CASES IN THE UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE AND HOW THEY ARE USED

Cases in Ukrainian

Understanding how to use Ukrainian cases is critical for learning the language. If you are just beginning to study the cases or would like to summarize or review your knowledge about them, this post is for you!

The Nominative Case (Називнѝй відмíнок) (“case for naming”) is the case for the subject of the sentence. The subject is the individual or thing the predicate makes a statement about.

Questions it answers:

Хто? Що? Who? What?

When is it used?

  1. As the subject of a sentence.

Ти читáєш цю статтю՛. You’re reading this article.

Кіт грáється. A cat is playing. 

  1. As a simple nominative predicate.

Наш дім ー Україна. Ukraine is our home.

  1. With the numerals 1 (singular) and 2-4 (plural).

Дитѝні одѝн рік. A child is one year old.

У кімнáті є дві людѝни. There are two people in a room.

The Genitive Case (Родовѝй відмíнок) is the grammatical case that identifies a word, typically a noun, as modifying another word, indicating an attributive relationship between two nouns.

Questions it answers:

Когó?  Whom? Чогó? What?

Куди? Where to? Звідки? Where from?

When is it used?

  1. To denote possession.

Це íграшка дитѝни. (дитина – дитини) It’is a child’s toy.

  1. In the negative expressions.

У дитѝни немáє íграшки. (іграшка – іграшки) A child has no toy.

Дитѝна не мáє íграшок. (іграшки – іграшок) A child has no toys.

  1. With numerals from 5 to 20 and quantity words (багато (many), мало (little, few), декілька (several), трохи (a little, a few), скільки (how many).

У Парѝжі сьогóдні 5 грáдусів теплá, а в Касаблáнці 12 грáдусів. (градуси – градусів)

It’s 5 degrees in Paris today, and in Casablanca, it’s 12 degrees.

У дитѝни багáто íграшок.

A child has a lot of toys.

  1. To denote dates.

Вонá народѝлась п’ ятого грýдня. (п’яте грудня – п’ятого грудня)

She was born on the fifth of December.

  1. To express the motion after the prepositions до (to, towards), з  (from).

Я лечý з України до Амéрики. (Україна – України; Америка – Америки)

I’m flying from Ukraine to America.

  1. After the prepositions: без (without), бíля (near), для (for), крім (except), зáмість (instead of) навпрόти (opposite) під час (during) до-пíсля (before – after).

Без íграшок дíти не хóчуть грáтися. 

Children don’t want to play without toys.

Дíти грáються бíля дóму. (дім – дому) 

Children play near their home.

Цей дім стоїть навпрóти рíчки Деснá. (річка – річки)

This house stands opposite the Desna river.

Під час пандемíї люди працювáли вдóма. (пандемія – пандемії)

During the pandemic people work at home .

До дванáдцятої годѝни дня й пíсля шόстої годѝни вéчора. (година – години)

Before 12 pm and after 6 pm.

The Dative Case (Давáльний відмíнок) is used for indicating the indirect object of an action (that to which something is given, thrown, said, etc.).

Questions it answers:

Комý? Чомý? To whom? To what?

When is it used?

  1. To indicate the recipient of a particular action.

Я люблю дарувáти подарýнки дрýзям. (друзі – друзям)

I like to give presents to friends.

  1. To designate the person or thing to whom or to which a specific age or condition is attributed. 

Йомý 30 (трѝдцять) рóків. (він – йому)

He is 30 years old.

Котý тут хóлодно. (кіт – коту)

A cat is cold here.

The Accusative Case (Знахíдний відмíнок) is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb.

Questions it answers:

Когó? Whom? Що? What?

Кудѝ? Where to? Колѝ? When?

Про кóго? About whom? Про що? About what?

When is it used?

  1. As the direct object of an action.

Я бáчу цьогó котá кόжен день.

I see this cat every day.

Він кохáє свою дружѝну.

He loves his wife.

Я бáчу телефóн на столí.

I see a phone on a table.

  1. As the object of speech or thought, after the prepositions про (about),  за (for).

Я чáсто дýмаю про батькíв.

I often think about my parents.

Я дякую їм за турбóту

I thank them for caring.

  1. With the motion verbs (іти (to go), літáти (to fly), бíгати (to run) to indicate the direction.

Сьогóдні ми йдемó в теáтр.

We’re going to a theatre today.

Кóжного лíта Васѝль літáє в Парѝж.

Every summer, Vasyl flies to Paris.

Вовк біжѝть у ліс.

A wolf is running to a wood.

  1. To denote days of the week.

Я займáюсь українською мóвою в понедíлок і у сéреду.

I have Ukrainian classes on Monday and Wednesday.

The Instrumental Case (Орудний відмінок) is a grammatical case in which a noun acts as an instrument or means by which the subject performs an action. 

Questions it answers:

Ким? Чим? By whom? By what? With what?

When is it used?

  1. To express the instrument with (by) which an action is performed.

Худóжниця малює фáрбами. (фарби – фарбами)

The artist uses paints to make art.

Я їм лóжкою й видéлкою.

I eat with a spoon and a fork.

