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Thread: Case Question

  1. #1
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    Case Question

    My Russian study book uses the following sentence:

    Садитесь на пятый автобус.

    I don't understand it. It seems to me that bus should be in the prepositional case since it is using "на" to mean on. What am I misunderstanding?

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    Re: Case Question

    You are correct in saying that HA takes the locative (prepositional) case -- but that is so only when denoting a place of "rest", not movement. If there is any movement implied, you use HA with the accusative.
    So, Садитесь на пятый автобус means "Board [onto -- movement] the fifth bus."
    Whereas Я езжу на работу на пятом автобусе would mean "I always travel to work on ["rest"] the fifth bus."

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinfitch
    My Russian study book uses the following sentence:

    Садитесь на пятый автобус.

    I don't understand it. It seems to me that bus should be in the prepositional case since it is using "на" to mean on. What am I misunderstanding?

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    Re: Case Question

    Thanks a lot for you explanation. It's going to take a while for me to understand the case system.

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    Re: Case Question

    Quote Originally Posted by armagister
    Whereas Я езжу на работу на пятом автобусе would mean "I always travel to work on ["rest"] the fifth bus."
    For some reason I do not understand what "rest" is here for, but it's O.K. I don't have to know. All I wantеd to say that под пятым автобусом подразумевается автобус №5, where "5" is a rout number.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    Re: Case Question

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinfitch
    Thanks a lot for you explanation. It's going to take a while for me to understand the case system.
    It's really not that difficult:

    The prepositional, also known as locative, expresses location:

    в + prepositional = in (at)
    на + prepositional = on (at)


    Я в библиотеке - I'm at the library
    Мы живем в Москве - We live in Moscow
    Он на работе - He's at work

    But, the same prepositions used with the accusative case express motion:

    в + accusative = (in) to
    на + accusative = (on) to


    Я ездил в Москву - I went to Moscow
    Я хожу на работу - I walk to work

    The verb Садиться literally means "to sit down", which is a motion, c.f. in English: "I sat down on (to) the chair"
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    Re: Case Question

    There are a few other prepositions that govern the instrumental when describing a state but take the acc. for motion, ЗА for instance.

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