A thorough guide to MASTERING the Accusative Case in Russian – винительный падеж (Complete with a cheat sheet!)

Questions: кого – to whom? / что – to what?

In principle, all transitive verbs (those verbs which can take a direct object ) are followed by the accusative case (unless the verb is negated, in which case the genitive case is required). The accusative case is used:

1. To indicate the direct object of a verb.

Transitive verbs (those verbs which accept one or more objects) generally trigger the accusative case. The direct object is the person or thing which receives the action of the verb.

For example:

He bought a car. – Не купил машину.

2. To highlight whether a noun is animate or inanimate.

Only feminine singular nouns, animate (that is, nouns which name human or animal life forms) masculine singular nouns and plural nouns of whichever gender, change form in the accusative case. There is no change for inanimate masculine and neuter singular nouns. Animate masculine and plural nouns take genitive case endings in all contexts in which the accusative case is required.

For example:

He dropped his pencil. – Он уронил карандаш. (Masculine singular)

I can see my sister. – Я вижу мою сестру. (Feminine singular)

I prefer red wine. – Я предпочитаю красное вино. (Neuter singular)

He went to three shops in search of balloons. – Он пошел в три магазина в поисках воздушных шаров. (Masculine plural)

She is buying some sweets. – Она покупает конфеты. (Feminine plural)

She eats a lot of biscuits. – Она ест много печенья. (Neuter plural)

3. To highlight the emotional, physical, or any other state of the subject, provided that the state is triggered by external forces.

For example:

During the boat ride, she felt sick. – Во время прогулки на лодке её тошнило.

4. After the prepositions в – to, into and на – on, onto, toward, with verbs of motion when they indicate motion towards something.

For example:

The bus is heading to the capital. – Автобус направляется в столицу.

I am walking towards the school. – Я иду к школе.

The children walked deep into the forest. – Дети пошли глубоко в лес.

5. To tell the time with the preposition в bearing the meaning at .

For example:

The lesson starts at nine o’clock in the morning. – Урок начинается в девять (часов) утра.

6. When referring to national holidays, festivals or celebrations with the prepositions на or в bearing the meaning at.

At New Year

[На / в] Новый год

At Easter

[На / в] Пасху

At Christmas

[На / в] Рождество

On my birthday

[На / в] мой день рождения

7. To specify days of the week with в, во, where on would be used in English.

I am going on holiday on Friday. – В пятницу я уезжаю в отпуск.

I have exams on Wednesday and Thursday. – У меня экзамены в среду и четверг.

8. In time expressions which clarify frequency in response to questions such as Как часто вы плаваете? – How often do you go swimming? or Как часто приезжает автобус? – How often does the bus come?, often with the preposition в.

Twice an hour

Два раза в час

Three times a day

Три раза в день

Once a week

(Один) раз в неделю

Twice a week

Два раза в неделю

Twice a month

Два раза в месяц

Once a month

(Один) раз в месяц

Every minute

Каждую минуту

Every Monday

Каждый понедельник

Every Wednesday

Каждую среду

Every Sunday

Каждое воскресенье

A couple of times a year

Пару раз в год

9. In time expressions which describe the duration of an action in response to questions such as Как давно [вы / ты] здесь? – How long have you been here for? or Как давно вы изучаете русский язык? – How long have you been studying Russian for?

How much time did it take to read the book? – За сколько времени вы прочитали книгу?

A week

Неделю / одну неделю

Two weeks

Две недели

A month


Three months

Три месяца

One year

Один год

Four years

Четыре года

10. When using the determinative pronoun весь or adjective целый (which may function as a determiner) meaning all or whole with expressions of time.

For example:

It rained all day. – Дождь шел [целый / весь] день.

The fair will be here all week. – Ярмарка будет здесь [всю / целую] неделю.

The birds were singing all morning. – Птицы пели [всё / целое] утро.

I was in Greece for the whole week. – Я была в Греции [всю / целую] неделю.

He is going to live abroad for the whole year. – Он будет жить за границей [весь / целый] год.

I planned to stay in the countryside for the whole summer. – Я планировал остаться в деревне на все лето.

11. To describe a period of time that has elapsed.

For example:

He left one hour ago. – Он ушел час назад .

We finished the project one week ago. – Мы закончили проект неделю назад.

12. When describing a distance covered, or to express the weight or price of an item.

For example:

I ran 10 miles today. – I ran ten kilometres today. – Я сегодня пробежал десят километров.

The car weighs 3,000 pounds. – Машина весит 3000 фунтов.

The shirt costs £15.00. – Рубашка стоит 15 фунтов.

13. With the prepositions в (во), на, под and за, to denote the direction of movement, responding to the question куда – to where?, with ‘into / onto…’.

a. В, во – into, to

For example:

I just walked into the school. – Я только что вошел в школу.

Were the instrumental or prepositional cases (with which the preposition is also used) employed to answer the location question ‘где – where ?’, the answer would not indicate direction and would merely indicate where someone or something is in or on.

b. За – behind, beyond, for (in favour of), during

The suggestion here is one of movement to the rear of something.

