1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "У мальчика нет молока."

"У мальчика нет молока."

Translation:The boy does not have milk.

November 4, 2015



Why does both "мальчик" and "молоко" change here? Is this sentence not

"The milk is not of the boy"

so shouldn't only "мальчик" change?

November 10, 2015


"у" needs the genitive case of мальчик (мальчика) and the absence of milk will require the genitive case of молоко (молока)

November 11, 2015


In the negative, you must have moloko genitive. This is quite common throughout slavic languages.

December 8, 2015


There are tips and notes for each lesson, only visible in the web app. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Genitive-Case---1

Tips and notes

In Russian “I have” is expressed by «У меня (есть)» structure. The owner is in the Genitive case.


"The of-case". It is one of the most universal cases. How do you make the forms? Here is the regular pattern:


A zero ending means that the word ends in a consonant or a soft sign (which is just a way to show the final consonant is "soft"). In the Nominative singular, a Russian word can only have the following endings: а, я, о, е, ё ornothing ("zero ending").


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.


"of" (possession): яблоко мамы = mom's apple"of" (amount): чашка чая, много чая = a cup of tea, a lot of tea

A huge number of prepositions requires this case. Yes, «у меня есть», «У неё есть» only use «меня» and «неё» because «у» wants Genitive.

For он, она and оно Genitive doubles as a non-changing possessive "his", "her", "their": его, её, их.

initial «н» is used for him/her/them with the majority of prepositions (doesn't affect possessives)


A little side note: some nouns of foreign origin are indeclinable. It means that all their forms are the same. Foreign nouns that end in о/е become like that (кофе, метро, радио, резюме), as well as all nouns that do not fit into Russian declension patterns (see above).

This includes female names that end in anything other than А or Я. A few -ь-ending names are an exception (Любовь and Biblical names like Юдифь).

So, all of the following names are automatically indeclinable: Маргарет, Мэри, Элли, Дженни, Рэйчел, Натали, Энн, Ким, Тесс, Жасмин.


Russian also uses the Genitive to state that someone is "away", "not there": Мамы сейчас нет. In English such use would correspond to "There is no mom at the moment", or even "There is no me now". We are not hard on that particular construction in the course, but it is important to know it all the same.

Added bonus: when a verb directly acts on a noun, the noun is called a direct object and is in Accusative. In Russian, only -а/-я feminine nouns have a unique form for it. Others just reuse Genitive or don't change the word at all (Nominative)


Russian uses.... let's call it "consistent" negation. It means that in negative sentences you are required to use "nothing" instead of "anything", "nowhere" instead of "somewhere" and so on. Let's meet the first of these pronouns:

У меня ничего нет. = I don't have anything.Она ничего не ест. = She doesn't eat anything.

You'll also notice that, unlike standard English, Russian has no rule against using double negatives.

May 4, 2016


Found this on another site. It made my understanding of using genitive for non-possessive words:

You should use the genitive case for words, where in English you could place “some” or “any” before them. The genitive is commonly used after negation.

January 18, 2016


I can't help but to be reminded of Esperanto when reading "мальчик" as /mal-chic/ where /mal-/ means the opposite of something and /chic/ is informally a /girl/ in English. So it would mean basically the same: the opposite of a girl, which is a boy. If that isn't a good mnemonic picture... :)

November 24, 2015


Vere ridinde!! Jam ni estas minimume du Esperantistoj kiu lernas la rusan! PD. Ne zorgu pro mia 8-a nivelo je la Esperanta kurso, ekde tiam mi lernis pli multe ol tiom.

January 4, 2016


Why there's no есть? есть - have, so if I want so doesn't have why I can't say не есть?

November 14, 2015


You can't negate "Есть" with "Не", instead you have to replace it with "Нет".

"Есть" means "Is" or "There is", "Нет" means "There is no".

November 14, 2015


Does 'нет' = 'не есть'?

December 18, 2015


It's basically a negative version of "Есть", yes.

December 18, 2015


In fact, there used to be несть, which was exactly the "не есть" thing. Like in Им несть числа - They are innumerable (too many to count) or There is no number for them.

Out of use for some half a dozen centuries, so never mind. Forget it.

