7.7 - The vocative case

Principal uses of the vocative

Calling to someone, for example:

Романе! Roman!

Greetings, for example:

Доброго ранку, Павле! Good morning, Paul.
Привіт, Галино! Hello, Halyna.

Addressing people in a formal situation, for example:

Шановні колеги! Dear (esteemed) colleagues.

Writing letters or messages, for example:

Дорога тітко Марино! Dear Aunt Maryna
Шановний пане! Dear Sir

Retaining the addressee's attention during a conversation, for example:

Ти, мабуть, Андрію, цього не пам'ятаєш. Andriy, you probably won't remember this.

Form of the vocative

For an overview of the vocative of masculine, feminine and neuter nouns see the charts in Unit 6.

Singular

Most hard masculine nouns in the vocative end in -е, e.g. Максиме!, Петре! A smaller number of nouns, however, mainly kinship terms and names (mostly ending in -ко,-к) have a vocative ending in -у, e.g. дядьку!, Влодку!, сину!, тату!.

In some masculine nouns the consonant before the ending changes, e.g. козак – козаче!, хлопець – хлопче!, друг – друже!

Most soft feminine nouns end in -е, e.g. столиця – столице.

Soft feminine nouns which are forenames ending in a consonant + -я, e.g. Оля, Наталя, Катруся, end in -ю in the vocative, e.g. Олю!, Наталю!, Катрусю!.

Neuter singular nouns do not have a separate ending in the vocative (the nominative form is used).

Plural

Plural nouns do not have a separate ending in the vocative. The nominative is used, e.g. Дорогі студенти! – Dear students!

To practise the vocative go to Exercise 7.7A.

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© 2007 Marta Jenkala