"Чего там нет?"

Translation:What isn't there?

November 7, 2015

99 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ID-007
  • 1343

Could someone point out the 'main' difference(s) between 'Chego' and 'Chto'? A URL reference would be fine.

Thanks for putting this course together!

November 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

The only difference is in the case. «Что» is the nominative (or accusative) form, «чего» is the genitive. See the declension chart on Wiktionary.

November 9, 2015

[deactivated user]

    Why is this sentence genitive?

    December 31, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

    You know how in German you ask wer/wen/wem depending on the function of the part you want to learn more about? For example:
    Wer bist du? — Ich bin Student. — Nominative
    Wen hast du gesehen? — Ich habe einen Freund gesehen. — Akkusative

    Or, better yet, how in English you can ask who, but also whom? (Who is there? To whom should I send that?) Well, that's the same thing! In Russian, the question words кто and что are subject to case changes.

    The answer to this question would have to use the Genitive case because of the negation: «Там нет книги». Now we replace the bit that we don't know with the question word что, adjust it for the case — чего — and put it to the front, arriving at «Чего там нет?»

    I hope that clears the confusion and, for reference, here's the declension pattern of кто/что (thanks Wiktionary):

    January 2, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      Thank you very much. I was confused because I didn't know that нет forces genitive. In none of the other languages I've learned until now there was such thing.

      January 7, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

      In none of the other languages

      Well, I wouldn't be so sure about that! :P

      November 1, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/MetroWestJP

      From what I can gather on the interwebs, use of the genetive in negation is unique to the Slavic languages, though a few of them (Czech, Slovak, Serbo-Croatian) have evolved to use only the accusative in negation and now consider use of the genetive in this situation to be old-fashioned or archaic.

      November 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/RAKIYOSHI

      What about French? Je n'ai pas de singe.

      October 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmisticaRMA

      If чего is genitive, that would mean the line with the Р is the genitive line? (And what are these abbreviations standing for, since they are not in the order I imagined them to be in?)

      January 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

      This is actually the default order of cases, at least for native materials.

      Именительный — Nominative
      Родительный — Genitive
      Дательный — Dative
      Винительный — Accusative
      Творительный — Instrumental
      Предложный — Prepositional

      January 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

      It is what it is for historical reasons, and I'm pretty sure it's not the best option if you're a learner. For one thing, Accusative should really be between Nominative and Genitive.

      I'm a native speaker so I neither really care about this nor can advise what is the best for learning, but your concern is valid. The default case order in German is also NGDA, but if you use NADG, the tables suddenly become much easier to memorise.

      January 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Rewm
      • 404

      Not sure why the order would be different, maybe the textbook author had a "better" idea about the ordering. AFAIK all (native) grammars of Slavic, German, Latin, Greek ... languages use NGDA order, with some variation only at vocative, prepositional, instrumental, ablative, locative etc

      March 11, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmisticaRMA

      Okay. I have a couple different books, and so I double checked, and sure enough, they have them in different orders than what you show. I find that confusing, as I am a visual learner and would like just one chart that was consistant. Guess I will just have to pick one. Is there any particular reason for the Russian default order? Maybe I should just use that one, since there must be a reason for putting it in that order.

      January 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AmisticaRMA

      Gotcha. I will just stick with my book, then. Thanks!

      January 13, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Julie114840

      In Latin, I learned Nom, Acc, Gen, Dative, Ablative.

      November 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Shermur

      Would "что нет там" also be a valid sentence ? If so, would "книга нет там" be a valid answer to that question ?

      August 11, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

      I apologise, I thought you were the person who asked the question.

      I didn't realise the word order was different from the one in the original sentence, but the wrong case stuck out like a broken rib. I guess my perception of the language might be a bit different due to being a native speaker...

      Okay, so «чего нет там?» is of course valid, but puts heavy emphasis on the last word: “what's missing there that you can find elsewhere?”. Duo's version is more neutral.

      August 11, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

      I'm not sure what the word order has to do with anything. Your case is off, so the sentence is ungrammatical and doesn't mean anything in particular.

      August 11, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

      Both times no.

      August 11, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/detailaddict

      Why not? What would the first sentence actually mean? The correct answer would translate as, "What is there not?" so if I were trying to ask, "What isn't there?" I might well use this word order. Likewise for the answer.

