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In Russian, it is the case of a noun that shows what role the noun plays in a sentence. The table below shows how the noun Алексей (a male name) changes by cases.
|Nominative||Это Алексей.||This is Alexey.|
|Genitive||Мы изучаем таблицу Алексея.||We are studying Alexey's chart.|
|Dative||Ученик дал Алексею таблицу.||A student gave a chart to Alexey.|
|Accusative||Анна ждёт Алексея.||Ann is waiting for Alexey.|
|Instrumental||Таблица написана Алексеем.||A chart is written by Alexey.|
|Prepositional||Друзья говорят об Алексее.||Friends are talking about Alexey.|
First, you may see how important case endings are to show the role of a noun. Note, that the contrasting English equivalents have the name Alexey unchanged.
Second, it should be mentioned that the word order does not affect the meaning of a sentence significantly. For example, the sentence Анна ждёт Алексея has the same meaning as Алексея ждёт Анна as long as you use the accusative of Алексей.
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TODAY'S STREET SIGN
Russian: Столовая. Продуктовый магазин. Закусочная.
English: Canteen. Grocery store. Snack.