"У мальчика нет яблока."
Translation:The boy does not have an apple.
41 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
«нет» is a contraction of «не е ту» where «е» is an old form of «есть» and «ту» is an old word roughly meaning "here".
People usually just explain it as a contraction of «не есть», so it's probably easier to think of it that way.
Just know that if you have «нет» you get the «есть» for free!
есть is typically used to stress on your having the object or if it's not already known that you have the object. for example if i said "i have a foot" I'd say "у меня фут" and not у меня есть фут because that would roughly translate to "i do have a foot". so in this sentence it can be understood that the boy having or not having the apple has been previously discussed. for example person 1: "I'm sure the boy has the apple im looking for" person 2 "the boy doesn't have the apple"
У мальчика нет яблок.
Genitive plural is a bit more complicated, but generally feminine nouns ending in -а/-я or neuter nouns ending in -о and -це will just have their last vowel sound removed. A fleeting vowel may appear (О or Е, generally depending on palatalization) to simplify a consonant cluster at the end of the word.
For feminine nouns ending in -ия, or neuters in -ие you'll have ИЙ, as expected (remember than phonetically it is /ийа/→ий, /ийэ/→ий). If it is a feminine noun in -ья, you get -ей, same for neuter nouns in -е and masculine nouns ending in ь or a hush consonants.
- окно → У меня нет окон.
- яйцо → У меня нет яиц.
- флейта → У меня нет флейт.
- пицца → У меня нет пицц.
- песня → нет песен
- полотенце → нет полотенец
- здание → нет зданий
- решение → нет решений
- семья → нет семей
- море → нет морей
- учитель → нет учителей
- нож → нет ножей
This is why we have the Genitive plural skill so far down :).
У (genitive) нет (genitive)
У мальчик (+а) нет яблоко (-о+а)
У мальчика нет яблока
Person 1: "I'm looking for the apple that was on the table. I think the boy has it." Person 2: "The boy doesn't have the apple." This type of exchange happens all the time in English. Are you saying that in Russian they would almost always say "это яблоко" (or use чтобы maybe??) to convey the particularity of the apple in that situation?
It gets broken at "I think the boy has it". The most obvious equivalent in Russian would be «Думаю, оно у мальчика», which, if proved false, calls for a response like «Нет, у мальчика нет» (...его нет) if you checked or «Нет, (точно) не у мальчика» if you already knew the boy did not have it.
Both. Мальчик is Genitive because у only combines with nouns in the Genitive.
Яблоко is in the Genitive because of нет. Same in the future and in the past:
- У мальчика не было яблока. = The boy did not have an apple.
- У мальчика не было компьютера. = The boy did not have a computer.
- У мальчика не будет яблока. = The boy will not have an apple.
- У мальчика не будет бананов. = The boy wil not have bananas.
My guess is it's because "no an apple" is wrong in English. "No" replaces "a/an/the" in such an example. You would either say "The boy does not have an apple" or "The boy has no apples".
Both sentences technically have a slightly diffferent meaning to each other, but the second example can be used in place of the first and the person you are talking to would still know. Mostly, it is based on the situation which would be used.
More than what you asked, but I hope it helps!
Oh, «у» is a preposition. It requires the Genitive (я→меня, мальчик→мальчика, мальчики→мальчиков, кошка→кошки, мамы→мамы, компьютер→компьютера)—similary, in English you would not say "with I" or "at I" but only "with me" or "at me".
In English you can say "There is a cat at the park" and "The girl has a cat". Russian prefers the former structure for both. We use у to "convert" a person into a sort of place where things can be (У меня есть стол) and where stuff can happen ("У меня кончилась вода").