      August 11, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/detailaddict

      Well it seemed that word order was Shemur's (not my) point; I actually didn't notice the change in case. So if the sentence had been "Чего нет там," would this be correct?

      August 11, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Immanueldavid

      Thanks!

      February 5, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/-HystErica-

      Thank you for your detailed and informative posts =)

      April 4, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

      I want to give you lingots but I'm on mobile :(

      April 10, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/_Maria_B._

      How do you give someone a lightly?

      May 14, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/_Maria_B._

      Oops! I meant lingot.

      May 14, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/HopperKremer

      You can give one lingot at a time to other users on the full website only.

      June 20, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/DavidG430

      Really good answer Norrius

      May 13, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/AwesomeAnton

      NERD ALERT! Sheez! Do not go on saying STUFF (Norrius)

      July 23, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

      The question is in the genitive because the answer would be in the genitive.

      December 31, 2015

      [deactivated user]

        What? Could you give me an example?

        December 31, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Djhstegeby

        Нет and не forces genitive. Kinda like "none OF that". There's a lack of something.

        January 7, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/StarTiny

        Better than genitive, i would say it's a partitive

        April 4, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

        Possible, but the Partitive/Genitive distinction is not super important here.

        April 4, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel

        \o/ then it's exactly like in Finnish :)

        April 17, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/ID-007
        • 1343

        Thanks for the explanation and the great reference Norrius!

        November 9, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/JewishPolyglot

        Ah... now it makes sense! Have a lingot!

        December 16, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/HopperKremer

        Just wanted to point out that it's really cheVo here. The pronunciation of the consonant Г changes.

        June 20, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/pye20

        Что там? ‧ What is there?
        Чего там нет? ‧ What is not there?

        ‧ Genitive of Negation ‧ → ‧ www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Genitive-Case---1/tips-and-notes

        что → чего́ ‧ ‧ ‧ www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Questions/tips-and-notes

        December 29, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/winxperror

        Use wiktionary

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/jairapetyan

        It's strange... I opened this discussion to see if anyone had commented on the spelling of чего -- I had put a в -- and instead saw all the comments on cases. I'm great at grammar as long as it was the mechanics of English or a Romance language, but for Russian I hardly understand the explanations. Luckily I can still breeze through the course (so far) because I am familiar with the spoken language. I am learning Russian like a child...

        Is anybody else closing their heads to the grammatical notes?

        December 6, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Shady330

        Same here and same with all languages I'm learning, I don't understand anything of this genetive, nominative or whatever... I just make mistakes sometimes and over practice and time I start developing an intuition to the language instead of memorizing irregulars and complicated grammatical terms and rules which I'll most likely forget in the near future, I find this way much more productive for the long term. Besides, I think it's much more fun trying to guess patterns and form sentences on your own rather than memorizing templates like a robot, plus it's really rewarding to see that you quickly pick the right choice again and again out of pure intuition, I must also note that I find this attitude to language learning the most natural.

        May 6, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/SV6y

        I have been studying Russian for years thinking that I must properly learn all grammar to be understood. This approach has made me afraid of mistakes so I don't speak, but I know many Russian children that speak the languge all the time and can't explain anything about grammar. This is what I like about duo lingo, you can dig deeper into grammar or just go with intuition. Everyone learns differently but I have made more progress going with intuition on duo lingo, than studying grammar books for years. For me studying grammar books was a waste of time.I can't explain much about English grammar either and I don't care, I just speak it, and read it. ( Can't write or spell though, it is just how my mind works.)

        July 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/Madame-patate

        Hehe, yes, at first I read every lesson and comment I could find but my attention became fleeting and now I'm learning like a child too x)

        January 6, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/nadine380636

        Same here. I like the discussion. I don't understand half of it -well I would if I wanted but I don't feel lile it's helping me much because when I try to say Something I most likely won't think about what case which part of tge sentence is in. But it is helping me to understand my mistakes. (I didn't even see that чего is a different form of что)

        December 31, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/LukaVukZrinski

        So...

        Что там?

        Но: Чего там нет?

        ?

        May 1, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/Dotters

        Нет always requires the genitive:

        • «У меня собака.» but «У меня нет собаки.»

        • «Здесь есть телевизор.» but «Здесь нет телевизора.»

        • «Выход есть!» but «Выхода нет!»

        • and so, «Что там?» but «Чего там нет?»

