Наш is nominative or accusative inanimate.
"Our neighbor" is masculine accusative animate here. Well, hopefully "our neighbor" is still animate. And the masculine accusative animate is нашего.
On a previous exercise it asked to translate "our neighbor is a student" and I was marked wrong for using "нашего соседа" instead of "наш сосед". A little bit confused on what's the rule here.
Because in the sentence "Our neighbor is a student", "Our neighbor" is the subject of the sentence which makes it nominative: Наш сосед.
In this sentence, I (Я) is the subject of the sentence and "our neighbor" is the (direct) object which makes it accusative: "Нашего соседа".
Generally (though there are things that will make this untrue):
Subject = Nominative
(Direct) Object = Accusative
(Indirect) Object = Dative
Not necessarily. Here's how it is:
наш is the nominative form for masculine singular.
нашего is the genitive form for masculine and neuter in singular.
But we're talking about accusative, so why am I bringing those up? Because it's the easiest to begin with those, and then add:
- For masculine animate, the accusative case copies the genitive.
- For masculine inanimate, the accusative copies the nominative. So:
"I see our house" becomes Я вишу наш дом;
"I see our neighbour" becomes Я вижу нашего соседа (and not наш сосед).
Ok, i would try to make it clear: 1.) Subject is ALWAYS nominative 2.) some words, especially verbs, requires a word in specific form or with a specific preposition (which also requires a word in a specific form ;-) ). for ex.: videt' acc. (to see something) znat' acc. (to know something) net gen. (is not) dumat' ob loc. (to think about somethink) further example: Ya (sub. so nom.) vizhu moyu drugu (acc.) So i advice you to learn the verbs not just like dumať = to know, but dumat' ob koshke
I understand "нашего соседа" is the genitive case. But is the reason why it's genitive is because after знать the accusative is used (and since it's an animate, it's genitive) or is it because of the negation, "не знаю" ?
It's the accusative case. But for the masculine animate nouns the accusative and the genitive forms coincide. If it was a feminine noun they would've been different:
Я не знаю соседку - accusative.
Нет соседки - genitive.
I don't think it's genitive here, I think it's accusative animate. Though I can see the confusion since (I think) accusative animate is often the same as genitive.
Сосед is an animate noun, so its accusative form, which is used here, is the same as its genitive. But you're right that negation sometimes comes into play with the genitive case: My "Oxford Russian Grammar & Verbs" (pp 30-31) says that the genitive is often used as the direct object of a negated transitive verb, but the rule (says the book) doesn't apply when the object is a person.