For example:

I’m walking behind the university building.

Used with the instrumental case, за implies that the subject is already behind something, without implying the process of moving behind something.

For example:

He is standing behind the hospital. – Он стоит за больницей.

c. На – onto

For example:

The helicopter is landing on the field. – Вертолет приземляется на поле.

The bird is flying onto the roof. – Птица летит на крышу.

Were the prepositional case to follow, it would emphasise what a person, or thing, is on.

For example:

I am on the roof. – Я на крыше.

d. Под – under(neath), beneath

When used with the accusative case, под implies a movement underneath something.

For example:

The girl ran under the table to escape punishment. – Девочка побежала под стол, чтобы избежать наказания.

She slipped her head under the water for a brief moment. – Она на мгновение опустила голову под воду.

By contrast, when used with the instrumental case, it indicates that the subject is already positioned under something.

For example:

The cat hid under the cupboard. – Кошка спряталась под шкафом.

I am standing under the bridge. – Я стою под мостом.

The aeroplane flew beneath the clouds. – Самолет пролетел под облаками.

14. Following the preposition в, which is used to introduce nouns relating to sports played by the subject.

For example:

I play tennis. – Я играю в теннис.

He plays football. – Он играет в футбол.

We play volleyball. – Мы играем в волейбол.

They play basketball. – Они играют в баскетбол.

He plays cricket. – Я играю в крикет.

We play hockey. – Мы играем в хоккей.

I play golf. – Я играю в гольф.

Do you play badminton? – Вы играете в бадминтон?

15. With the preposition в , where it bears the meaning in or during, when referring to the weather.

For example:

During rainy weather, I prefer to stay at home. – В дождливую погоду я предпочитаю оставаться дома.

On sunny days, I like to go to the beach. – В солнечные дни я люблю ходить на пляж.

16. To indicate a duration of time when expressing future plans, with the preposition на bearing the meaning ‘for’.

For example:

I’m going to Italy for three weeks. – Я еду в Италию на три недели.

We are going to stay in London for five days. – Мы останемся в Лондоне на пять дней.

17. With the preposition на, to express a difference when comparing one thing to another (whether that thing is explicitly stated or implicit).

For example:

I’m a year older now. – Я теперь на год старше.

She is five centimetres taller than him. – Она на пять сантиметров выше его.

This laptop is twice as expensive as that laptop. – Этот ноутбук в два раза дороже этого ноутбука.

The table is one metre longer than our old table. – Столна метр длиннее нашего старого.

18. With the preposition на, meaning for in the sense of for the benefit of.

I am saving up for a house. – Я коплю на дом.

The parents bought a [cot / crib] for their newborn. – Родители купили кроватку на новорожденного.

We would like a table for two, please. – Мы хотели бы стол на двоих, пожалуйста.

19. With the preposition на following the verb сердиться на – to be angry with.

The teacher was angry with her students. – Учительница злилась на своих учеников.

Are you angry with me? – Ты сердишься на меня?

20. With the preposition за, to clarify how long it took to complete a task.

For example:

The builders completed their work within a month. – Строители завершили свои работы за месяц.

I learnt French in twelve weeks. – Я выучил французский за двенадцать недель.

21. Following the preposition за, where used in the sense of in exchange, typically translated as ‘for’ in English.

For example:

How much did you pay for your shoes? – Сколько ты заплатил за обувь?

She sold the house for a lot of money. – Она продала дом за большие деньги.

He repaired my car for a good price. – Он отремонтировал мою машину за хорошую цену.

Thanks for the tea! – Спасибо за чай!

Thank you for your patience and apologies for the inconvenience. – Благодарим Вас за терпение, и приносим свои извинения за доставленные неудобства.

The precise sum received in exchange is not required; the concept of exchange is implicit.

22. Following the preposition за, where it means during.

During the party , a fight broke out. – За вечеринку началась драка.

23. With the preposition за, when combined with до to mean before.

They arrived an hour before us. – Они прибыли за час до нас.

You left half an hour before me. – Ты ушел за полчаса до меня.

24. After the preposition за, in toasts.

For example:

To health! – За здоровье!

To long life! – За долгую жизнь!

To prosperity! – За процветание!

To the hosts! – За чудесных хозяев!

To the newlyweds! – За молодоженов!

25. Following the adjective предназначенный, when combined with the preposition под, where it means designed, designated, earmarked, intended, or meant for.

For example:

The yacht is designed for the comfort of sixteen guests. – Яхта предназначена под комфорт шестнадцати гостей.

The land is designated for the project. – Земля предназначена под проект.
The prison had been earmarked for demolition in two to three years. – Данная тюрьма предназначена под снос через два-три года.

The site is intended for the construction of new homes. – Участок предназначен под строительство новых домов.

The app is meant for use by teenagers. – Приложение предназначено под подростков.

26. With the preposition под, where it means artificial, or fake.

For example:

He bought laminate wood. – Он купил ламинат под дерево.

