Russian grammar explained: спасибо

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This lockdown is leading me into the intimidating world of Russian grammar. Let’s look at one useful situation for the dative case (дательный падеж): saying thank you to a group of people.

“Thank you to the volunteers!”


How to thank a group of people:


Start with the noun as it usually appears in the dictionary… that is, the nominative singular.


If that word ends in a consonant, add –ам:

врач (doctor) → врачам (to the doctors)

волонтёр (volunteer) → волонтёрам (to the volunteers)

кассир (cashier) → кассирам (to the cashiers)

фармацевт (pharmacist) → фармацевтам (to the pharmacists)

“Thank you to the doctors and nurses!”

If that word ends in a vowel, delete the vowel and add –ам…. or maybe it’s easier to think of it like this: add if the singular form of the noun ends in:

медсестра (nurse)  → медсестрам (to the nurses)

женщина (woman) → женщинам (to the women)

почтальонка (postwoman) → почтальонкам (to the postwomen)

журналистка (female journalist) → журналисткам (to the female journalists)


“Thank you to the builders!”

If that word ends in ь, delete the ь and add –ям.

учитель (teacher) → учителям (to the teachers)

водитель (driver водителям (to the drivers)

строитель (builder→ строителям (to the builders)


That’s it! I’m still really overwhelmed by Russian grammar but when you break it down into teeny tiny situations like this, maybe it’s not so bad??

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