Ukrainian: ліс, в лісу́ - optional locative -u


Senior Member
The grammars explain that the word "ліс" ("forest") has in locative singular two possible endings, лі́сі or лісу́. But the dictionaries typically show only one form. Which dictionary to use?

I checked two grammars, Правопис 2019 §86 and Синявський 1941 §42. I hope I read the stresses correctly. I checked few dictionaries with stresses: Goroh, umif ... лі́сі,wiktionary лі́су. So, there's not a good match between grammars and dictionaries or between dictionaries. The grammars as usually list just few words, I imagine there are more of them. They should be listed in some dictionary.

I'm not asking for the words with suffix -k- as they typically have only -u locative as місте́чко місте́чку.

Due to the forum rules, I think any reply with the name of a good payable dictionary can only be given as private message (and I'll confirm publicly that I received the answer). If the dictionary is free, similar to the resources listed in forum, then it can be published as public reply.

So, the question is, where to search for forms. And, is any optional -u ending stressed at the ending, like in Russian?

Thanks, Iezik
  • You can say "з лісу" (я йду з лісу - I'm going from the forest), the accent is always on "і". The u is never stressed in this word.

    в лісі - in the forest

    з лісу - from the forest
    до лісу - to the forest
    коло/біля лісу - at the forest

    над лісом - over the forest
    під лісом - under the forest
    за лісом - behind the forest
    поруч з лісом - next to the forest

    Not sure if that answered your question...
    з лісу - from the forest
    до лісу - to the forest
    коло/біля лісу - at the forest
    This is genitive, not locative. He was asking whether saying "Я в лíсу" and/or "Я в лісу́" for "I'm in the forest" is correct or not.
    I did write that:
    в лісі - in the forest

    And gave a few other examples, just to compare.
    The digital Синявський here says that in bisyllables, the stress shifts on the -у in those nouns that allow both -i and -у, including ліс, (note that the website doesn't have stress marks). It says nothing about those that always end in -у, such as на воску, в соку, на снігу, по моху - I think these follow their corresponding stress paradigms. I normally wouldn't recommend using any website with an automatic declension template, but shows во́ску, снігу́ and only лі́су; the Ukrainian wiktionary meanwhile gives лі́су - thus both disagree with Синявський xD

    None of the "print" dictionaries on say anything about the locative forms.

    All in all, the question "which dictionary is right" remains unanswered...
    Last edited:
    In case of "forest", there is no such thing as "в лісy", only "в лісі", and the accent is on the first letter "i": в л'ісі.

    This is the correct way of saying it:
    на во'ску, в соку', на снігу', по мо'ху

    At least this is how we say it in Ukraine.
    Dihydrogen monoxide, it's certainly not the same in many cases, even for words that look and sound alike. I wouldn't rely but try to memorize each word separately for both languages.