Russian Grammar: The Prepositional Case of the Russian Nouns

Posted on January 3rd, 2013

In today’s lesson I will introduce you to the Prepositional case and will teach you how to say where you live in Russian.

(Update: In additional to this introductory lesson, I published a new video lesson – Preposition “Ha” in the Prepositional Case. Have fun!)

The Prepositional case in Russian is Предложный падеж [pryed-LOZH-niy pa-DYESH].  This case is called prepositional because the nouns in Предложный падеж appear exclusively with prepositions or in Russian предлоги (предлог [preed-LOH]  – preposition). The Prepositional case denotes location.

The nouns in the prepositional case answer questions о ком? [a KOM] (About who?) О чём? [a CHOM] (About what?)

In Russian to indicate location we use prepositions в, на, у followed by a noun in the Prepositional case.

Before we discuss the prepositional case in detail, remember that to form Prepositional or any other case, you need to know what the ending of that noun is in the Nominative case. If you are not familiar with the Nominative case you can watch my previous Russian grammar video where I talk about the Nominative case. In a nutshell, the Nominative case is the dictionary form of any noun.

Now, let’s talk about how Prepositional case of the nouns in formed in Russian. Watch the video lesson:

The Prepositional case of the Russian nouns:
1. If the noun in the nominative case ends with a consonant, other then –й, you need add ending –е, for example:
Nominative: Санкт-Петербург
Prepositional: В Санкт-Петербурге

Nominative: Лондон
Prepositional: В Лондоне

Nominative: Университет
Prepositional: В университете

2. If the noun in the nominative case ends with –й, - а, or –я, you will need to drop that last letter and add –e, here are a few examples:

Nominative: Трамвай
Prepositional: В трамвае

Nominative: Школа
Prepositional: В школе

Nominative: Баня
Prepositional: В бане

3. The only exception to this rule is that if the word ends with –ия, then you will need to drop letter я and change it to –и.
Nominative: Франция
Prepositional: Во Франции

Nominative: Пенсильвания
Prepositional: В Пенсильвании

4. And here is the last rule that you will need to remember.
For foreign words ending in – o, -и, , the Prepositional case is the same as the Nominative. This means that you don’t need to memorize any endings.

Nominative: Баку
Prepositional: В Баку

Nominative: Огайо
Prepositional: В Огайо

Nominative: Миссисипи
Prepositional: В Миссисипи

These are all of the rules about the prepositional case you need to know for now. Here is another important thing that I want to mention:
Preposition в becomes вo before words that begin with two consonants if the first consonant is в or ф.
For example:
Во Франции
Во Флориде
Во Владивостоке

You probably noticed that the stress falls on the noun and not the preposition, this means that preposition вo is never stressed and is pronounced as [VA].

Making Russian Sentences

Now, let’s try to make simple sentences.

To ask someone where you are in Russian you say:
When talking to one person or in an informal situation:

Ты где? [ti GDYE] where are you?

Вы где? [vi GDYE] where are you?

To reply this question you will need to know pronoun Я (watch this video lesson to learn about Russian pronouns), prepositions в or вo, у and на and the name of the country, state, city or a place where you are located (depending on the context of the conversation) in the prepositional case.

Here are a few examples:
– Ты где?
– Я в Италии.

– А ты? (And you?)

– А я в Швеции.

– Вы где?
– Мы в Лас-Вегасе. А вы? (In this case the question is directed to one person, but form вы is used because the speaker shows his/her respect to the person he is talking to. Learn more)

– Я дома, сижу и пью чай.

Using Words

If you would like to say “in a certain American state” you can use word Штат in the prepositional case, then keep the state name in the nominative.

If you would like to say “in a certain American city” you can use word Город in the prepositional case and then keep the name of the city in the nominative case. If the name of the city is Russian and not American then the name of the city will also be in the nominative case. For example:

В городе Москве.

Usually, words Город and Штат are omitted in spoken Russian, and we just say the name of the state, city or country in the prepositional case. For example:

– Где ты?
– В Москве.

See, now you can speak a little more Russian! Step by step I will teach you and you’ll speak fluent Russian in no time. :) Now, it’s your turn to leave a comment below and tell me where you are in Russian!

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Have fun learning Russian!


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The courses of Russian as a foreign language with Russian4real take place online via Skype. The teacher works with adults individually since he is convinced that each person must receive maximum time for practice and professional attention while learning a foreign language.