FREE Cheat Sheets for Learners of Russian as a Foreign Language

Article Content

    Article Content

      Share

      Dear learners of Russian as a foreign language!

      Eurekly’s best Russian tutors have created this column to help you learn this beautiful and complicated language. Grammar rules easily explained and illustrated with typical examples will be posted regularly here. Follow the Eurekly blog to get our new materials as soon as they get published! And don’t forget to download your bonus PDF files!

      Do you have further questions concerning Russian grammar?

      Find an online Russian tutor NOW!

      Russian flag on the computer screen

      Cheat Sheet #1. ЧТОБЫ

      ONE subject => чтобы + Infinitive

      NB: After ЧТОБЫ, the Russian verb is used in the INFINITIVE to express Past, Present, and Future.

      Present:
      Дмитрий изучает медицину, чтобы стать врачом.
      Dmitry is studying medicine. Dmitry wants to become a doctor.
      Future:
      Дмитрий будет изучать медицину, чтобы стать врачом.
      Dmitry will study medicine. Dmitry will become a doctor.
      Past:
      Дмитрий изучал медицину, чтобы стать врачом.
      Dmitry studied medicine. Dmitry became a doctor.

      TWO subjects => чтобы + Verb in the Past Tense

      NB: After ЧТОБЫ, the Russian verb is used in the PAST tense to express Past, Present, and Future.

      Present:

      Дмитрий изучает медицину, чтобы его мать гордилась им.

      Dmitry is studying medicine. His mother is proud of him.

      Future:

      Дмитрий будет изучать медицину, чтобы его мать гордилась им.

      Dmitry will study medicine. His mother will be proud of him.

      Past:

      Дмитрий изучал медицину, чтобы его мать гордилась им.

      Dmitry studied medicine. His mother was proud of him.

      Download your free cheat sheet on how to use ЧТОБЫ!

      Cheat Sheet #2. THE INSTRUMENTAL CASE

      NB: The Instrumental Case is used in three context types:

      1) When we say BY WHAT MEANS an action is performed:

      We use the Instrumental Case to refer to an instrument or a tool with the help of which the action is performed. The idea of the Instrumental Case is expressed in English by such prepositions as by, with, using, by means of, etc.

      Example 1

      Мальчик пишет ручкой.
      The boy is writing with a pen.

      Example 2

      Эта картина была написана знаменитым художником.
      This picture was painted by a famous artist.

      2) When we use certain Russian prepositions that are ALWAYS followed by the Instrumental case:
      • над (above, over)
      • под (under, beneath)
      • между (between, among)
      • перед (in front of)
      Example 1

      Картина висит над креслом.
      The picture hangs over the armchair.

      Example 2

      Кошка прячется под диваном.
      The cat is hiding under the sofa.

      Find more examples in our bonus PDF file!
      3) When we use certain Russian verbs that are ALWAYS followed by the Instrumental case:
      • быть – to be
      • интересоваться – to be interested in
      • оказываться – to turn out to be
      • пользоваться – to use
      • становиться/стать – to become
      • увлекаться – to be fond of
      • управлять – to control, manage, govern
      Example 1

      Я хочу быть учителем.
      I want to be a teacher.

      Example 2

      Он интересуется литературой.
      He is interested in literature.

      Find more examples in our bonus PDF file!

      NB: Now that you are sure that you need to use the Instrumental Case in your sentence, apply a correct ending:

      SINGULAR:
      1. All nouns ending with Я:
      replace Я with ЕЙ

      e.g.: дядЯ – дядЕЙ

      2. All nouns ending with ЖА, ША, ЩА, ЧА, ЦА:
      replace А with ЕЙ

      e.g.: каША – кашЕЙ

      3. Other nouns ending with А:
      replace А with ОЙ

      e.g.: мамА – мамОЙ

      4. Masculine nouns ending with Й, Ь:
      replace Й/Ь with ЕМ (if stressed — with ЁМ)

      e.g.: конЬ – конЁМ

      5. Masculine nouns ending with other consonants:
      add OМ

      e.g.: гараж – гаражОМ

      6. Feminine nouns ending with Ь:
      add Ю

      e.g.: ночь – ночьЮ

      7. All neuter nouns:
      add М

      e.g.: лицо – лицоМ

      PLURAL:
      1. All singular nouns ending with consonants:
      add АМИ

      e.g.: стол – столАМИ

      2. All singular nouns ending with А, Е, О:
      replace А/Е/О with АМИ

      e.g.: креслО – креслАМИ

      3. All singular nouns ending with Я:
      replace Я with ЯМИ

      e.g.: тётЯ – тётЯМИ

      4. All singular nouns ending with Й, Ь:
      replace Й/Ь with ЯМИ (but: ЧЬ => ЧАМИ, ЩЬ => ЩАМИ)

      e.g.: дождЬ – дождЯМИ

      Download your free cheat sheet on how to use the Instrumental case!

