе книга и ручка. = On the table are a book and a pen.
  • В море плывёт корабль. = A ship is sailing in the sea.

This is different from the meaning of the accusative case with these prepositions, which denotes movement towards something.

The prepositional case and “about”

When you want to express something “about” someone or something, use the preposition “о” + prepositional case. For example:

  • Расскажи мне о себе. = Tell me about yourself.
  • Давайте поговорим о погоде. = Let’s talk about the weather.

Typically this will accompany these verbs:

  • думать = to think
  • мечтать = to dream
  • говорить = to talk
  • писать = to write
  • рассказывать = to tell
  • спорить = to argue

The prepositional case and dates

The prepositional case is used to tell in what month something happened. For example:

  • Это было в апреле. = This was in April.

More info on the Russian cases

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