16.2 - More cases of cases (1)

In addition to the uses of cases presented in Unit 7, others are presented below. Please note, however, that even this list is not exhaustive.


  • A noun in the nominative can stand alone before the main sentence, for emphasis, and is then replaced by a pronoun in the actual sentence, for example:
Перебендя старий, сліпий,
хто його не знає...
(Тарас Шевченко)
The old, blind cossack bard,
who does not know him ...
  • A noun in the nominative can also stand alone at the end of the sentence, to sum up a situation:
Зайшовши в кімнату Остап побачив виламані двері, побиті вікна та меблі. Повний розгардіяш. Entering the room Ostap saw the broken door, the smashed windows and furniture. Total chaos.
  • When the name of an institution is in apposition, this usually stays in the nominative, even when the main noun is declined as, for example:
у театрі «Колесо» in the "Koleso" (Wheel) theatre
до села Лісневичі to Lisnevychi village
у фільмі «Козак Мамай» in the film "Kozak Mamai"

This rule tends not to apply to frequently used geographical names. In the following, for example, the name in apposition uses the same case as the noun it depends on:

місто Київ (the city of Kyiv) у місті Києві
гори Карпати (the Carpathian mountains) у горах Карпатах


  • The object of the sentence may occur in the genitive (rather than the accusative) if the verb acts on the object only partially (known as the partitive genitive), for example:
Уряд нарешті виплатив гроші на розбудову дорожньо-транспортної інфраструктури. The government has finally paid out the money for the development of the road transport infrastructure. The money in question is clearly defined, it is the sum needed for the project, so accusative is used.
Європа дала Україні грошей на розбудову ... Europe has given Ukraine some money for the development ...
It is clear from the context that only some of the money needed has been given, so genitive is used.

For similar reasons (partial completion) the genitive is used with certain verbs e.g. зазнавати, завдавати, вчити(ся); to revise this and the use of the genitive with other verbs go to page 14.7.

  • When an action is negated, the direct object normally occurs in the genitive, for example:
Автор видав книжку. The author published a book. (not defined)
Автор не видав книжки. The author didn't publish a book. (here the action of publishing is negated)

Compare this, however, with the following sentences:

Чи автор вже видав свою нову книжку? Has the author published his new book?
Ні, він ще не видав свою нову книжку. No, he hasn't yet published his new book. (Here the negation refers not to the act of publication, but specifically to the new book.)

If, in a negative sentence, the object is made definite or specific by the use of an adjective or other modifier, the accusative is used.

  • The genitive case is used in expressions of time to denote a specific time at which an action occurs, for example: минулої суботи, наступного тижня, цього року; as with negation (above), if the noun (понеділок, тиждень, рік) is made specific by a modifier, the expression occurs in the genitive; compare this with у суботу (accusative, see below) and у вересні (locative).

N.B. In some cases, particularly in literary language, the object of the sentence is sometimes used in the genitive if it is an inanimate masculine singular noun; for example, both the sentences below are correct and acceptable:

Депутати написали лист до Президента.
Депутати написали листа до Президента.


Apart from its principal use to denote the direct object of a sentence, the accusative is used in a number in expressions of time, to denote time during which an action is completed, particularly in expressions with увесь, кожен, тому etc:

Живемо ми тут вже цілий рік. We've been living here for a whole year now.
Я кожен день живу
Надіями, ілюзіями, мріями.
(Із сучасної пісні «Кожному своє»)
Every day I live
By my hopes, illusions and dreams.
Ми переїхали сюди три роки тому. We moved here three years ago.
Part of the collection of resources at UkrainianLanguage.org.uk
© 2007 Marta Jenkala