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  5. "У мужчины есть сестра."

"У мужчины есть сестра."

Translation:The man has a sister.

November 4, 2015



How is "a man has a sister" wrong when the answer is "the man has a sister" when Russian doesn't even have the concept of a, an, and the? I put "a man has a sister" and was told it was incorrect but cannot understand why.


It could be because we don't really ever talk about people like that in English.

We may use a/an like that when referring to inanimate objects, as in "a house has a roof" but even then, "houses have roofs" sounds better.

Unless you're Jaq'qen Hagaar from Game of Thrones: "A man is learning Russian"


Lol the very last thing you wrote was exactly what I was thinking, valar morghulis


we don't really ever talk about people like that

in Russian too :)
The sentence is quite unnatural.
The creators of the course try to illustrate the idea of the absence of articles in Russian, using rather limited lexical material and sentences which are sometimes only relevant in a grammar textbook as a scheme, but not in real speech.


A man has no sister. A man is no one.


Valor morghulis!


Why does the word "man" have a ы ending? Thought that was plural. If so...then is this a particular russian grammatical case or am I just bad at this?


мужчины has several meanings: 1) plural for мужчина 2) in this case


How would one differentiate between "The man has sisters" and "The men have sisters" in russian?


"The man has sisters" = у мужчины есть сёстры (sisters is plural). "The men have sisters" = у мужчин есть сёстры (men is plural, and sisters is plural).


У мужчины есть сестра. The man has a sister. Because; "мужчины" is not plural here, it's genitive form of the man... .


I cannot see this explained, so I'll ask.

The man (or men) is in genitive, but i cannot see the rules to make it appear like this!

Unless its a feminine noun? It's the only way I see.


I have not resolved this issue, but from what I can tell, although мужчина is a masculine noun (мой мужчина is correct, not моя мужчина), it appears to be declined according to the rules for feminine nouns because it has a feminine noun ending in nominative case. Bluntly, мужчины is the genitive ending for a singular noun according to the feminine table of declensions. I can't recall the word, but there is another instance of this I have worked on.


Strange as it may seem, Friend Jeffrey855877, it seems that masculine Russian nouns ending in “а” or “я”, though masculine, are declined as though they were feminine. But stranger yet, adjectives and pronouns describing those nouns are declined as masculine. In my not-so-humble opinion, that’s just more circumstantial evidence that the language was concocted by sadists.


Find me a language that was not and I'll be very surprised.


Esperanto? There's pain involved in learning that too, but it greatly reduces the pain of learning other languages.


Папа is another obvious example.


People have linked several sites that show the conjugations of different words, for instance MasterRussian.com (I don't know if it's good, just googled Russian conjugations and it came up).


I'd just like to say this now, before I plow deeper into this BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE!

russian is weird


Does this man happen to be the brother of the woman in the other sentence?


For a moment there I was hearing 'a man is eating his sister'. I guess in Russia, everything is possible.


Seriously, the russian speaking guy sounds like a criminal. "This man HAS A SISTER". What every russian native would think what should follow: let us tie them up and...


Here the question was "the men has sister" .And here is a grammar tical mistake .


Is there a reason why it's сестра and not сестру (accusative case for the "sister")?Because the man is doing the action of possessing the sister?


It's weird for English and Spanish speakers, but grammatically сестра is the subject :P The sentence is something like "By me(genitive) is (a) sister", so a sister is by me, and thus is the subject. Something similar happens with sentences like "I like vodka". Vodka is the subject in those sentences, because the Russian sentence is more or less something like "Vodka is (something I like)". But amazingly that one also happens in Spanish, just like "double negation", "what" and "that" being the same word, and many other similarities.


It's just a question of reordering the words to put them into a more familiar frame of reference: The Russian literally is "By the man exists/is/belongs a sister". If you put that into usual English word-order, it becomes: "A sister is by the man".

In that format, "sister" is the subject thus is in nominative case and "man" is the object of the position у, placing it in the genitive case. (Note: not all objects of prepositions are in genitive case.)


How can we say that "(The) X has the Y"?


У "Х" есть "У". But you have to remember about special endings for "x" and "y"


Why y in the beginning?


Idiom. It's just the way Russian expresses the idea: "the [noun1] has a [noun2]"

The Russian literally means "By the man is/belongs a sister"

y is a preposition and it means "by/from". The reason мужчины is in genitive case is because it is the object of the preposition y


Мужчины isn't plural?


It's also genitive.


Why do we have to put an "у" at the start of the sentence? When do we use it and why?


Russians don't like using their version of "have" and instead prefer to write in the form "By the man there is a sister". У means "by".


Isn't есть = eating?


есть is to eat/eating/is/there is/there are. It's quite versatile.


What determines if есть is used in a phrase saying someone has something?

[deactivated user]

    Why is it мужчины instead of мужчина?


    It’s the genitive form which is used after у.


    l have no problem.


    Initially I thought this was "A man is eating his sister" and paused for a second lol.


    Again i read "мужчины ест сестра"


    Why everything sound PLURAL to me?


    How would one differentiate "The man has a sister" and "the men have a sister" ?


    For "the men have a sister" you would need the form that is genitive and plural - мужчин, so У мужчин есть сестра.


    How often is the genitive singular the same as the nominative plural? if I just used the nominative plural for a genitive singular, would a Russian know what I was trying to do?


    Russian has only a limited number of word endings but more declensions so they end up using some endings in multiple ways. As such, most feminine and neuter words will use the same ending for genitive singular and nominative plural. This isn't true for most masculine words, where the two forms are different. It's not a bad thing that endings get used in multiple situations, ultimately it's better if there are less things to learn.


    I wish Duolingo explained grammar. To my understanding thus far, it appears that the Russian language does not have articles (e.g. the, a, an in English, un, unos, las, los etc in Spanish)

    мужчины = man
    есть = has
    сестра = sister

    мужчины есть сестра = man has sister

    Which, cleaned up to sound like a proper English sentence becomes "the man has a sister"

    У мужчины есть сестра

    So, what is the У doing at the front of the sentence?


    You are correct that Russian has no articles. Now Russian does have a word that means "to have" (иметь) but usually they will do things a little differently. "у" means "by" and есть means "there is". Instead of writing "The man has a sister" they will transliterate "By the man there is a sister" => У мужины есть сестра.

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