  1. To indicate a used mode of transportation.

Я чáсто їжджу на робóту машѝною.

I often go to work by car.

  1. To denote the participant of an action.

Він чáсто розмовляє з батькáми

He often talks to his parents.

  1. As part of a compound nominative predicate (after бýти (to be), стáти (to become).

Мій дід був рибáлкою.

My granddad was a fisherman.

Моя молóдша сестрá хóче стáти музикáнткою.

My younger sister wants to become a musician.

  1. With space nouns preceded by verbs of movement.

Ми з чоловíком любимо гуляти мíстом.

My husband and I like to walk around the city.

Я не хóчу їхати цією дорóгою.

I don’t want to take this road.

  1. After the prepositions: з (with), за (behind), між (between), над (above), під (under), пéред (in front of, before).

Максѝм п’є чай тíльки з цýкром.

Maksim drinks tea only with sugar.

Уся родѝна сидѝть за столóм.

The whole family is sitting at the table.

Крíсло стоїть між дивáном і столóм.

An armchair is between a sofa and a table.

Тýмбочка стоїть пéред вікнóм.

A nightstand is in front of a window.

Кіт сидѝть під дивáном.

A cat is sitting under a sofa.

Картѝна висѝть над столóм.

A picture is above a table.

The Locative Case (Місцéвий відмíнок) is a grammatical case which indicates a location.

Questions it answers:

Де? Where?, На, У/В кóму? On, In whom?, На, У/В чóму? On, In what? Колѝ? When?

When is it used?

  1. To denote a location where an action takes place.

У пáрку сьогóдні гуляють багáто людéй. (парк – у парку)

Many people today walk in a park.

Пéсик грáється на підлóзі. (підлога – на підлозі)

A puppy is playing on a floor.

  1. To denote a month of action.

Святѝй Миколáй прихóдить у грýдні.

Saint Nicholas comes in December.

The Vocative Case (Клѝчний відмίнок) is a grammatical case used for nouns and noun modifiers that identify an addressed person (animal, object, etc.). 

Як тебé не любѝти, Кѝєве мій?

How can one not love you, Kyiv, my dear?

(the title of the song written by Dmytro Lutsenko)

Олéно, де ти святкувáтимеш Новѝй рік?

Olena, where will you celebrate the New Year?

Hopefully, this overview of the Ukrainian cases and their usage has aided your comprehension. Share in the comments which of the cases you find easiest to learn and which you find most challenging.

CASES IN THE UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE AND HOW THEY ARE USED

Understanding how to use Ukrainian cases is critical for learning the language. If you are just beginning to study the cases or would like to summarize or review your knowledge about them, this post is for you!

The Nominative Case (Називнѝй відмíнок) (“case for naming”) is the case for the subject of the sentence. The subject is the individual or thing the predicate makes a statement about.

Questions it answers:

Хто? Що? Who? What?

When is it used?

  1. As the subject of a sentence.

Ти читáєш цю статтю՛. You’re reading this article.

Кіт грáється. A cat is playing. 

  1. As a simple nominative predicate.

Наш дім ー Україна. Ukraine is our home.

  1. With the numerals 1 (singular) and 2-4 (plural).

Дитѝні одѝн рік. A child is one year old.

У кімнáті є дві людѝни. There are two people in a room.

The Genitive Case (Родовѝй відмíнок) is the grammatical case that identifies a word, typically a noun, as modifying another word, indicating an attributive relationship between two nouns.

Questions it answers:

Когó?  Whom? Чогó? What?

Куди? Where to? Звідки? Where from?

When is it used?

  1. To denote possession.

Це íграшка дитѝни. (дитина – дитини) It is a child’s toy.

  1. In the negative expressions.

У дитѝни немáє íграшки. (іграшка – іграшки) A child has no toy.

Дитѝна не мáє íграшок. (іграшки – іграшок) A child has no toys.

  1. With numerals from 5 to 20 and quantity words (багато (many), мало (little, few), декілька (several), трохи (a little, a few), скільки (how many).

У Парѝжі сьогóдні 5 грáдусів теплá, а в Касаблáнці 12 грáдусів. (градуси – градусів)

It’s 5 degrees in Paris today, and in Casablanca, it’s 12 degrees.

У дитѝни багáто íграшок.

A child has a lot of toys.

  1. To denote dates.

Вонá народѝлась п’ ятого грýдня. (п’яте грудня – п’ятого грудня)

She was born on the fifth of December.

  1. To express the motion after the prepositions до (to, towards), з  (from).

Я лечý з України до Амéрики. (Україна – України; Америка – Америки)

I’m flying from Ukraine to America.

  1. After the prepositions: без (without), бíля (near), для (for), крім (except), зáмість (instead of) навпрόти (opposite) під час (during) до-пíсля (before – after).

Без íграшок дíти не хóчуть грáтися. 

Children don’t want to play without toys.

Дíти грáються бíля дóму. (дім – дому) 

Children play near their home.

Цей дім стоїть навпрóти рíчки Деснá. (річка – річки)

This house stands opposite the Desna river.

Під час пандемíї люди працювáли вдóма. (пандемія – пандемії)

During the pandemic people work at home .

