Prepositions Governing the Nominative Case
Only two Russian prepositions are used with the Nominative case and those are used semi-idiomatically.
1. The preposition за+Nom is used only in questions with the interrogative pronoun что, where it is a synonym of the adjectival pronoun какой in the sense of 'what kind of', as the following examples illustrate.
Что она за женщина?
What kind of woman is she?
Какая она женщина? Что Володя за студент?
What kind of student is Volodya?
Какой студент Володя?
2. The other preposition which governs the nominative case is в+Nom, used exclusively with plural objects to indicate joining an organization of some type, as illustrated in the following examples.
Маша недавно вышла в рабочие. Masha recently became worker. Дима пошёл в политики. Dima has become a politician.
Otherwise, the nominative case is used only to mark the subject of the clause or sentence. (Of course, it also is used to mark the citation form of a noun or adjective listed in the dictionary or used as a label on an object in the real world.)
Lexiteria LLC, Lewisburg, PA 17837
© 1996 Robert Beard