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  5. "У меня есть сёстры."

"У меня есть сёстры."

Translation:I have sisters.

November 4, 2015



And I am not afraid to use them.


What is the reason for "естб" in this sentence? Would the sentence work without it?


Not quite, it would be more like stating that your sisters are right now at your place.

"есть" is a form of the "to be"-verb, stating existence. That's how you describe possession in Russian to give new information.

However, есть is dropped when you rather describe properties or quantities (I have a clever sister/I have many sisters). Which makes it a bit different from English "have", which works in both cases,


Makes sense. Thank you!


Also you can omit "есть" if the context already provide enough information. Like when you answer a question. "У тебя есть братья?" ("Do you have brothers?") - "[Нет] У меня сестры" ("I have sisters").


is есть like "have" or "is"?


what is the difference between using и and ы to make a noun plural? such as мужчины vs девочки and кошки, is it based on gender?


There is a rule for female plural nouns: basically you just change "-а" in singular female noun to "-ы", and "-я" — to "-и".

But for male nouns there is no specific rule. There are some basic rules though which says that you cant use "ы" after letters "ж", "ш", "ч", "щ" and sometimes "ц", so in these cases you have to use "и" in others - "ы". upd. yeah and singular male nouns ending with "-к" will end with "-и" too when plural.

And there is another rule for neutral plural nouns: "-о" in singular form becomes "-а" in plural, and "-е" becomes "-я" with an exception of "яблоко - яблоки".

Bonus level: There are some words that do not have singular forms, e.g.: "деньги", "ножницы", "очки"...


It is phonological constraints and spelling conventions. Right now you should know that whenever you make a new form, К is always used with И rather than Ы (кошка→кошки, мальчик→мальчики)

  • nouns like мама, девочка, кошка, тётя, земля produce a plural using -ы/-и
  • nouns like компьютер, мальчик, актёр, велосипед usually produce a plural by adding -ы/-и
  • but some of them have a plural ending in stressed -а/-я (доктор→доктора, поезд→поезда, учитель→учителя)
  • nouns ending in -ь mostly produce -и plurals; only a few masculine nouns are the exception (see above)
  • neuter nouns ending in -о/-е typically end in -а/-я (though, яблоко becomes яблоки)
  • there are exceptions with weird forms (e.g., мать→матери, дочь→дочери, брат→братья, друг→друзья, стул→стулья, сын→сыновья, ухо→уши)
  • 10 neuter nouns in -мя have a separate pattern with -ен (имя→имена)

The choice between ы/и or а/я is predictable and seen through the whole paradigm — basically, the noun either has "palatalised" endings in all forms or non-palatalised endings in all forms, including the base form.

However, not all consonants can combine with ы and я, which causes some confusion at first.


I have seen «сестры» in other sites, and not «сёстры». Could it be that both are correct?


using Ё is optional. Since our course is aimed at beginners, we are very consistent in always spelling words with "ё" precisely, even if a native speaker would not confuse it with anything else


I've read that ё is pronouced /yo/ so I thought сестра and сёстра were two different things since i believed the other was pronounced /syostra/. Am I supposed to read other words with ё the same way I should pronounce е in сестра?


I use this dictionary, and it says the stress in сестра is on the "а," and I have learned elsewhere that stress always goes on "ё" if a word has that letter.

So does the stress really go in a different place depending on which version of the word you use?


Yes, sure. This is what makes Russian hard for a beginner who wishes to speak without any trouble whatsoever. There is a limited number of frequent patterns, however.

Here is the whole paradigm, ordered as Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Prepositional, Dative, Instrumental:

  • singular (NAGPDI): сестра́, сестру́, сестры́, сестре́, сестре́, сестро́й
  • plural (NAGPDI): сёстры, сестёр, сестёр, сёстрах, сёстрам, сёстрами


Whoa, crazy. Now I have one more question. From what you said earlier, "using Ё is optional." Is that only in the plural? Is the singular supposed to be strictly "е?" Or is the singular supposed to be сёстра?


"Using Ё is optional" is strictly about spelling. It is like no one forces you to write naïve and café. It does not affect pronunciation.

I use Ё consistently, though.


Well, сестры can mean у меня нет сестры - I have no sister. Сёстры - sisters.


I can't get use to the pronounciations here. the ы at the and confuses me, sounds like "e" and despite that i knot it can't be сёстрe in this sentence, i still write that :(


Quite a popular advice on the pronunciation of Ы is to try pronouncing "ee" from "meet" while having a pencil clenched between your teeth.


It did not sound like сёстры to me.


What is the у used for here?


It is a preposition (literally, "at, near"). Russian commonly uses it to express possession through existence ("At me, there are sisters").

This preposition combines with the Genitive form:

  • мама → у мамы, сестра → у сестры
  • актёр → у актёра, брат → у брата, окно → у окна
  • лошадь → у лошади
  • я → у меня, ты → у тебя, вы → у вас, мы → у нас
  • он → у него[nʲɪˈvo], она → у неё, они → у них (and кто → у кого)
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