Grammar Video: Preposition “Ha” in the Prepositional Case

Posted on March 1st, 2014

Russian4real prepositional caseA few lessons ago we briefly talked about how you can use the prepositional case and the preposition “в” to say in Russian where you are or where you live. You can review this lesson here – The Prepositional Case of the Russian Nouns. In today’s lesson, we’ll talk about another preposition – “на”, and how it’s used in the prepositional case in Russian.
There are many different situations where Russian preposition “на” can be used, but today we’ll only talk about a few most popular situations. If you would like to learn more about the preposition “на”, you can get a copy of  A Comprehensive Russian Grammar by Terence Wade book from It’ a great Russian grammar reference book, so if you really want to drill down in Russian, you can go ahead and get the book.

Now, let’s get to the fun stuff. Here is the video where I discuss the most popular situations of how it’s used in the prepositional case in Russian:

The preposition на is used instead of в in the following situations:

1. To indicate on or on top of something:

Чашка стоит на столе.
[CHASH-ka sta-EET na sta-LYE]
The cup is on the table.

Я сижу на стуле.
[YA see-ZHOO na STOO-lye]
I’m sitting on a chair.

Мой щенок лежит на кровати.
[moy shee-NOK lye-ZHEET na kra-VA-tee]
My puppy is on the bed.

2. It’s also used with activities:

Я сейчас на уроке русского языка.
[ya seey-CHAS na oo-RO-kye ROOS-ka-va ya-zi-KA]
I am in my Russian class right now.

Аня сегодня на работе.
[a-NYA see-VOD-nya na ra-BO-tye]
Anya is at work today.

Мы познакомились на дискотеке.
[mi paz-na-KO-mee-lees’ na dees-ka-TYE-kye]
We met at a night club.

3. Objects that help to describe activities:

Миша любит кататься на велосипеде.
[MEE-sha LYOO-beet ka-TAT’-sya na vye-la-see-PYE-dye]
Misha likes biking.

Мы приехали на машине.
[mi pree-YE-ha-lee na ma-SHI-nye]
We’ve arrived by car.

Я лечу в Париж на самолёте.
[ya lee-CHOO f pa-REESH na sa-ma-LYO-tye]
I’m flying to Paris on a plane.

4. When talking about natural features or islands use proposition на:

Мы устроили пикник на пляже.
[mi oos-TRO-ee-lee peek-NEEK na PLYA-zhye]
We had a picnic on a beach.

Вы когда-нибудь были на Гавайах?
[vi kag-DA nee-BOOD’ BI-lee na ga-VA-yah]
Have you ever been to Hawaii?

5. Points of the compass

Ты живёшь на востоке, а я живу на западе.
[ti zhee-VYOSH na vas-TO-kye a ya zhee-VOO na ZA-pa-dye]
You live on east coast, and I live on west coast.

6. And it’s also used with a few words – exceptions that you’ll just need to memorize:

Below are a couple of exceptions that you just need to memorize. If you are learning Russian language at a university or college, or are

На факультете
[na fa-kool’-TYE-tye]
At a faculty

На курсе
[na KOOR-sye]
On a course

Я учусь на факультете русского языка.
[ya oo-CHOOS’ na fa-kool’-TYE-tye ROOS-ka-va ya-zi-KA]
I am studying at a faculty of Russian language.

Я хожу на курсы русского языка.
[ya ha-ZHOO na KOOR-si ROOS-ka-va ya-zi-KA]
I am taking Russian language course/class.

And here is a quick infographic that summarizes the rules outlined above. Again, these are some of the most popular uses of на in Russian, and as you are learning Russian you will learn many more uses of на and will come across a few exceptions.

Prepositional Case in Russian


Here is a quick exercise. All you need to do is to translate these three sentences into Russian and post your answers in the comment area below this lesson. I will correct your answers if necessary. Here are the sentences:

1. The book is on the desk.
2. Are you at work?
3. The slippers are on the floor.

Hope you had a fun lesson. Make sure to subscribe to Russian4real newsletter to not miss a single Russian lesson! You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and, of course, Facebook.

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.