"Здесь нет камня."
Translation:There is no stone here.
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They are cases in the Russian language. Nominative is the standard way words would appear as the subject of a sentence or in a Russian dictionary. The genetive case is used most commonly for posession and non-existence (здесь нет камня), but it has many uses. The case you use determines the ending of the words that are put in that case.
Нет requires genitive (A belongs to B, in this case This place does not have any stones) Forming the genitive case Masculine Nouns: 1. If the noun ends in a consonant, add “а”. 2. Replace “й”, with “я”. 3. Replace “ь”, add “я”. Feminine Nouns: 1. Replace “а” with “ы”. 2. Replace “я” with “и”. 3. Replace “ь” with “и”.
Neuter Nouns: 1. Replace “о” with “а” 2. Replace “е” with “я” For example, some names in the genitive case:
Собака Адама - Adam's dog. (Whose dog? lit: The dog of Adam's) Автомобиль Анны - Anna's car. (lit: The car of Anna's) Телефон Игоря - Igor's telephone. (lit: The telephone of Igor's) Это телефон Адама? - Is this Adam's telephone? (lit: Is this the telephone of Adam's)
I'll disagree with everyone else and say that is perfectly correct English grammar. If the topic of conversation is "here", it would be natural to start the sentence that way. "Here we take pride in our work", "Here is good"(when telling someone where to put something), "Here we take our shoes off when entering someones home", etc.
If we're speaking on grammar, we might go ahead use correct grammar here too. "Here, we take pride in our work". This emphasizes the location. To say, "Here is good", is improper grammar. Here is good what? "Here, is good". But then some will argue about comma usage. Punctuation saves lives. Let's eat Grandma, vs, Let's eat, Grandma.
Although I agree with you on the importance of comma usage, I must disagree on your analysis of the sentence "Here is good". In this sentence, considering the context that the perdon above provided (i.e.: telling someone where to put something) the word "here", even though an adverb, functions as a noun here and acts like the subject of the sentence. Compare the following: "The pizza is good"; "My job is good"; "Going on vacations is good" and so on. That said, it would be incorrect to actually isolate the subject of any sentence with commas, so "Here is good" is actually the perfect way to put it! But nonetheless, the sentence with comma is also correct, but it expressed another structure. First an indication of place and then the sentence itself "Here," – intonation pause – "it's good".
You could well be right. Languages knowledge has pushed English knowledge right out of my brain. I've recently joined a choir, and only after four rehearsals has someone pointed out to me that I keep saying "repertorio", which, as it turns out, isn't an English word. So much for native speaker...
ка́мень (kámenʹ) [ˈkamʲɪnʲ] "stone; calculus; weight; cliff": From Proto-Slavic *kamy, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éḱmō, whence English hammer, Lithuanian akmuõ, Serbo-Croatian kamēn, Albanian kmesë (“sickle”), Ancient Greek ἄκμων (ákmōn, “meteor rock, anvil”), Avestan asman, Sanskrit अश्मन् (áśman).
Note English stone has two meanings: a material (uncountable) or an object. 'There is no stone here' might explain why everything is built of wood here. Alternatively, it might explain why I can't hit something with a stone. To distinguish the latter, we would employ the plural.
Both "здесь нет камня" and "камня здесь нет" are acceptable phrases in Russian, but they do not mean "the stone is not here" (at least not for the instructional purposes of this course). I'll start with word order and go on to meaning later.
Proof of the flexibility of this word order can be seen with this Google Ngram which uses "water" (вода) as an example instead:
Russian puts new information or the most important information toward the end of a sentence, so this change of word order technically emphasizes different things. These two sentences again, with emphasis italicized:
Здесь нет воды.
Here there is no water.
Воды здесь нет.
There is no water here.
Though the two variants above appear to be acceptable in Russian,
Воды нет здесь.
does not. You could change it to:
Вода не здесь.
but this would then mean:
The water is not here.
So, getting back to your question:
Здесь нет камня. ≠ The stone is not here.
because the phrase здесь нет камня is a phrase about the existence or absence of something. This is not conveyed in a translation that omits the operative "there is/are" or "there is not/aren't" in such sentences.
A caveat to all of this is that I believe this is what the Duolingo course designers want us to learn about such phrases. I have a feeling that in practical usage translations of Russian into English and vice versa are a bit more fluid and, therefore, perhaps it is possible that "the stone is not here" might be considered an acceptable translation in some circles. For this course, however:
The stone is not here. = Камень не здесь.
There is no stone here. = Здесь нет камня.
Does that help? Do you see the difference?
a lot of people are grasping for answers on this translation- why is it in here in the first place? there is no stone here? what? i mean really...i'm all about learning mastery but this sentence seems overly difficult and quite frankly useless to me. well of course unless i worked at the stone masons hut...
The sentence is an example of how Russian sentences are structured. If you don't happen to like the particular example used, even better, because that will motivate you to analyze the structure enough so that you can create sentences of your own. I recommend taking a pre-made list like the one here:
and using it to create your own sentences. (Use a resource like Wiktionary if you don't know the genitive form of the noun.) Some examples:
Notice how I chose sentences that one might actually have a need for. And all of these came off of just the first page of nouns.
Like I said, if you don't know the genitive form of a noun, you can use a resource like Wiktionary to look it up. I'll use the Russian word for "water" as an example:
According to this page:
When the word есть is negated, it becomes нет (не+есть=>нет).
I would really want to write "(Is) no stone here" or "(for) here (is) no stone", but in English it isn't allowing by rules. That is why sometimes "There is/There are" constructions seems really strange for understanding in Russian, because these contructions is not necessary for speaking/writing.
From My understanding stays the following either/either: "Здесь нет камня." = "Here is no stone." or "Там нет камня здесь." = "There is no stone here." Nothing says about the "there" part. Mmm...
Edit: So, turns out it is propper English, it is just how they say, all languages I know have many of those weird nonsense stuff. So maybe "There is no stone here." the "There" is because people get used to it so it sounds good.
"Здесь" is the translation of "here" from the end of the sentence. "There is" is left untranslated in Russian. because Russian doesn't have such structure. Technically "there is/are" is "есть", but it's never used in a negative statement (and is often omitted in positive ones as well.).
I understand the grammar behind this sentence. My question is: does this sentence is also used to express existence in the abstract sense? Like, "there is no salvation here" or "Ain't no mountain high enough" or even "There is only the hope of fools"? And the expression doesn't change regardless of number (as in english "there is" vs. "there are")? All in all, does it functions exactly like these english phrases and the german "Es gibt"?