1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Ukrainian
  4. >
  5. Are subjects necessary in Ukr…


Are subjects necessary in Ukrainian?

Hi! I remember reading in a comment section by either a former moderator or maybe their picture changed. Anyway that's beside the point. I read that unlike most other Slavic languages, Ukrainian still uses the subject in most cases but I tend to hear Я dropped quite a lot but I still hear the other subjects a lot. So could someone tell when to use and not use subjects in Ukrainian?

April 16, 2016



I think you mean personal pronouns as subjects and not subjects in general. In Ukrainian you should not omit personal pronouns that act as subjects. Although, I can imagine some informal conversation or a phrase in a narration in which you could omit it.


  • Де він? (Where is he?)
  • (Я) не знаю. ((I) don't know.)

Omitting the personal pronoun here makes the answer sound colloquial or even rude (if a certain intonation is used).


(Ти) уявляєшь? (Я) пішов в магазин, а він зачинений! (Can you imagine it? I went to the store, but it was closed!)

Again, omitting the personal pronouns here makes the language sound very colloquial. Omitting Я in the second sentence helps to convey that you are surprised or disappointed (depending on the intonation) about the situation.

I am not aware of any grammatical rules governing such situations. Maybe you could give some concrete examples that we could discuss?


Well probably the first one that came to mind was on "Easy Languages", an interviewer was interviewing an elderly woman asking "Чому ви любите Вінітсю?" and she replied with "Вінітсю люблю..." but then I heard it in similar ways often omitting the personal pronoun я.


This example falls under the category colloquial conversation, subcategory immediate answer to a question (I've just made it up ;)). The woman immediately answers a question about herself. It is absolutely clear that she will be talking about herself and therefore she omits the personal pronoun. Moreover, starting the answer like this gives her some time to think about it. Again, I do not know any grammatical rule describing this situation. I think with time you develop a feeling for the language and then you know where it is appropriate to omit a personal pronoun. But, I believe, it is mostly informal conversations in which you do it.

Btw., it is Вінниця and Вінницю


Thanks have a lingot!

Learn Ukrainian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.