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  5. "У мальчика есть яблоки и хле…

"У мальчика есть яблоки и хлеб."

Translation:The boy has apples and bread.

November 6, 2015



Funny how boy in Russian is malchika In romance languages: Mal=not Chika/chica=girl So a boy is a not-girl


And the Russian word for "sock" is носок ("no sock") :D


mal means bad, at least in Spanish. malcriado = wrongraised = spoiled. bad girl would be chica mala


In Hindi mal means "goods"


Same for Turkish :D


Doesn't «есть» mean both, "have" and "eat"?


As I could learn so far, «есть» (and its inflections like «ест» and «едят») usually means "eat".

The word «есть» (with no inflections) can be used to mean "exist"/"there is" and, in combination with a «У», "have" (genitive case). (Explanations in lesson Basics 2).


subject in singular:

  • The boy eats apples = Мальчик ест яблоки.
  • The boy has apples = У мальчика есть яблоки.

subject in plural:

  • The boys eat apples = Мальчики едят яблоки.
  • The boys have apples = У мальчиков есть яблоки.

Updated with suggested correction from stas_kysel's comment bellow: мальчиков instead of мальчики in plural genitive.


This is a great explanation. I was very puzzled why I got marked wrong on this question also. It's going to be a hard distinction to learn. I'm not exactly sure how У works as a word.


I usually see the «У» as something that can turn on the genitive case, pretty much the same as the ' (apostrophe) in English.

My native language doesn't even have genitive case, so I don't see a big difference between EN and RU on this matter.


What is your native language?


Portuguese (BR).

It is odd that although Latin have several cases, most Neo-Latin/Romance languages don't.


Same thing happened to English. Old English had 5 cases, 3 genders and even 3 "numbers" (singular, plural and dual).


Please correct: У Мальчики есть яблоки = У Мальчиков есть яблоки. And yes, very good explanation.


Correction done. Thank you very much.


Я не ест собака, у меня есть собака


Why is it The Boy and not A Boy, I thought Russian doesn't have articles?


Both of them are true. Report it.


There are tips and notes for each lesson, only visible 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:


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.


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.


Is the genitive sentence structure "у ____ есть", the only way to differentiate between "having" and "eating" in this context ?


The verb is conjugated as well.


How about for speaking purposes?


У мальчика есть хлеб — мальчик ест хлеб.

As you can see, they are quite different.


спасибо товарищ ! :)


Can it not mean "a bread"? Or is that bad English?


Bread is a bit of a tricky one. There are a number of ways to use it, but usually the only article you will find with it will be "the".

You will also see other words added to specify amount.

Examples: "Please get the bread from the pantry." (Would generally refer to a loaf, or block, of bread)

"Can I have a slice of bread?" (you would never hear 'a bread' here in proper English)

"Don't forget to buy { bread / a loaf of bread } from the store!" (Another unit of measurement, optional in this case)


I thought in the genitive case you use the plural form, correct? So why is this not "The boy has an apple and bread"?


I'm not sure I understand the question, but «яблоки» is plural nominative.


I think in this case "the boy" is supposed to be in the genitive case since he is the owner, not the apples or the bread. This is how I understand it at least.


"By the boy, there are apples and bread"


why is the plural form of яблоко яблокии? shouldnt it be яблока?


That's one of the few exception of Russian language as seen in previous lesson ;) !


While on the topic, is there no plural form of bread in Russian, either? In English you can't say "breads" so I'm wondering if it's the same situation here.


Why is Apple conjugated but not bread?


What is with the addition of the a on the end of мальчик. Previously we learned that this means boy, so with an a, I would have figured it means boys, plural. And behold, duolingo gives boys as a possible meaning for the word. So, how come 'the boys have apples and bread' is wrong?


мальчика is the genitive case of мальчик. It's still singular.

The genitive case is used, among other things:

  • to show possession
  • when counting something in quantities of 2, 3, or 4 (genitive singular) or more (genitive plural)
  • after some prepositions such as у

3 мальчика would be "3 boys", which may be why "boys" is shown as a possible hint for this form of the word, but it's still singular.

And here, there is no number 2, 3, or 4 to give it a plural meaning; instead, there is the preposition у which means roughly "at" and is used here to indicate possession -- "at the boy is" (у мальчика есть) is used for "the boy has".

For "the boys have", you would need say "at the boys is", using the genitive plural after у.


Is хлеб either singular and plural?


I'm fairly sure it's a mass noun - whether you have a small amount of bread or a whole houseful, it's still just "bread", grammatically singular.


Why do we say: у папы, у женщины, but we say у мальчики? (And all of them were in singular in the previous exercises)


Sorry, i meant: у девочки, (not у мальчики, which would be у мальчика)


See the "spelling rules" sections in the grammar tips and notes, e.g. in https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Plurals or in https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Animals-1 .

Whether to use -ы or -и depends on the previous consonant ("after К, Г, Х and Ш, Ж, Щ, Ч always use И").


Hi. I can not see these links, but it looks like the question was about singular, not plural. And plural rules are not applicable here. "у" means that the word is in genitive case (answers "кого? чего?"), and that is what changes/adds the ending - so if there is any rule of changing word ending depending on case, that rule would be applicable.


Changing of ending in different cases of a noun depends on type of the noun (there are 3 types) and on ending of the noun, see e.g. http://videotutor-rusyaz.ru/uchenikam/teoriya/140-pravopisanieokonchaniyimensucshestvitelnyh.html - you need genitive case (родительный падеж), because of "у". "папа", "женщина", "девочка" are of first type, and "мальчик" of second type. Examples: папа - у папы, женщина - у женщины, девочка - у девочки, мальчик - у мальчика, совок - у совка, кубик - у кубика, гараж - у гаража, древко - у древка, секвойя - у секвойи, путь - у пути, знамя - у знамени.


папа, женщина end in -а, мальчик ends in a consonant -- they inflect differently.

A little bit like how in English we have "cat, cats" but "box, boxes" (and not "cates" or "boxs"). Different nouns may add different endings for the same meaning depending on the shape of the word.


im having a really hard time distinguishing when to use what ending, like why is it мальчка instead of мальчик, яблоки instead of яблоко, or хлеб instead of maybe хлеба? any help is appreciated, спасибо!!


Why now яблоки is plural in genitive?


It's in the nominative plural here, not genitive plural.


Is the pronunciation on this correct? It sounded unusually jumbled to me.


Is the genitive plural here the same as the nominative plural?


This may come up later in future lessons, not how do I know if a word is singular or plural in the genetive case?

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