«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"
why is it singular "apple" and not plural "apples" as suggested when hovering the mouse over "яблока"?
The hint "apples", unfortunately, comes from a much later material. Numbers have their peculiarities whn combined with nouns. You see, "2 apples" will use Genitive singular in Russian—still, the English translation MUST have the plural "apples" in the hint, right?
And if I want to say "The boy doesn't have apples", how would it be?
U mal'chika net yablokya, maybe?
У мальчика не яблок.
Genitive plural is a bit more complicated, but generally feminine nouns in ending -а/-я or neuter 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 :).
Что ты говоришь Ты вообще не умеешь даже подумай Я вообще по русскому говорю я не англичанин вам там я именно белорусский Ну я же белорусы знают русский а вы не знаете и пишите об что
OK. Just remember that in real life it almost never means "does not have the apple" (it does not make much sense to say that sentence if you mean "the apple").
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.
Is "нет яблока" pronounced like нетяблока or like нетъяблокоа? I.e., does the т in нет become soft because of the я in яблока?
У (genitive) нет (genitive)
У мальчик (+а) нет яблоко (-о+а)
У мальчика нет яблока
so in sentences like these do the object and possessor both have to be in genitive