Instrumental case with быть and являться in the past tense

Why do we use this case here? And this verb? What rule should I use here?
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calzzetin
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Instrumental case with быть and являться in the past tense

Postby calzzetin » Mar 16th, 15, 22:27

Hello Russian language lovers :)

I made a question about the difference between быть and являться and part of the answer (written by the great forum user Taras) was the following:

Taras wrote:In the past tense and in the future tense 'to be' can be expressed with 'быть' and 'являться'. In this case 'являться' is also more formal than 'быть', but still means the same. Examples:

Я был/являлся директором этой компании (I (was/have been/used to be) the CEO of this company).
Я буду директором этой компании (I'll be the CEO of this company).
Я буду являться директором этой компании.



There I saw that in the past tense both быть and являться are used in the instrumental case. Is it a coincidence or does it have some common origin? Maybe this explains the reason why быть in the past uses instrumental... or not?
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Re: Instrumental case with быть and являться in the past ten

Postby Taras » Mar 18th, 15, 00:14

Hi there,

there is a rule in Russian that objects of verbs 'быть' and 'являться' usually take the instrumental case. This rule applies also to several other verbs listed here. Note that 'быть' has only the past tense and the future tense while 'являться' has all the three tenses.

I don't know why this rule says 'usually' and does not say 'always', i.e. I don't know any exception of the rule. However, if a rule says 'usually', there must be an exception :D.

Since each Russian verb requires putting its object into a particular case, this thread seems quite helpful for a Russian learner. The thread has lists of verbs whose objects should usually (or always) be in the genitive/dative/instrumental.

Here are some general tips on what case an object of a particular verb should be in. You can use these tips to better understand the lists of the mentioned thread and to codify the information yielded by the lists.

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Re: Instrumental case with быть and являться in the past ten

Postby calzzetin » Mar 19th, 15, 17:39

Thanks a lot! I see that this doesn't have a simple answer and, as always, I'll need to learn a lot!
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Re: Instrumental case with быть and являться in the past ten

Postby Taras » Mar 20th, 15, 19:00

My pleasure! I'm glad I don't need to learn Russian since I already know it. :D The Russian cases and the Russian grammar in general are really difficult to master, so I wish you every success in learning Russian!


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