Usage of the Prepositional Case (2)

 Lesson comments

There are two more constructions that you will find useful. The first one enables you to ask Where do you...? questions. You will need to know the prepositional when answering the questions about the place of work or living. The second construction is used to say what floor something is located on. Again, this page shows both how to ask the What floor... on? question and how to answer it in Russian.

"Where do you...?" questions

If you want to know where someone lives, works, studies, relaxes or does something else, use the phrase:

Где + [pronoun] + [verb]?
 [gdyeh]
Where + [pronoun] + [verb]?

Below are a few examples that use different tenses and conjuations of the verb работать (to work).

Где он сейчас? Он на работе.
 [gdyeh on see-CHAS? on nah rab-BOH-tyeh]
Where's he now? He’s at work.
Где она сейчас? Она в театре.
 [gdyeh ah-NAH see-CHAS? ah-NAH ftee-AH-tree]
Where’s she now? She’s in the cinema.

Choosing prepositions: В vs. НА

The literal meaning of the preposition B is IN (to be inside of something) and the meaning of the preposition HA is ON (to be on the surface of something). When used in the literal meaning, the prepositions are fairly easy to choose. However, their idiomatic meaning is not always the same as in English.

One general rule to choose the proper preposition for a noun is to use B when talking about a city or a country (в Китае, в Америке, в Москве, в России, в Вашингтоне). In all other cases, the idiomatic usage of prepositions does not follow set rules and should be memorized. This table will help you with several common combinations.

Где вы работаете?
 [gdyeh vi rah-BOH-tah-ee-tyeh]
Where do you work?
Где вы работали?
 [gdyeh vi rah-BOH-tah-lee]
Where did you work?
Где вы будете работать?
 [gdyeh vi BOO-dee-tyeh rah-BOH-taht']
Where will you work?
Где она живёт?
 [gdyeh ah-NAH zhi-VYOHT]
Where does she live?

You could answer the above questions with the following:

Я работаю в аэропорту.
 [yah rah-BOH-tah-yoo vah-eh-rah-pahr-TOO]
I work at the airport.
Я работал в университете в Москве.
 [yah rah-BOH-tahl voo-nee-vyehr-see-TYEH-tee vmahs-KVYEH]
I worked at the university in Moscow
Я буду работать в аэропорту.
 [yah BOO-doo rah-BOH-taht' vah-eh-rah-pahr-TOO]
I will work at the airport.
Она живёт в России.
 [ah-NAH zhi-VYOHT vrah-SEE-ee]
She lives in Russia.

Here is a conjugation table for the verbs жить (to live) and учиться (to study). It will help you to form proper sentences when you want to say where you work or study.

жить (to live) учиться (to study)
Я живу. Я учусь
Мы живём. Мы учимся
Ты живёшь Ты учишься
Вы живёте Вы учитесь
Он, она живёт Он, она учится
Они живут Они учатся

"What floor... on?" questions

Sometimes you might need to go into details and ask what floor someone lives on, or what floor something is located on. The word “floor” should be put in the prepositional, and the phrase will look like:

На каком этаже + [pronoun] + [verb]?
 [nah kah-KOHM eh-tah-ZHEH]
What floor do + [pronoun] + [verb] + on?
На каком этаже находится [noun]?
 [nah kah-KOHM eh-tah-ZHEH nah-KHOH-dee-tsah]
What floor is the + [noun] + on?

For example, you could ask:

Я живу на первом этаже.
 [yah zhi-VOO nah PYEHR-vahm eh-tah-ZHEH]
I live on the ground floor. (Literally: first floor)
Аптека находится на втором этаже.
 [up-TYEH-kah nah-KHOH-dee-tsah nah ftah-ROHM eh-tah-ZHEH]
The drug store is on the first floor. (Literally: second floor)

The prepositional case is also used in the answers to these questions. More specifically, the word этаж (floor) takes on a new ending and becomes этаже (on a floor). If you need to review your Russian grammar, the prepositional case endings are explained in a separate lesson.

На каком этаже вы живёте?
 [nah kah-KOHM eh-tah-ZHEH vi zhi-VYOH-tee]
What floor do you live on?
На каком этаже находится аптека?
 [nah kah-KOHM eh-tah-ZHEH nah-KHOH-dee-tsah up-TYEH-kah]
What floor is the drug store on?

Test Yourself

It's now time to put your comprehension to the test. The following exercises are based on the materials explained in this lesson. If you need help with answers, you can always ask a question on the forum and other Russian language students will be happy to help you.

Test 1. Put the words in the brackets into the prepositional.

1. Я работаю в…………………… (Москва).
2. Где он работает? Он работает в …………………… (Америка).
3. Он учится в…………………… (школа).
4. Студенты учатся в ………………………… (университет).
5. Вы работаете в…………………… (магазин)?
6. Я живу в…………………………… (общежитие).
7. Они учатся в ……………………… (Россия).
8. Мы отдыхаем на …………………… (берег).
9. Он был в ……………………… (аэропорт).
10. Она завтра будет в ……………………. (институт)?

Test 2. Use the template and additional information to say what floor someone lives, works or studies on.

Additional information:

На первом этаже = On the ground floor
На втором этаже = On the first floor
На третьем этаже = On the second floor
На четвёртом этаже = On the third floor
На пятом этаже = On the fourth floor
На шестом этаже = On the fifth floor
На седьмом этаже = On the sixth floor
На восьмом этаже = On the seventh floor
На девятом этаже = On the nineth floor
На десятом этаже = On the tenth floor

Template:

Он живёт …………………… (пятый этаж).
Он живёт на пятом этаже.

1. Я учусь ……………………… (второй этаж).
2. Мы живём на ………………………… (третий этаж).
3. Они живут на ………………………… (десятый этаж).
4. Мама живёт …………………………… (четвёртый этаж).
5. Сестра работает …………………………… (девятый этаж).
6. Родители живут ………………………… (восьмой этаж).
7. Раньше я жил ……………………………(шестой этаж).
8. Сейчас я живу …………………………… (первый этаж).
9. Аптека находится ………………………(седьмой этаж).







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