        May 24, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

        The problem is that the English would have нет negating там: "not there", but the way the sentence is structured in Russian, it literally means "Not what (is) there?", and нет negates что, which is cast in genitive чего.

        None of this is obvious from word order, which logically should be «Там нет чего» or «Нет чего там.». I don't know whether that word order wold be correct or not, especially given that Duo orders the sentence as «Чего там нет».

        August 25, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Dotters

        It's more of a "What is there none of?", hence the word order.

        August 25, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/John495488

        "What's missing" is marked incorrect. Is this an oversight in the software, or is the meaning different?

        August 29, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

        I have the same question!

        November 28, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/yasmine_y

        It's probably a completely different word...

        July 24, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty

        What would be a litteral translation of this sentence? I want to understand the use of the genitive. Something like "of what isn't there?"...

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

        It's similar to how you'd say «там нет (чего?) ничего» with the genitive to signify negation.

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty

        Oh like Чего (у меня) там нет = What don't (I) have there? It's genitive because of the absence of something?

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

        When you use нет (не было, не будет), whatever lacks is in genitive (and «у меня» has nothing to do with it).

        There are different situations when you express the lack of something, and sometimes the usage of genitive would be a mistake: «Они не продают книг/книги» ("they don't sell books"), but «Они не всегда продают книги» ("they don't always sell books").

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty

        So if I got it right: In one case, it is linked to the noun, in the other to всегда. And всегда doesn't change because it is not a noun, right? But overal, if there is не/нет (a negation), you always need to use the genitive case for the noun next to it?

        EDIT: You can either книг and книги because in one case the не is linked to the verb "I don't sell" and in the other it is linked to the fact that "I sell no books", right?

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

        As to your edit: no, there is no real reasoning. Originally you always had to use Genitive, but the standard changed under the influence of the colloquial language. I guess people just couldn't figure out that the accusative case goes with affirmation and the genitive with negation :)

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Norrius

        Correct! But note that sometimes you can also either one, so «Они не продают книги» is fine.

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty

        I couldn't reply to you, but I didnt think of replying to myself lol... Ok thank you!

        November 7, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/stillePoeten

        Thank you for your detailed answers. They are very helpful!

        December 13, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

        ‘What is missing there?’ is not accepted, although it sounds more natural to me. Any reason why it is not accepted?

        November 28, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/MichelleOs899172

        I swear that the voice sounds like чево, no matter that the correct word is чегою

        October 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

        Yes, that is correct. чего is pronounced [чево] because of historical reasons. Just like кого is pronounced ково, and the same goes with every adjective inclined for the genitive case and for neuter and masculine nouns.

        Чего [чево] там нет? – Там нет моего любимого мороженного (pronounced [моево любимово мороженново]).

        It’s a historical spelling, just like in French or in English.

        November 28, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/yashamax

        Are there some regional accents of Russian where the г in чего is actually pronounced like and English g? Is so, where? Thanks

        November 30, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

        I really don‘t know, since I have not been exposed much to Russian dialects and I am not a native speaker. After seaching a while on the Internet, posted in a forum. According to the user called Basil77, who lives in Moscow, ‘99,9% of native speakers pronounce "в" here.’ Therefor, no, I don‘t think there are any Russian dialects that pronounce the genitive ending -ого/-его with a [g].

        Here‘s his full post: ‘I'd say it's a good question. 99,9% of native speakers pronounce "в" here. The kids who are learning to write always ask the opposite question: “Why I should write "г" here if I pronounce "в" ?”’

        P.S. I don‘t really think you should call that sound the ‘English g’ since the letter G can be pronounced several ways in English: either like the actual [g] sound, like in ‘god’ or ‘bag’, like [ŋ] in the diagraph ng (e.g. ‘bang’) or like the voiced palato-alveolar fricative [ʒ] like in ‘bridge’ or [dodge]. One extreme example of this is the gerund ‘garaging’ pronounced [ˈɡæɹɑːʒiŋ].

        December 1, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/John495488

        I think as a rule of thumb you can assume that a "г" between two vowels is pronounced as a "в".

        March 31, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/Dotters

        That's a really bad idea. In most cases a г between two vowels will be pronounced as "g." Only when it's part of the inflection that marks genitive/animate accusative is it pronounced as "v." It's true even in words like сегодня (= «сего дня», "of this day").