      Cheat Sheet #3. THE GENITIVE CASE

      NB: The Genitive Case is used in three context types:

      1) When we want to indicate possession,

      i.e. to say that something or somebody belongs to somebody. Note that the noun in Genitive (i.e. the possessor) is always put after the object it possesses. When indicating possession in English, we use either the apostrophe or the preposition ‘of’.

      Example

      Это ручка мальчика.

      This is the boy’s pen.

      2) When we use certain Russian prepositions and some other words that are ALWAYS followed by the Genitive case:

      у (next, by)

      из (from)

      до (till, until)

      от (from)

      без (without)

      для (for)

      после (after)

      кроме (except)

      около (near)

      вокруг (around)

      внутри(inside)

      нет (there is no…, there are no…, I’ve got no…)

      Example 1

      Я живу у родителей.

      I live by my parents.

      Example 2

      Я останусь здесь доосени.

      I am going to stay here until autumn.

      Find more examples in our bonus PDF file!
      3) When we use certain Russian verbs that are ALWAYS followed by the Genitive case:

      бояться – to be afraid of smth

      пугаться – to be frightened by smth

      добиваться – to achieve smth

      достигать – to reach smth

      желать – to wish smth

      заслуживать – to deserve smth

      избегать – to avoid smth

      касаться – to touch smth

      просить – to ask for smth

      стыдиться – to be ashamed of smth

      требовать – to demand smth

      Example 1

      Я боюсь темноты.

      I am afraid of the dark.

      Example 2

      Он всегда добивается своих целей.

      He always achieves his goals.

      Find more examples in our bonus PDF file!

      NB: Now that you are sure that you need to use the Genitive Case in your sentence, apply a correct ending:

      SINGULAR:
      1. All nouns ending with Я:
      replace Я with И

      e.g.: тётЯ – тётИ

      2. All nouns ending with ЖА, ША, ЩА, ЧА, ЦА, ГА, КА, ХА:
      replace А with И

      e.g.: ногА – ногИ

      3. Other nouns ending with А:
      replace А with Ы

      e.g.: папА – папЫ

      4. Masculine nouns ending with Й, Ь:
      replace Й/Ь with Я

      e.g.: конЬ – конЯ

      5. Masculine nouns ending with other consonants:
      add А

      e.g.: гараж – гаражА

      6. Feminine nouns ending with Ь:
      replace Ь with И

      e.g.: ночЬ – ночИ

      7. All neuter nouns:
      replace О/Е with А

      e.g.: зеркалО – зеркалА

      PLURAL:
      1. All singular nouns ending with Я:
      replace Я with Ь

      e.g.: тётя – тёть

      2. All singular nouns ending with Ь:
      replace Ь with ЕЙ

      e.g.: вещь – вещей

      3. All singular nouns ending with ‘vowel+Я/Е’
      replace Я/Е with Й

      e.g.: сессия – сессий

      4. All singular nouns ending with ‘one consonant+А/О’:
      drop А/О

      e.g.: папа – пап

      5. All singular nouns ending with ‘two consonants+А/О’:
      drop А and insert Е/О between the two consonants

      e.g.: ручка – ручек

      6. Singular masculine nouns ending with Ж, Ш, Щ, Ч:
      add -ЕЙ

      e.g.: нож – ножей

      7. Singular masculine nouns ending with Ц:
      add -ЕВ

      e.g.: заяц – зайцев

      8. Singular masculine nouns ending with Й:
      replace Й with -ЁВ

      e.g.: рой – роёв

      9. Singular masculine nouns ending with all other consonants:
      add -ОВ

      e.g.: стол – столов

      Download your free cheat sheet on how to use the Instrumental case!

      Share