Compare the use of the preposition, with the use of an adjective before the noun in the accusative case with the same sentence below.

Он купил искусственное дерево.

27. With the preposition под, where it means around, at about, at approximately.

For example:

We will arrive in the city around the evening. – Мы приедем в город под вечер.

28. With the preposition про – about.

The film is about three friends who go on an adventure. – Фильм про трех друзей, которые отправляются в приключение.

The same meaning can also be achieved through the use of the prepositions о, об, or обо, followed by the prepositional case.

The film is about three friends who go on an adventure. – Фильм о трех друзьях, которые отправляются в приключение.

29. With the preposition с, со where it means about, approximately, or around.

For example:

I lived on an island for around a month. – Я жил на острове с месяц.

However, when approximating a specific number, you may simply place the number after the noun. This is a common (albeit informal) way of expressing a ‘guesstimate’.

For example:

I bought five apples. – Я купил пять яблок. à I bought about five apples. – Я купил яблок пять.

30. With the preposition с, со – meaning the size of, when comparing one thing to another.

I bought a muffin the size of a tennis ball. – Я купил кекс размером с теннисный мяч.

A tumour the size of a small rock. – Опухоль размером с маленький камень.

31. With the preposition по, where it means up to.

Fill the bottle up to the top. – Наполните бутылку по края.

No parking from Monday up to Friday. – Нет парковки с понедельника по пятницу.

I am on holiday until Friday. – Я в отпуске по пятницу.

32. With the preposition по, where it means across.

For example:

She walked across the bridge. – Она пошла по мосту.

33. With the preposition по, when used in a distributive sense to describe how much or how many of something the indirect object(s) of a verb receive(s).

For example:

He gave the dogs two bones each. – Он дал собакам по две кости.

34. With the preposition о, where it means against (in a physical sense).

For example:

I leaned against the wall. – Я прислонился о стену.

The waves crashed against the rocks. – Волны разбились о скалы.

He placed his hand against the door. – Он положил руку [о / об] дверь.

He got annoyed and threw it against the wall. – Он разозлился и разбил его о стену.

When used with the prepositional case, о means about,around, approximately, with the same meaning as про (about) + accusative, which will be explored later below.

For example:

He speaks about you all the time. – Он постоянно говорит о тебе. (Prepositional case)

He speaks about you all the time. – Он постоянно говорит про тебя. (Accusative case)

35. With the interchangeable prepositions сквозь or через, meaning through, to describe the movement of a person or an object from one side or point of something, to the opposite side, or passage across something.

For something:

They dug through the mountain and built a tunnel. – Они пробились сквозь гору и построили туннель.

You’ll have to buy a ticket to get through security. – Тебе придётся купить билет, чтобы просочиться сквозь охрану.

We went through the woods and arrived at a lake. – Мы прошли сквозь лес и пришли к озеру.

Cross the bridge and wait for me there. – Идите через мост и ждите меня там.

The same sentiment may also be expressed without a preposition, through the use of the prefix пере- before the verb.

For example:

I crossed the road. – Я перешел дорогу.

36. With the preposition через to specify a certain period of time after which something will occur.

For example:

We are going to Spain in one week. – Мы едем в Испанию через неделю.

Our train will leave in one hour. – Наш поезд отправится через час.

37. With the preposition через, where it means via, or through in the sense of with the help of.

For example:

We communicated via our lawyers. – Мы общались через наших адвокатов.

He found a job through the Internet. – Он нашел работу через интернет.

She heard about the job through an advertisement in the local newspaper. – Она услышала о работе через объявление в местной газете.

38. With the preposition спустя meaning after, which is exclusively followed by the accusative case.

After a year, there has been no progress. – Спустя год не было никакого прогресса.

A few months after the wedding, I was pregnant with my first child. – А пару месяцев спустя свадьбы, я была беременна моим первым ребенком.

39. After жаль meaning it is a pity, it is unfortunate, or sadly.

For example:

I feel sorry for him. – Жаль его.

40. With the preposition несмотря на, meaning despite, in spite of, or regardless of.

For example:

Morale remained high, despite how tired everyone was. – Радостное настроение не схлынуло, несмотря на всеобщую усталость.

Despite my complaint, nothing changed. – Несмотря на мою жалобу

41. For emphasis.

For example:

That night , we needed to rush to the hospital. – В эту ночь, нам нужно было спешить в больницу.

I slept like a baby that night. – Я спала как младенец,в ту ночь.

42. After the preposition включая, meaning including.

The bill was very expensive including tax. – Счет был очень дорогим, включая налог.

I have sent you an updated version of the contract, including the new terms and conditions. – Я отправил вам обновленную версию договора, включая новые условия.

43. With the preposition исключая, meaning except (for), excluding and barring.

No one ever knew the true story except the three of us. – Никто никогда не знал истинную историю, исключая нас троих .

Take note of these irregular, plural accusative noun forms

English translation

Nominative Plural

Accusative plural

























List of verbs commonly used with the accusative case


Download the FULL, high-resolution, 3-page cheat sheet in PDF form below.

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