Question from Tom, asked on 05 Aug, 2019

The verbs быть and стать with the Instrumental case

In past or futur tense, after the verbs быть and стать can follow either nominativ or instrumental case. Is there any difference in meaning between those two forms?
1 answer
Answered by Yulia on 05 Aug, 2019

Hi Tom,

The verbs быть and стать in the past and future tenses are normally used with the Instrumental case. However, in everyday speech they can be used with the Nominative case (only adjectives and participles). When the quality is permanent, the Nominative case can be used, when it is something transient, the Instrumental case has to be used.

Его отец был француз (французом). His father was French. Permanent quality.

Он был слабым, но стал сильным. He was weak, but became strong. Temporal quality.

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