Where? Russian prepositions of place

How can you explain to a new colleague where is what in the office? How to help your guests to better navigate at your place? Today we learn to describe a room in Russian, and, therefore, Russian prepositions of place.

Russian prepositions of place

Genitive case

Посередине (в центре), вокруг, напротив, у, около, (не)далеко от, слева от, справа от

+ кого? чего?

As you can see, these prepositions require the genitive case. Some of them have similar meanings. У,’ ‘около,’ and ‘недалеко от,’ they all mean near, but a bit different near (‘у’ is very near, ‘недалеко от’ can be not that near, it is just ‘not far from‘). ‘В центре’ (in the center of) and ‘посередине’ (in the middle of) are also quite similar.

I designed kind of a poem to help you remember these prepositions:

У, около, (не)далеко от,

Вокруг, напротив, в центре,

Слева от и справа от,

И посередине.

Instrumental case

Под, над, перед, за, между, рядом с

+ кем? чем?

These prepositions we use with words in the Instrumental case. Here is another poem to help you to learn them:

Под, над, перед, за,

Между, рядом с кем? чем?

Note, that ‘рядом с’ also relates to ‘near’ (along with около / у / недалеко от + genitive).

Prepositional case

В, на

+ ком? чём?

Usually, everybody knows these two, as it is one of the first things to learn in Russian. I would only like to offer you one more poem here to revise when to use ‘в,’ and when to use ‘на.’

where in Russian

Learn more about В and НА here.

Accusative case


+ кого? что?

‘Через relates to some barrier we need to overcome to get from one place to another. It can be a river or a road. We often use it together with ‘от’ (requires genitive case). For example:

Кафе находится через дорогу от парка.

(через дорогу – accusative, от парка – genitive)

через Russian prepositions of place

Dative case


+ кому? чему?

Preposition ‘по’ (+ dative case) we use with the verbs of motion in the following situation:

1. To identify the surface, where some movement takes place:

Мы плывём на теплоходе по реке. Я еду по Лермонтовскому проспекту. Он идёт по Тверской улице.

2. To identify the place, in which borders someone or something moves:

Директор нервничает и ходит по кабинету. Туристы гуляют по городу. Футболисты бегают по полю.

3. To identify the group of similar places to visit:

Туристы ходят по музеям, по магазинам, по паркам, по театрам и по ресторанам. Оксана – шопоголик, она каждые выходные ходит по магазинам.

And now, let’s dream for a while! Describe your ideal house. What rooms, what furniture are where?

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