Немно́го о языке́ 4.4 Петрогра́дская сторона́

Things existing at locations

While people who possess items are expressed with у plus the genitive, when an item exists at a location, Russian tends to use есть construction with locational expressions that start with в/на plus the prepositional case. Sometimes you can translate these expressions with the English “has”.


На у́лице Попо́ва есть большо́й бассе́йн. = On Popov Street there is a big pool.

В го́роде есть хоро́ший парк. = In the city there’s a nice park. / The city has a nice park.

В ко́мнате есть то́лько крова́ть и шкаф. = In the room there’s only a bed and wardrobe./ The room has only a bed and a wardrobe.

Russian can often combines a locational phrase (в/на plus the prepositional case) together with a possessive construction (у + genitive) together.


У нас в Пи́тере о́чень хоро́шая футбо́льная кома́нда. = In Petersburg we have a very good soccer team.

Telling Relative Distances

When answering the question "Где нахо́дится …?" you can use the phrases:

Adverb + от + Genitive case Equivalents
далеко́ от магази́на far from the store
недалеко́ от кварти́ры not far from the apartment
бли́зко от нас near us
спра́ва от две́ри on the right of the door
сле́ва от остано́вки on the left of the stop

The preposition от in these phrases is followed by the genitive case of the noun or pronoun.  Although от in these phrases means “from,” be careful not to overgeneralize: not every use of the English “from” will be translated as Russian от.

If you have no second place mentioned for expressing relative distances, you can use the adverbs alone.

Где магази́н? Он далеко́. (It’s far.)
Где остано́вка авто́буса? Она́ бли́зко. (It’s near.)
Где кафе́? Оно́ спра́ва. (It’s on the right.)

Genitive case forms of adjectives

As with the prepositional case adjective endings, the genitive case of masculine and neuter adjectives will share a single basic adjective form –ого, while the basic feminine adjective ending is –ой.  The variations of these endings for spelling rules are: -его and -ей, respectively.

These adjective endings are summarized in this table:

Nominative Basic ending Spelling rule
(e.g., хоро́ший)
Masculine/ Neuter   -ого -его
но́вый магази́н от но́вого магази́на  
большо́й проспе́кт от большо́го проспе́кта  
хоро́ший музе́й   от хоро́шего музе́я
ма́ленькое окно́ от ма́ленького окна́  
хоро́шее зда́ние   от хоро́шего зда́ния
Feminine   -ой -ей
но́вая кварти́ра; от но́вой кварти́ры  
больша́я кухня от большо́й ку́хни  
хоро́шая апте́ка   от хоро́шей апте́ки

Note on pronunciation:  The г in the masculine and neuter adjective endings for the genitive is pronounced like Russian [в].


You’ve already encountered two other words where г has this pronunciation его́ and сего́дня, both of which are related to the genitive case. In other circumstances the г in the combination -ого- is pronounced like [г] (e.g., мно́го = a lot, до́рого = expensive, dear)

Genitive “of” linkage

You have already seen that the genitive case can be used to express an “of” relationship between two nouns: Оле́г — друг Ка́ти. = Oleg is the friend of Katya.

The genitive can express other kinds of “of” relations beyond those involved in possession.  Sometimes these “of” relations will be transparent in structure with their English equivalents.

нача́ло Большо́го проспе́кта             = the start of Большо́й проспе́кт

коне́ц на́шей экску́рсии                    = the end of our excursion

Институ́т ру́сского языка́ и культу́ры = Institute of Russian Language and Culture

Other times the Russian phrase (for example, но́мер телефо́на ) is structured “noun 1 + genitive of noun 2.”  The equivalent English expression telephone number flips the order and doubles up the nouns (noun 2 + noun 1). 

Look at the examples below and follow how the word order changes between Russian and English.  The Russian nouns in the genitive and their English counterparts are highlighted below in blue.

New Second Conjugation Verbs

In this section of our story, you have encountered two more second conjugation verbs:

Stem Mutation Endings Conjugated Forms Meanings
вид- д >ж + ю я ви́жу I see
ø + ишь ты ви́дишь You see, etc.
ø + ит он/она́ ви́дит He/she sees, etc.
ø + им мы ви́дим We see, etc.
ø + ите вы ви́дите You see, etc.
ø + ят они́ ви́дят They see, etc.

Consonant mutations are not an exclusively Russian phenomenon. In English they happen among words of a single word family. For example, the verb is “to provide” but the related noun is “provisions.” Sometimes in English we don’t change the spelling, but the pronunciation of a consonant “mutates” (to televise – television). 

