We continue a series of articles about cases in Ukrainian. At first, you have been introduced to the concept of Ukrainian cases. Then we have talked about one of the most common cases in Ukrainian – the accusative case. The following article presents detailed information on the usage of the genitive case in Ukrainian.

10 Uses of the Genitive Case in Ukrainian

 1. In cases where we use ‘of’ in English.

Ukrainian genitive case is the equivalent of the preposition ‘of’ in English.

The role of the genitive is to show where the person or thing belongs to or what it relates to.

Genitive in Ukrainian

Конституція України

Конституція України – The Constitution of Ukraine

карта міста – a map of the city

cтолиця України – a capital of Ukraine

2. To say ‘A Packet / A Bottle of Something’

Genitive in Ukrainian

Пляшка апельсинового соку

The genitive case in Ukrainian is used after nouns denoting a certain amount or quantity of something.

Containers: 

пакет молока – a packet of milk

пачка масла – pack of butter

пляшка пива – a bottle of beer

склянка води – a glass of water

чашка чаю – cup of tea

банка огірків – can of cucumbers

коробка цукерок – box of candies

Measures:

літр води – liter of water

кілограм бананів – a kilogram of bananas

Part of the whole:

шматок торта – a piece of cake

половина яблука – half of an apple

3. To say a Few / a Lot of Something

Genitive in Ukrainian

У вас є мало чи багато грошей?

After the words, denoting quantity, the genitive case of nouns is used.

Words of quantity in Ukrainian: багато (a lot; many; much), мало (little), декілька (several, few), скільки (how much; how many).

Скільки гривень? – How many hryvnias?

багато запитань – a lot of questions

мало часу –  a little time

декілька днів – few days

4. To show possession, ownership

Genitive in Ukrainian

Іграшки Іванка

In English possession is indicated with an apostrophe (‘s), or the word ‘of’.

One of the ways to indicate possession in Ukrainian is to use genitive case form.

In the picture above the inscription is in Polish – zabawki Janka. Similarly, in Ukrainian, it will sound іграшки Іванка.

In Ukrainian (and other Slavic languages) the possessor follows the object it possesses. This is the reverse of the normal English ‘s.

For example in the phrase ‘іграшки Іванка‘, the word ‘Іванка is in the genitive case. You should think of it as ‘the toys of Ivanko’s’, placing the possessor after the object. The ‘possessor’ is the noun that is used in the Genitive case.

день народження мами – mother’s birthday (lit: the birthday of mother’s)

кімната сестри – sister’s room (lit: the room of sister’s)

промова президента – president’s speech (lit: the speech of President’s)

телефон Михайла – Mykhailo’s telephone. (lit: the telephone of Mykhailo’s)

5. With the negative verbs

In general, in Ukrainian, negative verbs take the genitive:

Я маю час (Accusative). But Я не маю часу (genitive).

Ти знаєш Оксану (Accusative)? – Ні, я не знаю Оксани (genitive).

Я бачу поле (Accusative). – Я не бачу поля (genitive).

6. To indicate absence

Genitive in Ukrainian

Немає входу

The Genitive is used to say ‘there is no’ – нема (=немає) in Ukrainian.

Нема різниці. – There is no difference.

Нема цукру. Треба купити. – There is no sugar. We need to buy.

У мене нема настрою. – I am in no mood.

7. After numbers ending with 5-9 and 0

Genitive in Ukrainian

Триста сімдесят шість гривень

With numbers ending with 5-9 and 0, we use a Genitive plural form of a noun.

сто гривень – 100 hryvnias

десять доларів – 10 dollars

дев’ять студентів –  9 students

п’ять машин – 5 cars

8. To say the Date

Grnitive in Ukrainian

восьме березня

The names of months in dates are used in Genitive case: січень – січня, лютий – лютого, березень – березня, квітень -квітня, травень – травня, червень – червня, липень – липня, серпень – серпня, вересень – вересня, жовтень – жовтня, листопад – листопада, грудень – грудня.

