"У них ничего нет."

Translation:They have nothing.

November 5, 2015

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/zblumens
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Why do both "nothing" and "not" appear in the Russian sentence? Does ничего also mean "anything"? "They don't have anything"?

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Relora

Unlike in English, Russian REQUIRES double negatives. So, instead of saying "I do not have anything" or "I am not going anywhere", in Russian you would HAVE to say "I do not have nothing" or "I am not going nowhere".

February 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/lord_sphinx
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This is like French. "Ne" and "Pas", both are used in there.

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MardukSky
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Strictly, it would be like "ne ... rien".

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius
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Strictly speaking, this is not a double negative; I believe this is known as negative concord. Basically, if the sentence is in negative, every word like anything, anywhere, etc. should be negated too.

An example of a true double negative is «не могу не заметить» (i.e. “I cannot not remark”), where the double negative collapses to a positive, just like in logic.

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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I like your profile picture, it makes me think that you are super confused by this exact logic of negative concord! :D

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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The sentence translated: У него ничего нет = He doesn't have anything/He has nothing.

In other words, consider ничего нет as the doesn't have anything form.

Your issue comes from the fact that you would like to write He has nothing with a single word. Unfortunately, Russians just stick to ничего нет for that.

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MardukSky
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I saw in other exercise of this lesson the construction нет ничего (у него нет ничего).

Are нет ничего and ничего нет interchangeable, or should I report one of them the next time I see it?

December 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DanVicBez
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I would say they mean the same thing and are both acceptable.

April 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dore.m
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I saw it too. Need a clarification here please...

April 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty
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Is Они - ничего нет = They are nothing?

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius
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No, that's ungrammatical. «Они — ничто» works.

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gnboorse

if this is "have" then why isn't there a "есть" anywhere?

May 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/shelscribe

Shouldn't "they haven't anything" also be accepted?

November 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bulletbill56

No, as that doesn't make sense in English.

February 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MattGriers

Great phrase for doing a robbery in russian >_<

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/syoungoa
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I answered "they have nothing at all" as the "as all" provides the emphasis that "ничего нет" suggests. Why was this marked as incorrect? I would think it conveys the sense?

January 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius
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There is nothing to suggest "at all" in the Russian sentence. To mean that, you might say «У них совсем ничего нет».

January 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/antoniojack
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Does this literary translate to "They don't have nothing"? Wouldn't that mean they have something, so can we say "Y nih [anything] net"?

February 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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As mentioned in comments above, Russian requires the elements of a negative statement to all be in agreement with each other.

In other words, Russian actually requires double negatives in a negative statement.

August 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Armom

Why is it них and not их????

March 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ArthurKock1

What would the sentence "У них нет вещи" translate to? (I don't know the genitive case of вещь)

December 16, 2018
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