"There is no pencil here."
Translation:Здесь нет карандаша.
Of course you can. Look up adding languages on your operating system on Google, it is pretty simple on all the OSs. You do, however, need to memorize the positions of letters or you can glue papers on your keys. I memorized the positions, now I can type without looking and with a very high speed. I suggest you learn touch typing while you're at it.
The genitive is карандаша, it is used here (nominative карандаш - masculine noun). Карандашы is not a possible spelling in Russian because of a spelling rule commonly called "the 7 letter rule:" the consonants к, г, х, ж, ш, ч and щ cannot be followed by the vowel ы, you must use и instead. It is the backbone of learning correct Russian spelling along with two other rules conveniently called the "8 letter rule" and the "5 letter rule," I definitely suggest you read up on them. :-)
In any case, your sentence «Карандаши не здесь.» would mean "The pencils [note the plural] are not here."
Yes, I know of these rules, and that is good advice, but it's just a lot to take in, and I sometimes forget. I still find it very confusing that one case of noun in a particular gender or number may have the same ending as a different case of another noun in other genders or numbers. Nothing I can do but keep banging away at it!
Well, English speakers find it confusing that "ducks" is plural if it is a noun but singular if it is a verb, and also there is duck's and ducks', which are a completely different thing.
I guess, it happens in any language that attaches small elements to a word: there are only so many vowels and consonants, so if you have a lot of forms, some of them will have to use the same sounds.
You've already answered the question a little bit above. You cannot explicitly point at something that is explicitly not there. Some of the questions/answers had gotten past me - I think I shouldn't do duolingo when I've got a headcold, maybe, heh - so I didn't realise it had already been asked. My apologies!
Although, now I am curious as to how magicians in Russian do their reveal. Is there a 'tadaa, it's gone' sort of thing that's common to say?
"There is" is not supposed to be translated. In English "there is" is a phrase that is required to denote existence of something, but it doesn't give you any meaningful information. It's purely grammatical feature, because that how English works. Russian doesn't have such structure.
You'll want to revisit the information available at this link: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Genitive-Case---1, which says;
Genitive of Negation;
If you use «нет» to say that there is "no" something or you do not have it, the object is always in Genitive:
- У меня́ есть я́блоко → У меня́ нет я́блока
- Здесь есть рюкза́к → Здесь нет рюкзака́.