The Nominative Case: When do We Use It

The nominative case (именительный падеж) is the easiest one in the Russian language. It expresses an independent position of a noun in a sentence. It answers the questions Кто? or Что? (Who?/What?). In Russian dictionaries, all nouns are given in the nominative case. It’s actually the basic form of a noun.

But when do we use it? Here are the examples.

1. Subject in a sentence

We take the subject word right from the dictionary. We don’t choose it at all.


Автобус опоздал. – The bus was late.

Мальчик играет с игрушечным грузовиком. – A boy is playing with a toy truck.

Меня укусил щенок. – I was bitten by a puppy.

So, every subject in a sentence is in the nominative case.

2. In possessive constructions

When you say what you or someone else has, you use the nominative case.

У меня есть брат. – I have a brother.

У него есть дочь. – He has a daughter.

У них есть машина. – They have a car.

У тебя большой дом. – You have a big house.

3. In “это” and “вот” phrases

If you introduce something using the words “это” or “вот“, you use what? You guessed it.

Это мой друг. – This is my friend.

Это хорошее лекарство. – This is a good medicine.

Вот твои документы. – Here are your documents.

Вот его дом. – Here is his house.

Nominative case: usage in Russian

4. In definitions

Собакадруг человека. – A dog is a friend of man.

Вода – важный источник жизни. – Water is an important source of life.

5. As a predicative


Она студентка. – She’s a student.

Моя мама – учитель. – My mother is a teacher.

I hope it was useful for you. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

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