Case System Jitters.



I have just finished lesson 2.7 about people/genders so am a beginner.  I am trying to learn step by step with frequent review.


Looking ahead, I have heard there are 6 cases in Russian.  


Honestly, I don't even know about the case system in the English language.  So I have no idea how I can learn the  case system in the Russian language. It does not seem to make sense to me.  I know about nouns, verbs, and adjectives and that is all I know.  


 I took a peek at all the different case systems in Russian and how things change grammatically  based on it and I am getting the “jitters.”  I am thinking I will never be able to learn the Russian language, especially about the case system.  Am I overthinking?


Thanks you for your kind advice.


Evgenia - Rocket Russian Tutor

Evgenia - Rocket Russian Tutor

Hi Mike


Yes you are probably overthinking! 

It’s true the case system is one of the fundamental concepts of Russian language grammar. As you mention, other languages have cases as well, including English. Words such as: I – me, he – him, sister’s are examples.

It’s impossible to make sentences in Russian without using cases, but we certainly don’t want to scare you off at the outset of your study – hence, it’s just not important to go into detailed explanations at the early stages of learning. 

Simply put, a case is how the endings of nouns and adjectives change. 

What is the reason for them? They show the relationship between words in a sentence. They also allow for word order flexibility in a sentence. For example, in English we can only use strict word order such as: “I know him”, but in Russian we can say the same sentence in different ways, like “I him know”, or “Him know I”, “Know him I” … etc. 

And it’s true you will be learning lots of endings, but don’t get overwhelmed with them. Take one case at a time and be patient. Make sure you practice the new structures as much as you can. And, rather than trying to remember lists of endings separately, try learning one whole phrase at a time. That way, you’ll be able to say the whole sentence correctly without thinking too much about the ending. Soon you’ll start to see a pattern. So, the more you practice, the sooner you’ll get to the point when you don’t need to think about endings at all!

Hope this helps.

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