December 10, 2017


"Не есть" means only "not to eat". =)

November 20, 2015


have no time--нет времени, have no friends (don't have friends) --нет друзей, I don't have a sister --у меня нет сестры, she is not here -- ее здесь нет or она не здесь, I'm not a guy --я не парень, my mother is a beautiful woman---моя мать красивая женщина

we don't use "есть" in these exercises in present as you use "to be" ,only in past and future "была"--"будет" Mom was not here -- Мама не была здесь or Мамы здесь не было or Здесь не было мамы...

I have milk--у меня ЕСТЬ молокO

I have no milk (I don't have milk)--У меня НЕТ (чего? Genitive) молокА (of milk) in negative exercises we change "не имею" "не есть" on "НЕТ" ---у меня НЕТ ручкИ (чего?), сестрЫ (кого?)--we change on Genitive (кого нет? чего нет?--окончание A И Ы--нет яблокА, нет братА, нет собакИ, нет ножА, нет лампЫ

I have no... I don't have ---- У меня нет....

You don't have....---У тебя нет...

We don't have....---У нас нет....

She (he) doesn't have...---- У него (неё) нет...

It doesn't have...--- У него нет... but you can say as Оно НЕ ИМЕЕТ.... for excample This coffee doesn't have taste---этот кофе не имеет вкуса or У этого кофе нет вкуса. The window doesn't have glass-- У окнА нет стеклА или Окно не имеет стекла

Sorry for my English

March 15, 2016


So, in the negative phrase with verb HAVE, in russian I must take off "есть" and put "нет" and after put all the nouns and names, in the genitive form? Exemple.. У мальчика нет молока. : ??????????????

November 20, 2015



December 3, 2015


Would like to specify that there is no verb "to have" in this sentence, only the analogous meaning in Russian.

January 12, 2017


Can't I say: "A boy doesn't have milk"?

Does it have to be "THE boy"?

November 17, 2015


It's because in English you have to use 'the' when talking about specific person. If you know that some boy doesn't have milk, you are talking about specific boy and that specific boy only. It doesn't really make sense to talk about a random, unknown boy somewhere out there, who doesn't have milk.

August 13, 2019


Well....I think the U in the "Russian" sentence refers to a specific boy, so not any boy (a), but The boy.

November 21, 2015


My feeling is also that it should be accepted, even though it is probably a less common sentence.

December 3, 2015


I think so, it should be same as in Czech, it could be a specific boy, but also any boy

February 4, 2016


How about the boy doesnt have THE milk (as in he forgot it at the store or something when he was asked specifically to fetch milk)?

March 11, 2016


Would someone please tell me what is grammatically wrong with "the boy hasn't any milk"?

January 27, 2016


Techically nothing, but it is a very outdated construction.

January 30, 2016


You're adding "any" by yourself

February 10, 2016


Дать мальчику молоко

August 19, 2018


The variant with the indefinite article have to be accepted also, because this sentence doesn't have any designation of the use only the definite article. Вариант с неопределенным артиклем также должен быть принят, потому что в предложении нет указания на использование только определенного артикля.

February 15, 2016


Do you mean "a boy [...]"? I'd argue that not, because you are explicitly defining him to be the boy who doesn't have milk. If it was a general statement, it would more likely be "boys don't have any milk" or "no boy has any milk" or something along those lines.

February 15, 2016


Can "kid" be accepted as translation of мальчик?

June 8, 2016


мальчик - boy, kid - ребенок (male or female).

August 15, 2016


"The boy has no milk" should also be good!

October 6, 2016


《у мальчика нет ничега》:р

May 16, 2017


он ну́жно молока

February 12, 2018


Ему нужно молоко

February 12, 2018


The boy has not milk. What it is wrong?

April 7, 2019


@MlhGnc1 - Use "not" to negate a verb ("he has not gone to the store", "he does not want that").

Use "no" to negate a noun. In this case, "no" is synonymous with "zero" ("he has no tomatoes" would be the same as "he has zero tomatoes").

April 7, 2019


That is not English

October 9, 2019


Why есть is not being used here ? Please help

October 31, 2016


You either use есть to show possession of something, or нет to show lack of possession or absence of something. You can't put them together... it would be like trying to say "he does doesn't have".

January 12, 2017


Why isn't accepted "the boy hasn't milk"?

March 28, 2017


Ooh he need some milk

October 9, 2019


Can this also be used to say he doesn't eat/drink it?

April 16, 2016


No, it can't. That would be «Мальчик не пьёт молоко».

May 17, 2016



July 26, 2019


save him

May 11, 2017


Poor baby.

July 5, 2017


He needs some milk

October 15, 2018
Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.