Why do some sentences behave so strange?

I've done some Duolingo tasks where I have been told to translate things like: "Tom is going to school". Using my russian grammatic knowledge I figure that the sentence should have the features of a locative case.

I translate and get: " Том ходит в школе". However I get that wrong and the corrections goes by "Том ходит в школу".

Why is there a "у" in the end instead of an e?

Would really appreciate some help here!

March 22, 2017


в школу = to school; в школе = at school. Also "goes" is "ходит" (without "ь").

March 22, 2017

школе = locative case; школу = accusative case (note that only singular -а/-я ending words have a special accusative form, otherwise they copy nominative or genitive).

Locative (aka prepositional) case is only ever used with the prepositions: о, при, в, and на. But note that the prepositions в and на can use other cases to give a different meaning. When you see в/на + (loc) this means location. When you see в/на + (acc) this means direction. Я хожу в школу(acc) means "I go to school", as in the direction of motion. Я живу в школе(loc) means "I live at school", as in the location of where you live. It is not uncommon for a single preposition to take different meanings depending on the case of the word coming after it, so pay attention to that!

I believe that all words besides feminine -ь and double vowel (i.e. -ия) endings have a -е ending in locative. The exceptions I mentioned end in -и instead. Ex: школа > школе; Сибирь > Сибири; Россия > России. There is also a small group of masculine words that take an -у ending in locative, as in мост > мосту.

March 22, 2017

I have my own question, but I don't think it warrants its own thread so I will post it here in case it can be answered by anyone:

Could you say я иду в школе в твоём городе to mean "I am going to the school in your city" or is there a better way to word that?

March 22, 2017

"I am going to the school in your city" (either going right now, or intending to go, say, in the next school year) = я иду в школу в твоём городе. "I am walking in a school" (already being physically in that school) = я иду в школе в твоём городе. Although it sounds somewhat unnatural, and I would say "я хожу по школе в твоём городе". "I go to school in your city" (on a regular basis) = я хожу в школу в твоём городе.

March 23, 2017
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