Lithuanian cases. Dative (naudininkas)

The word naudininkas derives from the word nauda, which means benefit or profit and this case defines an indirect object, the receiver of the action.

When and where do we use dative case in Lithuanian?

1. The question “kam?” means “to / for whom?” and this question is answered by the dative case, which defines the indirect object. For example:

  • Aš noriu atsiųsti tau žinutę. I want to send you a message. [A message is a direct object and you are the one who is receiving the message, so the word you -„tau“ – is used in dative]
  • tau skolingas 10 eurų. I owe you 10 euros.
  • Ar gali man paskambinti rytoj? Can you call me tomorrow?
  • Kaip padėsi savo mamai? How will you help your mother?
  • Ką norėjai man papasakoti? What did you want to tell me?

2. Dative is also used with verbs patikti (to like) and reikėti (to need). The verb “like” is used in the same manner as in Spanish – me gusta, te gusta and so on:

  • Lietuviams patinka skųstis. Lithuanians like to complain. [And I am pretty sure you have noticed it if you know any Lithuanians].
  • Man patinka susitikti su draugais. I like to meet friends.
  • Jai nepatinka tavo megztinis. She doesn‘t like your sweater.
  • Man reikia išlaikyti egzaminą. I need to pass the exam.
  • Mums reikia tavo pagalbos. We need your help.

3. There are some verbs which require dative case. Let‘s look at them:

  • Dėkoti. Norėčiau jums padėkoti už palaikymą! I would like to thank you for support!
  • Mūsų komanda atstovavo Lietuvai. Our team represented Lithuania.
  • Netrukdyk man! Aš turiu daug darbo. Don’t disturb me! I have a lot of work to do.
  • Jis nesugebėjo vadovauti įmonei. He failed to manage the company.
  • Prieštarauti. Jo gyvenimo būdas prieštarauja jo principams. His lifestyle contradicts his principles.
  • Alkoholis kenkia sveikatai. Alcohol is harmful to health.

4. Also some Lithuanian expressions require dative case too:

  • Man yra šalta, karšta, nuobodu… I‘m cold, hot, bored.
  • Man skauda galvą, pilvą, nugarą… I have a headache, stomach ache, back pain.
  • Kiek tau metų? How old are you?
  • Kaip sekasi? Gerai, ačiū, o tau? How are you? Fine, thanks, and you?
  • Man atrodo, kad greitai lis. It seems to me that it is going to rain soon.

Lithuanian cases. Genitive (kilmininkas)

So when and where do we use genitive case in Lithuanian?

1. When we talk about possession, when something belongs to somebody or somebody owns something:

  • Mano draugo tėvai gyvena Londone. My friend‘s parents live in London.
  • Pirma vasaros diena buvo labai šilta. The first day of summer was very warm.
  • Lietuvių kalba yra gana sudėtinga. Lithuanian language is quite difficult.
  • Šiandien turime išmokti kilmininko linksnį. Today we have to learn the genitive case.
  • Kur praleisi žiemos atostogas? Where will you spend your winter holidays?

2. In sentences expressing negation when no possession is involved:

  • Negalėjau tau atsisiųsti nuotraukos. I couldn’t send you a photo.
  • Dar niekada nemačiau tokio tamsaus dangaus. I have never seen such a dark sky.
  • Kodėl nenusipirkai tos knygos? Why haven‘t you bought that book?
  • Aš neatsimenu tavo draugo. I can‘t remember your friend.
  • Neišmokau naujų žodžių. I didn’t learn new words.

3. To express a quantity or a part of something:

  • Daug / nedaug / mažai. Turi daug draugų? Do you have a lot of friends?
  • Pora / keletas. Aš turiu tau keletą klausimų. I have several questions for you.
  • Pusė / trečdalis. Gera pradžia – pusė darbo. A good start is a half the job done (it is a Lithuanian proverb).
  • 10, 11, 12… 20, 30, 40… 100, 200… 1000… Perskaičiau trisdešimt knygų. I have read thirty books.

4. Some verbs require genitive case:

  • Laukti. Aš vis dar laukiu tavo dovanos. I am still waiting for your present!
  • Norėti. Noriu kavos! I want coffee!
  • Reikėti. Ar tau tikrai reikia telefono? Do you really need a phone?
  • Ieškoti. Ieškai ramybės? Čia jos nerasi. Are you searching for peace? You won‘t find it here.
  • Tikėtis. Tikiuosi geriausio. I hope for the best.

5. With uncountable things – time, food, ideas, music etc.:

  • Jis tik rytoj turi laiko. He has time only tomorrow.
  • Jeigu eisi į parduotuvę, nupirk duonos. If you go to the shop, buy some bread.
  • Ar turi namuose arbatos? Do you have any tea at home?
  • Ar turi planų vasarai? Do you have any plans for the summer?
  • Man patinka klausyti muzikos. I like listening to music.

6. Certain prepositions require genitive case:

  • Be. Pusė žmonių neišgyventų be kavos. Half of people wouldn’t survive without coffee.
  • Nuo… iki. Dirbame nuo devynių iki penkių. We work from nine to five.
  • Iš. Grįžau iš darbo labai vėlai. I came back from work very late.
  • Ant. Ant stalo yra daug daiktų. There are a lot of things on the table.
  • Po. Ką veiksi po studijų? What are you going to do after studies?
  • Dėl. Koncertas buvo atšauktas dėl blogo oro. The concert was cancelled due to bad weather.

7. With wishes:

  • Geros dienos / gero vakaro! Have a great day / evening!
  • Darbingos savaitės! Have a productive week!
  • Gerų atostogų! Enjoy your vacation!
  • Linksmų Kalėdų! Merry Christmas!
  • Sėkmės! Good luck!
  • Kantrybės! Be patient!