        March 31, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/John495488

        This is how my native Russian teachers at DLI explained it. Also, that's pronounced "sevodnya"

        April 1, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/Dotters

        Exactly, sevodnya because сего дня is the genitive of сей день.

        But, for a few examples, no г in Игорь, помогать, я могу, огонь, богатый, ураган, пироги, эго, на юге, много is pronounced as "v."

        April 1, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/John495488

        Sorry, in endings

        April 1, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

        Does Russian distinguish between when something is not there and is missing? I put ‘What is missing there?’ but is was not excepted. Why?

        March 31, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/Dotters

        This is the opinion of a non-native speaker so take it with a grain of salt, but I would use «Этого не хватает.» to say something is missing (so in this context, «Чего там не хватает?».) In my mind, when you say something is missing you're implying that things would be better if it was there, hence не хватать. Here, you're just asking about the absence of something.

        March 31, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

        OK. Thanks for responding! Спасибо большое за ответ!

        April 1, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/websmasha

        Norrius' profile pic is so awesome(don't notice it? Look atthe eyes)!

        April 3, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelR.D4

        I typed "What is not there?" and was marked wrong for not using the contracted form. I've reported the question but I'm posting it here for visibility.

        May 15, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri-Isaenko

        "what is absent there?" - is it right?

        November 29, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/JewishPolyglot

        Report it and see if they start accepting it

        December 16, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/GuidoSassi

        Is "Что там нет?" meaningless? Could it be like "what is not there?"

        January 31, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/Nicola745362

        How do you report smthg? (btw if theres one characteristic all my jewish acquaintances share its that theyre multilingual...kudos!) спосибо everyone

        February 25, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty

        There are report buttons that show up next to "Correct Answer" or "Wrong Answer".

        By the way, it's not спосибо. It's спасибо.

        February 25, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew459924

        *спасибо

        March 19, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/rapherrera

        Is the declension necessary only because of the negative? In this example?

        December 13, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/poverty2

        Suggestion: "What is there none of?"

        October 6, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/yasmine_y

        I think that would require "ничего" or something similar. (?)

        July 24, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Germanophile22

        Is "Чего," in this case, accusative or genitive?

        January 17, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Dotters

        Genitive, called for by нет. In addition, using что to refer to animate objects is considered non-standard, so the proper form of что in the accusative is always что.

        January 17, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/Robbzh

        I wrote "what is missing there?" But this was rejected... Should it not be accepted?

        February 9, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/OhItsAlex

        What could it be the context of this?

        April 29, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/SharonGBro

        Nominative is the subject of the sentence, accusative is the object. He opens the window. Subject = he, opens verb, object = window. He gives me the box. He= subject, gives = transitive verb, me= indirect object (dative), box = direct object (accusative).. The box is on the table, box = subject (nominative), table = object of a preposition (on) prepositional. The boy's (possessive = genitive) box (subject) sits on the the table.

        May 12, 2019

        https://www.duolingo.com/JTDo5

        Isn't чего why? Or it is as 'what for'

        April 23, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/yasmine_y

        Not at all. It's the genitive for что. You're thinking of почему and зачем.

        July 24, 2018

        https://www.duolingo.com/detailaddict

        I understand that нет requires genitive, but why are we using Чего here instead of что? This sentence looks like it would translate, "Is he not here?"

        May 3, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel

        Please read the comment Norrius made under the highest voted question. There's more info there, I'll just copy one part here:

        "The answer to this question would have to use the Genitive case because of the negation: «Там нет книги». Now we replace the bit that we don't know with the question word что, adjust it for the case — чего — and put it to the front, arriving at «Чего там нет?»"

        May 3, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/detailaddict

        Yes...I answered my own question after posting, as I had mistaken Чего for a type of personal pronoun (i.e., его).

        May 3, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelKou11

        how come it sounded like "chevo" instead of "chego"?

        June 30, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/Rekty

        Historical spelling, just gotta know it. Чего, у него -> Chevo, u nevo (and not Chego and u nego).

        June 30, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelKou11

        Thanks!

        July 1, 2017

        https://www.duolingo.com/Ruth326656

        Not very impressed that duolingo marks this as wrong for missing the question mark (or possibly the capital letter at the beginning) when plenty of other exercises don't require either

        October 21, 2017
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