Language Generator 11--Стать (To Become)

The verb “стать” means “to become” as in “to become a father”, “to become a problem”, or “to become large”. Because the thing named after стать is a role or acquired condition, it must always be in the instrumental case. Refer to Grammar 18--Instrumental Case for more information about the instrumental case and roles.

Subject and VerbRole singular/plural, in instrumental case

Я ста́ну

I shall become

врачо́м/врача́ми

a doctor/doctors

Мы ста́нем

We will become

студе́нтом/студе́нтами

a college student/college students

Ты ста́нешь

Thou wilt become

а́втором/а́вторами

an author/authors

Вы ста́нете

You will become

во́ром/во́рами

a thief/thieves

Он/Она́/Оно́ ста́нет

He/She/It will become

отцо́м/отца́ми

a father/fathers

Они́ ста́нут

They will become

ма́терью/ма́терями

a mother/mothers

Он ста́л

He became

слуго́й/слуга́ми

a servant/servants

Она́ ста́ла

She became

учи́телем/учи́телями

a teacher/teachers

Оно́ ста́ло

It became

спо́рным вопро́сом

a controversial question

Они́ ста́ли

They became

пробле́мой для нас

a problem for us

Э́то ста́ло

That became

по́водом для преткнове́ния

a cause for stumbling


по́водом для ра́дости

a cause for joy


отве́том на наши́ моли́тва

an answer to our prayers


причи́ной его сме́рти

the cause of his death

The subject of the sentence and the word or phrase in the instrumental case will often not match in gender and number. For example:

Бездо́мные соба́ки ста́ли пробле́мой.

Homeless dogs (plural) became a problem (feminine singular).

А́нна ста́ла студе́нтом.

Anna (feminine) became a student (masculine).

The word “студент” in the second example, though grammatically masculine, used used to refer to a college student of either sex. Such words generally also have forms which refer only to females. For example:

А́нна жила́ с други́ми студе́нтками. Anna lived with the other studentesses.

But using them with стать is likely to sound silly:

А́нна ста́ла студе́нткой.

Anna became a studentess.

She did not become female, she became a student, so using a sex-specific word here sounds odd.