"There is no stone here."
Translation:Здесь нет камня.
Assuming you meant the difference between камень and камня, the latter is in the genitive case.
In my humble opinion they should not have included this sentence in this lesson since they have not taught this case's rules and patterns yet for generic nouns up to this point.
I found this very useful guide the other day (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/13955228)
TLDR: in Russian, the elements you already know come first in the sentence, and the elements that come last tell you something you did not know before. So if you say "Здесь нет камня", it means you already know about the place (here), and you add the information that there is no stone at this place. On the contrary, if you say "нет камня здесь", you already know about the stone, and you add the information that it's not here, that is to say, the stone is not here.
Ah. So if you're looking for a stone but you don't find it, you would say камня нет здесь, the stone isn't here. In contrast, if you are, for instance, looking for an area of ground to set up a tent and are trying to avoid stones, you would say здесь нет камня, here there is no stone (there is no stone here).
Am I on the right track?
Actually, even though it sounds very logical, it is NOT correct. For instance, he said "There is no rock here" for his tent example. This should actually be flipped around with the looking for a rock example. If you were to say, "нет камня здесь", it would be logically correct to go with the first example, so "There is no rock here" is the same as "нет камня здесь".
I get what you are saying, however it seems you are looking at the Russian and then explaining the logic of the Russian sentence. If we look at the English first, however. It seems to me that "There is" is a neutral word order. And we don't necessarily know if "There " means a place , or "there' means existence.
From the Russian books I have studied, "нет" is actually a contraction of "не есть" so it means "not there is". I saw it explained incorrectly in this thread.
Like in all cases there are rules and exceptions. Many words cannot be found in any book or site among the examples section, and so, one can only learn them through experience. I use a few sites which help a lot with the cases and grammar in general.
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”
Forming Plurals. Masculine Nouns: If ends in "ж,ч,ш,щ,ь" then add "ей" If ends in "й, ц" (stressed) add "ев" All other masuline nouns end in "ов" Feminine Nouns: If ends in "а" then drop "а" (no ending) If ends in [consonant] "я" then "ь" If ends in [vowel] "я" then "й" If ends in "ь" then add "ей" Note: If a feminine word ends in a double consonant it is quite common for a vowel (о, е) to be inserted for easy pronunciation. (марка - марок, англичанка - англичанок, девушка - девушек)
Neuter Nouns: If ends in "о" then drop "о" (no ending) If ends in "е" becomes "ей" If ends in "ие" becomes "ий"
Personal Pronouns: Меня - Me Тебя - You (informal) Его ("yevo") - Him Её - Her Нас - Us Вас - You (formal, or plural) Их - Them
• ка́мень (kámenʹ) [ˈkamʲɪnʲ] m inan (genitive ка́мня, nominative plural ка́мни or каме́нья **, genitive plural камне́й or ка́мней* or каме́ньев**) (* Poetic.) (** Antiquated.) "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).
Get ready to find "ка́мню", "ка́мнем", and "ка́мне" to be "stone", too. ^_^
вот is a particle that roughly means "here is", like if you were pointing to something, as opposed to здесь or тут which are adverbs that more simply correspond to "here". I don't know if вот has any use in negative constructions, but this would literally mean something like "Here is not a stone"
You don't use есть for something that doesn't exist. Here, quite obviously since the speaker does not have a stone, there's no need for есть.
Another case where you don't use есть is when you're talking about something whose existence is a pretty natural occurrence depending on the context. For e.g. - you can say «У меня есть карандаш», but you cannot say «У меня есть глаза» (I have eyes) because being a human, you ought to have a pair of eyes and that it's nothing unique to you.
This should help you understand better: http://masterrussian.net/f15/when-use-%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8C-19760/
I think камень is rock (a big, rough piece of hard matter), rather than stone (a small, rough or smooth piece of hard matter or the matter itself). There are many places where there are no rocks. Few places have no stone, if only because stone is a construction material, while rock is not.
The main form of the word is камень and the endings it takes mostly follow the regular pattern. The only confusing thing is that when endings are added to the word, the е in камень gets removed, nouns that do this are called reducible nouns.
So then it follows the usual rules. камень is the main (nominative) form and the object (accusative) form.
камня is the genitive form
камне is the prepositional form
камню is the dative form
камни is the main plural form
and there are others.