Stem Endings Spelling Rules Conjugated Forms Meanings
слыш- + ю -ю > -у я слы́шу I hear
+ ишь   ты слы́шишь You hear, etc.
+ ит   он/она́ слы́шит He/she hears, etc.
+ им   мы слы́шим We hear, etc.
+ ите   вы слы́шите You hear, etc.
+ ят -я > -а они́ слы́шат They hear, etc.

Note the stress patterns of the new verbs underlined in bold.

Always stem-stressed
Infinitive по́мнить ви́деть слы́шать
to remember to see to hear
Subjects по́мн- ви́д- слыш-
я по́мню ви́жу слы́шу
ты по́мнишь ви́дишь слы́шишь


по́мнит ви́дит слы́шит
мы по́мним ви́дим слы́шим
вы по́мните ви́дите слы́шите
они́ по́мнят ви́дят слы́шат

Упражне́ние 1

Listening activity.  You will hear the second half of a sentence in Russian. Who do you think it might be doing the action mentioned? Select the subject pronoun that makes a complete sentence. (correct answers in yellow)

1. я ты она мы
2. я мы вы они́
3. ты он мы вы
4. ты мы вы они́
5. ты мы вы они́
6. я ты мы вы
7. ты она мы они́
8. я ты вы они́
9. я ты мы вы
10. я мы вы они́

Distinguishing Word Meanings

Russian can often be more precise than English in the ways it uses words.  There are a few places to pay attention to now:

Asking About Names
two people
Как тебя́/вас зову́т?

Меня́ зову́т ...
two people building
Скажи́те, пожа́луйста, как называ́ется э́тот магази́н?

Он называ́ется "Иде́Я."

When we are referring to people, we use the construction with зову́т, but when you are wondering about the name of a thing, we use the construction with называ́ется, or называ́ются if the subject is plural.

Seeing, Hearing – Watching, Listening

Ви́деть means “to see,” and in Russian is used for what visual information reaches your eyes.  Слы́шать is similar in that it is used for what auditory information reaches your ears.  Смотре́ть means “to look, to watch,” and it requires you not only to turn your eyes on something, but to fix your attention on something. Similarly, слу́шать means to turn your attention to something.


The English word “remember” is used in a few different senses, but по́мнить is the Russian equivalent only for the notion of “remember” when it is essentially a synonym for “to know” (to have a piece of information in your memory).   Russian will have other more precise verbs for conveying “remember” when it is a synonym for “memorize,” (to put information into your memory), or when it is a synonym for “recall” (to drag a piece of information up from memory).

Accusative Pronouns

In Уро́к 3 we learned the accusative forms for nouns and adjectives. In this section we will learn the forms of the personal pronouns in the accusative case.

Work through the captions to these illustrations, paying attention to the pronouns so that you match the sentences to their English equivalents.


The table below has all the forms of the accusative personal pronouns.  Note: they are identical to the genitive forms that you learned with the preposition у, except when there is no preposition there is no н at the start of не́го, неё, них.

Nominative Accusative Genitive
(Subject of verb) (Direct object) (used with нет = “be absent”)
я меня́ меня́
ты тебя́ тебя́
он его́ его́
она́ её её
оно́ его́ его́
мы нас нас
вы вас вас
они́ их их
кто? кого́? кого́?
что? что? чего́?

Noticing Activity

You’ve already encountered the forms его́ / её / их in their function as possessive pronouns. For example, его́ ба́бушка = his grandmother; их внук = their grandson. 

In this unit, you see that the его́ / её / их can also function as direct object pronouns, where their English equivalents are: him, her, it, and them.

Упражне́ние 2

Read the sentences below, and decide whether the italicized form is functioning as a possessive pronoun or as a direct object pronoun.  Then select the best English equivalent for the italicized pronoun.

Э́то Оле́г, но я не зна́ю его́ фами́лию. him his it
Э́то на́ша ко́шка. Мы её лю́бим. her hers its
Э́то Джош и То́ни. Дени́с их по́мнит. them their theirs
Э́то на́ша сосе́дка. Ты по́мнишь её фами́лию? her hers it
Э́то Анто́н. Вы его́ зна́ете? him his its
Э́то недорого́й рестора́н. Я зна́ю его́ а́дрес. his its it
Э́то Мара́т Аза́тович и Ри́мма Ю́рьевна. Я зна́ю их маши́ну. they their them