"I have a mom and dad."
Translation:У меня есть мама и папа.
You don't. You can omit it entirely, which is a more colloquial way of saying it. I naturally shorten it to "U minja mama i papa"
'To have' in Russian is constructed by 'У + genitive (e.g. меня)'. This is literally 'at me'. Есть 'there is/are' is emphasis and in occasions should be dropped or can just be omitted.
I got caught on this as well and am happy to be corrected here. It seems that generally 'и' should be used when grouping similar things (in this case used because mum and dad are both parents) whereas 'а' is used when making a comparison.
И is used when the two elements are perceived as compatible, а when they tend to contradict one another.
What does the U mean at the beginning? Do you put the person (я) at the end of мин? I don't quite understand the construction
"У" translates to "At", "By", or "With". "Меня" is the genitive form of "Я", and just means "me". "У меня" therefore roughly translates to "At me", and when added with "Есть" (which means "There is/are". So "У меня есть" then just means "There is at me", and is the typical way to write "I have" in Russian.
Someone please straighten out this есть deal for me. Is it optional? And if so why does Duolingo mark my translations incorrect when I opt to use it in future lessons?
Some people claim it is optional in daily use, however, I learnt у меня есть as the standard way of saying "I have".
У is not a pronoun, but a preposition, meaning "at". So this sentence literally translates to "At me (or with me) there is a mother."
In the task there is "a" in front of "mom" and "NOTHING(!)" in front of "dad". Why do they omit "a" in front of "dad"? see e.g. https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/i-have-a-mom-a-dad-and-a-sister.1957733/
Can you type ”est” if we can’t use the actual Russian translated letters? It didn’t except that.