There are 6 Russian Cases:
1. Nominative Case - marks the subject (who is doing the action)
2. Genitive Case - indicates possession
3. Dative Case - marks the indirect object (the receiver of the action)
4. Accusative Case - marks the direct object (the object of the action)
5. Instrumental Case - marks the instrument (how the action is done)
6. Prepositional Case - marks the location (where the action takes place) or the topic being spoken about.
To take a step back for a moment, cases are the grammatical way of identifying what is happening in the sentence. Whilst the English language has many strict rules about word order to convey specific meaning, the Russian Language relies on cases.
Basically, this means that we need to learn and apply 2 things:
(a) What the six cases are, and when do we use them?
Please follow the links to each of the cases above for detailed examples of when and how to use the particular case. The way to identify which case you need is by asking the relevant question that applies, and you will see these outlined in detail.
(b) How does the ending of the word change once we have identified which case to use?
The word ending applies firstly and foremostly to the noun that you are placing in the sentence. Then, you must also change the word ending of any corresponding pronouns and adjectives that are linked to the noun.
Below is a summary table of the word endings to use in each case. It is a great reference guide for you to use when writing sentences and determining what is the correct word ending to use.