IWTYAL 007: How can I learn the Russian cases?

itunesButtonToday’s episode features a question from Tom: “I’m not getting anywhere with Russian cases. Can you help me make progress with this?”

With special guest: Alex Rawlings.

In this episode:

  • What are Russian cases?
  • How do they work?
  • How to learn Russian cases

Links and resources for Russian cases:


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  • Guest

    I recommend to learn which case gives answer to which question and to ask yourself when in dilemma: Which question do I want answered? Where in? Where to? To whom? With whom? When? Because every case serves a purpose that in English mostly is expressed through prepositions while in Russian you either use just the noun in the appropriate case or preposition and the declined noun. Understanding the concept behind every case and finding creative ways to remember the endings is important (in Bosnian e.g. I call the locative case the OMU and OJI case – ending -om for adj and -u for masculine and neutral nouns, the second combination for feminine adj. and nouns). When it comes to combination verb plus noun in a specific case without a clear logic behind it, the best thing is to make a list of verbs and to learn them right away in phrases that contain nouns. I had an Iranian student that had all the cases messed up but by learning the concepts, concentrating while speaking and noticing how native speakers speak, she managed to learn speaking Bosnian with almost no mistakes in a very short period of time. Concentrating while speaking and using patterns is crucial.

    • That’s really useful advice – thanks for posting!