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Locative (also called the seventh case) is a grammatical case which indicates a location. It corresponds vaguely to the English prepositions "in", "on", "at", and "by". The locative case belongs to the general local cases together with the lative and separative case.

The locative case exists in many language groups.

Indo-European languages

The Proto-Indo-European language had a locative case expressing "place where", an adverbial function. The ending depended on the last vowel of the stem (consonant, a-, o-, i-, u-stems) and the number (singular or plural). Subsequently the locative case tended to merge with other cases: the genitive or dative. Some daughter languages retained it as a distinct case. The locative case is found in:


The Latin locative case is extremely marginal, applying only to the names of cities and small islands and to a few other isolated words. The Romans considered all islands to be "small" except for Sicily, Sardinia, Corsicamarker, Cretemarker, and Cyprusmarker. Much of the case's function had been absorbed into the ablative. For singular first and second declension, the locative is identical to the genitive singular form, and for the singular third declension the locative is identical to the ablative singular form. For plural nouns of all declensions, the locative is also identical to the ablative form. The few fourth and fifth declension place-name words would also use the ablative form for locative case. However, there are a few rare nouns that use the locative instead of a preposition: domus becomes domī (at home), rūs becomes rūrī (in the country), humus becomes humī (on the ground), militia becomes militiae (in military service, in the field), and focus becomes focī (at the hearth; at the center of the community). In archaic times, the locative singular of third declension nouns was actually interchangeable between ablative and dative forms, but in the Augustan Period the use of the ablative form became fixed.

The first declension locative is by far the most common, because so many Roman place names were first declension: mostly singular (Roma, Rome; Hibernia, Ireland; etc, and therefore Romae, at Rome; Hiberniae, at Ireland), but some plural (Athenae, Athens; Cumae, Cuma etc., with Athenis, at Athens; Cumis, at Cumae). But there are a number of second declension names that would have locatives, too (Brundisium, Brindisi; Eboracum, York; with locatives Brundisī, at Brindisi; Eboraci, at York, etc.)

Note that the locative is used to indicate a place "where" (we would prefix the place name with "at" or "in") as opposed to "to which" (we would prefix the name with "to"). Walking "in Rome" is not the same as walking "to Rome". Strictly speaking, the constructions "Place to Which" and "Place from Which" are not "locative", but because they also deal with location, and apply to place-names (including the same special nouns like "domus") these constructions are usually grouped with the locative (cf. Wheelock's Latin Chapter 37). "Place from Which" uses ablative forms, thus "Roma" = from Rome. "Place to Which" uses accusative forms, thus "Romam" = to Rome. Therefore the phrase "Romani ite domum", translated as "Romans go (to) home!", may loosely speaking be said to take the "locative", but technically it is using the related "Place to Which" construction: in either construction the key point is that "domus" does not need to use a preposition, thus "ad domum" is grossly incorrect.

Slavic languages

Unusual in other Indo-European branches but common among Slavic languages, the ending depends on whether the word is a noun or an adjective (among other factors).


The Czech language uses the locative case to denote location (v České Republice/in the Czech Republic), but as in the Russian language, the locative case may be used after certain prepositions with meanings other than location (o Praze/about Prague, po revoluci/after the revolution). Cases other than the locative may be used to denote location in Czech as well (U Roberta/at Robert's house -genitive, or nad stolem/above the table -instrumental).

See Czech declension for declension patterns for all Czech grammatical cases, including locative.


There are several different locative endings in Polish:

  • -ie Used for singular nouns of all genders, ie. niebo → niebie. In a few cases, the softening indicated by i has led to consonant alternations:
    • brat → bracie
    • rzeka → rzece
    • noga → nodze
    • rower → rowerze
    • piekło → piekle
For a complete list, see Polish hard and soft consonants.

  • -u Used for:
    • Some masculine singular nouns, ie. syn → synu, dom → domu, bok → boku, brzuch → brzuchu, worek → worku*, nastrój → nastroju*, deszcz → deszczu, miś → misiu, koń → koniu, Poznańmarker → Poznaniu, Wrocławmarker → Wrocławiu, Bytommarker → Bytomiu** [* In a few cases, a vowel change may occur, ie. ó → o, or a vowel may be dropped. ** Final consonants in Wrocław and Bytom used to be soft, which is still reflected in suffixed forms, hence -i-.]
    • All neuter singular nouns ending in -e, ie. miejsce → miejscu, życie → życiu
    • Some neuter singular nouns ending in -o, ie. mleko → mleku, łóżko → łóżku, ucho → uchu
  • -i Used for:
    • Feminine nouns ending in -ia, ie. Kasia ("Katie") → o Kasi ("about Katie"), Austria → w Austrii ("in Austria")
    • Feminine nouns ending in -ść, ie. miłość ("love") → o miłości ("about love")
  • -ach Used for plural nouns of all genders, ie. kobiety ("women") → o kobietach ("about women")
  • -ich / -ych Used for plural adjectives of all genders, ie. małe sklepy ("small shops") → w małych sklepach ("in small shops")
  • -im / -ym Used for masculine and neuter singular adjectives, ie. polski język ("Polish language") → w polskim języku ("in the Polish language")
  • -ej Used for feminine singular adjectives, ie. duża krowa ("big cow") → o dużej krowie ("about a big cow")


In the Russian language, the locative case is often and recently called the prepositional case. This is because the case is only used after a preposition and not always used for locations, and other cases can be used for locations too, e.g. у окна́ ("by window") - the genitive case. Statements such as "в библиотеке" v biblioteke ("in library") or "на Аляске" na Aljaske ("in Alaska") show the usage for location. However, this case is also used after the preposition "о" ("about") as in "о студенте" o studente ("about the student").

