1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "У мамы и папы есть лошади."

"У мамы и папы есть лошади."

Translation:Mom and dad have horses.

November 6, 2015



I'm sorry but the genetive case is still hard for me after months of trying. I can't tell what is plural vs. what is singular and have no clue what letter to end things with. Is there a set rule and cheatsheet I can use to not only do this course, but also form my own sentences with outside words?


I will just cover the most well behaved archetypes and I'll use English letters.

Endings for regular masculine words where the nominative singular ends in a consonant:
Genitive singular -a
Nominative plural -i
Genitive plural -ov

Endings for regular neuter words where the nominative singular ends in a vowel other than -a:
Genitive singular -a (the same as masculine)
Nominative plural -a
Genitive plural -drops the last vowel and sometimes adds an "e" before the last consonant.

Endings for regular feminine words where the nominative singular ends in -a:
Genitive singular -i
Nominative plural -i (the same as masculine)
Genitive plural -drops the last vowel and sometimes adds an "e" before the last consonant (the same as neuter).

So you can see that it's mostly well-behaved and while there is some overlap between declensions there is some logic behind it.

This exercise actually has a good example of an exception. Папа is a masculine word and adjectives treat it as such...but it ends with an -a and conjugates like a feminine word.


Although English no longer has case endings, the concept of cases still exist. It might help you to look at grammar explanations that concern all languages (eg the Wikipedia page for declensions) or English (eg https://pediaa.com/difference-between-nominative-and-accusative/). That way, you can get your head around the general concepts before struggling with a foreign language.

Note that English grammar sites often use the following alternative terms for cases: nominative case = "subjective case", accusative = "objective", genitive = "possessive". To understand the difference between accusative and dative, you can search for "direct and indirect object", as well as "transitive and intransitive verbs".


How can you tell the difference between horse vs horses in the genitive?


Genitive singular - лошади
Genitive plural - лошадей


It told me "mom and dad have a horse" is incorrect. Does the genitive case only apply to the subject (mom and dad) and not to the object (horses) when denoting possession?


Yes. But, if you want to say subject x does NOT possess object y, then y is also in the Genitive.

[deactivated user]

    But "лошади" isn't declined in this sentence, is it? It's just plain plural, isn't it? The declination is in the nouns "мамы " and "папы".


    Any time a noun takes any form it's declined. But it's true that "horses" is not genitive in the Russian sentence.

    [deactivated user]

      Oh! I understand. I thougth we called declinations when it requires one of the 6 cases. I'm already preparing myself mentally to "dive" deeper into Russian Grammar. Tks. Regards!


      Yes but every time you see a noun it will be using one of the six cases. E.g. the plural лошади is the nominative case.


      I started this level GENETIVE. What is genitive? Thanks in advance


      There are tips and notes for every lesson in the course, but you can only see them in the web app. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Genitive-Case---1

      Tips and notes

      In Russian “I have” is expressed by «У меня (есть)» structure. The owner is in the Genitive case.


      "The of-case". It is one of the most universal cases. How do you make the forms? Here is the regular pattern:

      ENDINGGenitive sg.soft stem-a/-ямамамамыземляземлиzero-ending masc, -о/-е neutсок / молокосока / молокаконьконя-ь femмышьмыши

      A zero ending means that the word ends in a consonant or a soft sign (which is just a way to show the final consonant is "soft"). In the Nominative singular, a Russian word can only have the following endings: а, я, о, е, ё ornothing ("zero ending").


      If you use «нет» to say that there is "no" something or you do not have it, the object is always in Genitive:

      У меня́ есть я́блоко → У меня́ нет я́блока

      Здесь есть рюкза́к → Здесь нет рюкзака́.


      "of" (possession): яблоко мамы = mom's apple"of" (amount): чашка чая, много чая = a cup of tea, a lot of tea

      A huge number of prepositions requires this case. Yes, «у меня есть», «У неё есть» only use «меня» and «неё» because «у» wants Genitive.

      For он, она and оно Genitive doubles as a non-changing possessive "his", "her", "their": его, её, их.

      initial «н» is used for him/her/them with the majority of prepositions (doesn't affect possessives)


      A little side note: some nouns of foreign origin are indeclinable. It means that all their forms are the same. Foreign nouns that end in о/е become like that (кофе, метро, радио, резюме), as well as all nouns that do not fit into Russian declension patterns (see above).

      This includes female names that end in anything other than А or Я. A few -ь-ending names are an exception (Любовь and Biblical names like Юдифь).

      So, all of the following names are automatically indeclinable: Маргарет, Мэри, Элли, Дженни, Рэйчел, Натали, Энн, Ким, Тесс, Жасмин.

      I AM AWAY

      Russian also uses the Genitive to state that someone is "away", "not there": Мамы сейчас нет. In English such use would correspond to "There is no mom at the moment", or even "There is no me now". We are not hard on that particular construction in the course, but it is important to know it all the same.

      Added bonus: when a verb directly acts on a noun, the noun is called a direct object and is in Accusative. In Russian, only -а/-я feminine nouns have a unique form for it. Others just reuse Genitive or don't change the word at all (Nominative)


      Russian uses.... let's call it "consistent" negation. It means that in negative sentences you are required to use "nothing" instead of "anything", "nowhere" instead of "somewhere" and so on. Let's meet the first of these pronouns:

      У меня ничего нет. = I don't have anything.Она ничего не ест. = She doesn't eat anything.

      You'll also notice that, unlike standard English, Russian has no rule against using double negatives.


      I cannot understand a thing from this explanation.


      Genitive means words that have "of" in front of them or 's after them. Russian also has a number or words where the next word will always be genitive: у, из, нет, возле, etc.


      when is есть optional?


      After all the nonsensical examples I feared mom and dad were going to eat the poor horses...


      Мама и папа едят лошадей.


      Собаки и кошки тоже?


      Why is the correct answer marked as "My mother and father have horses." and not "The mother and father have horses."?


      That should be accepted.


      Why does this sentence use "my"?


      Maybe it was updated since you posted.. as it is now, do you still have a question?


      I don't understand why it is мамы not мама? Please someone should clarify


      Because words after "у" take the genitive.


      As BenYoung84 says, it takes genitive. It should also be clarified that папа, even if it's considered a masculine (I think?), it should be treated as a feminine noun since it's nominative form ends with -а. Therefore it's also папы and not папа in this sentence.


      Am I hearing right that the last letter of horses in russian sounds like ye rather than ee ?


      According to IPA it's a short yi with a short i.


      i need help understanding grammar endings and cases and just all grammar in general. im american so i dont even know what a adverb is


      How would you say "Mom and Dad have a horse"? Is "У мамы и папы есть лошадей" correct?


      "My" in answer seems incorrect.


      I think that's because there isn't a "my" in it. :D The answer is "Mom and dad have horses", not "my mom and dad have horses. Your translation has the same meaning, but an added word.


      Why can't it be "both mom and dad have horses"?


      Because Russian also has a word for "both" and because it has a different meaning. Your version has a stronger implication that they separately own horses.


      It says at the top of this screen the answer 'mom and dad' but mine made me correct it to 'My mom and dad' How did that happen?!?


      I don't know... I think it's a mistake

      Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.