Get to know why Ukrainian months are called that way and how to learn them easily.

9. After the certain verbs, like боятися, досягати, бажати, чекати etc.

The nouns after some verbs are used in the Genitive case:

  • боятися – to fear; to be afraid of

боятися холоду – to be afraid of cold

  • досягати/досягнути – to achieve; to reach

досягнути мети – to reach the goal

  • бажати/побажати – to wish
Genitive in Ukrainian

http://pryvitannya.com

Я бажаю тобі щастя, радості, добра… – I wish you happiness, joy, goodness…

  • чекати – to wait for

чекати зустрічі – to wait for the meeting (but if you use preposition на after the verb you have to put ‘зустріч’ in Accusative – чекати на зустріч)

10. In many prepositional constructions

The genitive case is also used in many prepositional constructions:

To indicate the period of time:

Genitive in Ukrainian

  • до (before);
  • під час (during);
  • після (after);
  • з… до… (from…to…)

Зараз у мене багато роботи, буду працювати з понеділка до суботи. Я сподіваюсь закінчити проект до січня. Після Нового року у мене з’явиться більше часу. Можу розповісти більше про свої плани завтра під час обіду.

Now I have a lot of work, I will work from Monday to Saturday. I hope to finish the project before January. After New Year I will have more time. I can tell more about my plans tomorrow during the lunch.

To indicate the origin:

  • з (from)
Genitive in Ukrainian

З Африки, з Азії, з Європи

Я з України. А звідки ви? – Я з Америки, а моя подруга з Японії.

I’m from Ukraine. And where are you from? – I’m from America, and my friend is from Japan.

To indicate the placement

  • біля (near);
  • (не)далеко від ( (not) far from);
  • позадy (behind);
  • напроти (opposite);
  • посеред (in the middle of).

Я живу біля парку. Це недалеко від університету, де ти навчаєшся. Можемо зустрітися напроти головного входу в твій університет.

I live near the park. It is not far from the university where you are studying. We can meet in front of the main entrance to your university.

To say without

  • без

Я п’ю каву без цукру. –  I drink coffee without sugar.

Conclusion

The nouns in the genitive answer the following questions: Кого? Чoго? (Of whom? Of what?).

You should use the genitive in most cases where you would use the word “of” in English: ‘possession’, ‘part of the whole’, ‘measure’, ‘container’,  ‘relation’.

The genitive case is used after certain numbers and words of quantity.

The genitive is commonly used after the negation and to indicate absence.

Talking about the dates, the names of months are used in the genitive case.

Many prepositions and some verbs must be used with the genitive.

Now you should have a good understanding of when to use genitive in Ukrainian. You may find that there are more occasions to use the genitive case, but so far we have listed the most important ones.

If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments!

Practice!

Learn how to form and use the genitive case in Ukrainian in context with these free Ukrainian Lessons Podcast episodes:

ULP 2-46 | У продуктовому магазині + Родовий відмінок | At the grocery store + Genitive case

ULP 2-47 | Гастрономічні фестивалі + Родовий відмінок | Food festivals + Genitive case

ULP 2-48 | Харчові звички + Родовий відмінок | Eating habits + Genitive case

ULP 2-49 | Рецепт сирників + Родовий відмінок | Syrnyky recipe + Genitive case


Learning Ukrainian and looking for great resources?

Check our 1000 most common words in Ukrainian with the interactive flashcards.

Also, you can learn Ukrainian step by step wherever you are with our free Ukrainian Lessons Podcast.

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Iryna Podoliak

In 2013, Iryna graduated from Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and got a Master's degree in Philology. She specializes in the methodology of teaching Ukrainian as a foreign language. Iryna worked with students from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Estonia, Poland. She appreciates the opportunity of cultural and worldview interchange during the lessons. Iryna is interested in early learning methods as she has a little son.

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