Nevertheless a few words preserve a distinctive form of locative case: "лежать в снегу́" lezhatʲ v snegu (to lie in the snow), but "думать о снеге" dumatʲ o snege (to think about snow). Other examples are рай ray (paradise) - "в раю" in the paradise, дым dɨm (smoke) - "в дыму́" v dɨmú, бок bok (side) - "на боку́" na boku. The stress marks here signify that the stress is made on the last syllable, unlike the dative case that has the same spelling.

Sometimes the locative case is used only in stable word combinations, while prepositional is used in general - дом dom (house), на дому="at house", only used to denote work activity (actually this is English "at home"), на доме="on the house" is used to denote roof on the house or such.Дома = in the house, like in case of latin domi.


In the Armenian language nouns take -ում (-um) for the locative form.

  • համալսարանը (hamsalaranə, the university) → համալսարանումը (hamalsaran'umə, in/at the university)
  • ճաշարան (chasharan, a restaurant) → ճաշարանում (chasharan'um, in/at a restaurant)

Turkic languages

Some Turkic languages have a locative.


The locative case exists in Turkish, as the suffix generally specified by "-DA". For instance, in Turkish, okul means the school, and okulda means in the school. The morpheme may exist in four different forms, depending on the preceding consonant and vowel. The first phoneme of the locative, "D", changes according to the previous consonant: it is "t" after voiceless consonants, but "d" elsewhere. The vowel changes depending on the phonetic characteristics of the previous vowel: it is "a" after a preceding back vowel, and "e" after a preceding front vowel, congruent with the vowel harmony of the language. This gives four different versions of the morpheme:

  • -ta, as in "kitapta", "in the book".
  • -te, as in "kentte", "in the city".
  • -da, as in "odada", "in the room".
  • -de, as in "evde", "in the house".


The locative case exists also in Uzbek. For example, in Uzbek, shakhar means city, and shakhar'da means in the city, so using -da suffix, the locative case is marked.

Finno-Ugric languages

Some Finno-Ugric languages have a locative.

Inari Sami

In Inari Sami, the locative suffix is -st.

  • kyeleest 'in the language'
  • kieđast 'in the hand'.


In the Hungarian language, nine such cases exist, yet the name locative case refers to a form (-t/-tt) used only in a few city/town names along with the inessive case or superessive case. It can also be observed in a few local adverbs and postpositions. It is no longer productive.

  • Győr'markerött (also Győrben), Pécs'markerett (also Pécsen), Vác'markerott (also Vácon), Kaposvár'markert and Kaposvárott (also Kaposvár'on), Vásárhely'markert (also Vásárhelyen)
  • i'tt (here), o'tt (there), imi'tt, amo'tt (there yonder), ala'tt (under), fölö'tt (over), közö'tt (between/among), mögö'tt (behind) etc.

The town/city name suffixes -ban/-ben are the inessive ones, and the -on/-en/-ön are the superessive ones.


The Estonian language has a set of 6 locative cases, 3 interior and 3 exterior ones. They are formed by adding a suffix to the genitive form of the noun.

The interior locative cases are:
  • Illative - maja'sse 'into a/the house', or the irregular short form majja which is used mostly
  • Inessive - maja's 'in a/the house'
  • Elative - maja'st 'from inside a/the house'

The exterior locative cases are:
  • Allative - maja'le '(on)to a/the house'
  • Adessive - maja'l 'on (top of) a/the house' or 'at a/the house'
  • Ablative - maja'lt 'from a/the house'


All nouns have a regular version of all these 6 cases, but many words have a more commonly used irregular short version for the illative case which, instead of adding a sse suffix to the genitive, change their stress/phoneme length without adding an extra syllable for the suffix.

Estonian, like some Indo-European languages (Latin, Russian, Irish), does not normally use the verb to have to show possession. The adessive case and the verb to be is used instead. For example, I have a car in Estonian would be Mul on maja in which mul is in the adessive case, on is the third singular of to be (is), and maja is in nominative, not accusative. So maja is the subject, on is the verb and mul is the indirect object. This could be translated to English as At me is a house or A house is at me or There is a house at me. For this reason, it has been argued that the Estonian adessive case is really a dative one. Statistically, the majority of the occurrences of the exterior locative cases show possession, not location (also Ta andis 'mulle maja 'He gave (to) me' a house', Ta võttis 'minult mu maja 'He took from me' my house').



The Etruscan language has a locative ending in -thi: velsnalthi, "at Velznani", with reference to Volsinii.

Algonquian languages

Algonquian languages have a locative.


In Cree, the locative suffix is -ihk.

    • misâskwatômin (saskatoon berry) → misâskwatôminihk (at the saskatoon berry) = "[in] Saskatoonmarker, SK"
    • misâskwatôminiskâ- (be many saskatoon berries) → misâskwatôminiskâhk (at the place of many saskatoon berries) = "[in] Saskatoon, SK"
    • mînis (berry) → mînisihk (at the berry) = "[in] Saskatoon, SK"


In Innu-aimun, the locative suffix is -(i)t.

    • shipu (river) → shipit (at the river)
    • katshishkutamatsheutshuap (school) → katshishkutamatsheutshuapit (at school)
    • nuitsheuakan (my friend) → nuitsheuakanit (at my friend's house)
    • nipi (water) → nipit (in the water)
    • utenau (town) → utenat (in town)



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