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"What do you have for breakfast?"

Translation:Что у тебя на завтрак?

November 4, 2015



Surely Что ты ешь на завтрак is correct, as "have" means "eat" in this sentence, not "possess"?


I also wonder this. Does ешь have a particular meaning that you have to be eating right at this moment? Cos in English, "have breakfast" means "eat breakfast" (and is a much more common way to say that)


Why isn't "есть" necessary in "Что у тебя на завтрак?"


у тебя already means "you have", "у" there is a possessive preposition, it shows that a person possesses something. :) There есть isn't necessary.


it is not necessary, but you can use it in this case, it's OK


Russian often leaves out the word "is" in the present tense, which can be confusing for English speakers because "есть" can mean "is" or "have" in different contexts. In this context, Russians would never say that you have something. They would say that something is for you and "есть" is optional, even unnecessary.


From what I've learned, есть is used when asking about the existence or presence of a thing or person. Here the question is about the process of having breakfast.

This is reinforced by the fact that завтрак is in accusative case rather than prepositional case: words which follow the preposition на which involve static location are cast in prepositional case, but it is cast in accusative case where the word after на means or concerns "onto or on when movement is involved OR "for + [circumstance/activity] (such as "for breakfast")". Here the existence or presence of something isn't in question, so есть isn't required.


Why is ''на'' used in this case? Why not ''для'' ?


Because in Russian there is strict distinction between FOR+Recipient (для + Genitive case) and FOR+Circumstance (на + Accusative case). In your example, a breakfast is not a recipient of your gift or service, it is just a temporal circumstance.


According some charts of prepositions I've located, a noun which is the object of the preposition на is Accusative when на "means 'on to, on' when movement is involved" or Prepositional when it "means 'on, in, at' to define location".

на завтрак doesn't seem to fit either of these qualifications. There have been several exercises using на in Prepositional case when it was used to describe something going on on a bed, making the location of the activity the most significant part of determining case, so I'm not certain that "breakfast" could be interpreted as some kind of process - "breaking the fast" (what it literally means) by eating, or "breakfasting", engaging in eating breakfast, similar to the verbs "to dine" or even "to lunch".

This use of на seems extremely particular and limited in possible use - or is it more common than I am thinking?

In English, this use of "for" seems to involve a concept which includes activity. "For lunch" "for the holidays". Google Translate returned <<Мы идем в дом моих родителей на Рождество> as a translation of "We go to my parents'house for Christmas"

In typing in the English text, I notice that Google was using для until I finished typing in "Christmas", at which point, Google changed для to на.


You are right, because using на + Accusative is not limited to the above; in this case, it is a circumstancial phraseologism. Another example: какие у тебя планы на эту неделю? - what plans do you have for this week?


Спасибо!!! Отлично!!! I think I understand this usage pretty well now. I only wish I could be as precise as you have been.


Could this also be correct? что тебя ест на завтрак?


What you said actually means "what eats you for breakfast".


Yikes!! hahahahaha Thanks DmitryLytov - I hope never to ask this question!


Wouldn't «что ты ешь на завтрак?» also be a correct translation, given that in English "have" can also mean "eat" in this context?


We've seen that завтракать is a word. Can't we say something like что ты завтракает?


it did not accept что ты завтракаешь, but no idea why, so I reported it


Что у вас есть завтракать my... Please tell me why this is wrong?


It didn't accept "что Ты ешь на завтрак."


I thought that have breakfast was завтракать? So, why could you not say что у вас завтракать?


завтракать is the infinitive form of "to have breakfast." Your sentence would be "What's (by) you to have breakfast?" завтрак is breakfast. на завтрак is "for breakfast." So the sentence is "What's (by) you for breakfast?"

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