До дванáдцятої годѝни дня й пíсля шόстої годѝни вéчора. (година – години)

Before 12 pm and after 6 pm.

The Dative Case (Давáльний відмíнок) is used for indicating the indirect object of an action (that to which something is given, thrown, said, etc.).

Questions it answers:

Комý? Чомý? To whom? To what?

When is it used?

  1. To indicate the recipient of a particular action.

Я люблю дарувáти подарýнки дрýзям. (друзі – друзям)

I like to give presents to friends.

  1. To designate the person or thing to whom or to which a specific age or condition is attributed. 

Йомý 30 (трѝдцять) рóків. (він – йому)

He is 30 years old.

Котý тут хóлодно. (кіт – коту)

A cat is cold here.

The Accusative Case (Знахíдний відмíнок) is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb.

Questions it answers:

Когó? Whom? Що? What?

Кудѝ? Where to? Колѝ? When?

Про кóго? About whom? Про що? About what?

When is it used?

  1. As the direct object of an action.

Я бáчу цьогó котá кόжен день.

I see this cat every day.

Він кохáє свою дружѝну.

He loves his wife.

Я бáчу телефóн на столí.

I see a phone on a table.

  1. As the object of speech or thought, after the prepositions про (about),  за (for).

Я чáсто дýмаю про батькíв.

I often think about my parents.

Я дякую їм за турбóту

I thank them for caring.

  1. With the motion verbs (іти (to go), літáти (to fly), бíгати (to run) to indicate the direction.

Сьогóдні ми йдемó в теáтр.

We’re going to a theatre today.

Кóжного лíта Васѝль літáє в Парѝж.

Every summer, Vasyl flies to Paris.

Вовк біжѝть у ліс.

A wolf is running to a wood.

  1. To denote days of the week.

Я займáюсь українською мóвою в понедíлок і у сéреду.

I have Ukrainian classes on Monday and Wednesday.

The Instrumental Case (Орудний відмінок) is a grammatical case in which a noun acts as an instrument or means by which the subject performs an action. 

Questions it answers:

Ким? Чим? By whom? By what? With what?

When is it used?

  1. To express the instrument with (by) which an action is performed.

Худóжниця малює фáрбами. (фарби – фарбами)

The artist uses paints to make art.

Я їм лóжкою й видéлкою.

I eat with a spoon and a fork.

  1. To indicate a used mode of transportation.

Я чáсто їжджу на робóту машѝною.

I often go to work by car.

  1. To denote the participant of an action.

Він чáсто розмовляє з батькáми

He often talks to his parents.

  1. As part of a compound nominative predicate (after бýти (to be), стáти (to become).

Мій дід був рибáлкою.

My granddad was a fisherman.

Моя молóдша сестрá хóче стáти музикáнткою.

My younger sister wants to become a musician.

  1. With space nouns preceded by verbs of movement.

Ми з чоловíком любимо гуляти мíстом.

My husband and I like to walk around the city.

Я не хóчу їхати цією дорóгою.

I don’t want to take this road.

  1. After the prepositions: з (with), за (behind), між (between), над (above), під (under), пéред (in front of, before).

Максѝм п’є чай тíльки з цýкром.

Maksim drinks tea only with sugar.

Уся родѝна сидѝть за столóм.

The whole family is sitting at the table.

Крíсло стоїть між дивáном і столóм.

An armchair is between a sofa and a table.

Тýмбочка стоїть пéред вікнóм.

A nightstand is in front of a window.

Кіт сидѝть під дивáном.

A cat is sitting under a sofa.

Картѝна висѝть над столóм.

A picture is above a table.

The Locative Case (Місцéвий відмíнок) is a grammatical case which indicates a location.

Questions it answers:

Де? Where?, На, У/В кóму? On, In whom?, На, У/В чóму? On, In what? Колѝ? When?

When is it used?

  1. To denote a location where an action takes place.

У пáрку сьогóдні гуляють багáто людéй. (парк – у парку)

Many people today walk in a park.

Пéсик грáється на підлóзі. (підлога – на підлозі)

A puppy is playing on a floor.

  1. To denote a month of action.

Святѝй Миколáй прихóдить у грýдні.

Saint Nicholas comes in December.

The Vocative Case (Клѝчний відмίнок) is a grammatical case used for nouns and noun modifiers that identify an addressed person (animal, object, etc.). 

Як тебé не любѝти, Кѝєве мій?

How can one not love you, Kyiv, my dear?

(the title of the song written by Dmytro Lutsenko)

Олéно, де ти святкувáтимеш Новѝй рік?

Olena, where will you celebrate the New Year?

Hopefully, this overview of the Ukrainian cases and their usage has aided your comprehension. Share in the comments which of the cases you find easiest to learn and which you find most challenging.

Learn more!

We have also prepared a book “Master Ukrainian cases” by Inna Sopronchuk that helps better understand and learn to form and use cases in the Ukrainian language. 

If you want to feel more confident while speaking Ukrainian, understand how it works, and know how to form more compound sentences, this book is the perfect solution for you.

You may order a PDF version of this book here.

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