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  5. "Кошки здесь нет."

"Кошки здесь нет."

Translation:The cat is not here.

November 8, 2015



Word order in Russian is very loose compared to English. Because of their case system, it is quite easy to tell what each word's function is in a sentence. In English, we don't decline words much at all, so we rely on word order to show what words do what in a sentence. For example, I could say "I am studying Russian on Duolingo" in English. "I" is in nominative, "Russian" is in accusative, and "duolingo" is in prepositional. In Russian, I could say "Russian study I on Duolingo" as long as I got my case declensions correct.

In this sentence, "нет" starts the genitive case, and "кошки" is in the genitive, so we can assume that нет and кошки go together. The verb "is" isn't really used much in Russian, but it's implied here. Здесь just means "here." You could word this sentence as нет кошки здесь too.


You have to know that the word order is not completely random. Sometimes you can change it without any change in the meaning, and sometimes you'll give the sentence another tone or even turn it into a nonsense.

  • Здесь нет кошки. There is no cat here.
  • Кошки здесь нет. The cat is not here.
  • Кошки нет здесь. The cat is not here. A less common word order, emphasizing "not".
  • Нет здесь кошки! There's no cat here! (I fail too see any cat here!)
  • Нет кошки здесь! The cat is not here! (I looked for it and couldn't find it, I swear!)
  • Здесь кошки нет. The cat is not here (but I'll keep looking for it elsewhere).

Note that some of these versions are pretty emotional and situational. At the beginner level, the first two orders would be enough.

Update: I wrote a post based on this example.


I got кошки нет здесь where I had to tap words to make the translation and the answer given as correct was 'there is no cat here,' which, if I read your explanation above correctly, isn't quite right


It's fine. She is describing how the meanings can have slight variance. Just like in English.

Even though "There is no cat here", "Here, there is no cat." and "No cat is here" have the same basic meaning, there is nuance and different emphasis.

The rule of this is actually quite regular across many languages "The most important information goes towards the beginning of a sentence."

It's not the only rule (for instance in English we often change our tone on the word we want to emphasize like "There is no cat HERE" or "There is NO cat here" since word order is more strict). This can help guide this kind of thinking though.


i think Japanese usually has the important information at the end, which is why they all nod politely going mhm ahh ahh until the end lol


if it were to say " there are no cats here" would it be "кошек здесь нет"


or maybe "кошки не здесь"???


How would I say "The CATS are not here" ?


That would be "Кошек здесь нет."


In this instance, how do native English speakers recognize this as genetive singular and not nominative plural (which both are "кошки")? "кошка черная" is not in genetive, and so you would not expect "кошка здесь" to be either. So, "кошки здесь" to me looks like "cats are here." Thanks for any help.


"Нет" requires genitive.


Excuse me, Is there some website where I can find the rules like "Нет requires genitive"? because I know that "без" "около" etc. also use the genitive but I cannot find the general rules about the use of the genitive form. De antemano gracias


For a given preposition, wiktionary usually lists the cases it uses (sometimes it is more than one, with the meaning changing depending on the case).

Most prepositions use the genitive.


There are many prepositions which do not use genitive.


Duolingo's website includes some lessons and tips with each "module", but if you want to go more in depth with the rules, check out the menu on http://www.russianlessons.net


I have found the best solution is to pay attention to the context of the sentence, and practice a lot. Over time, the cases become more second nature.


It is not in the chart at the beginning of the lesson. Where did you find that information? I am so confused...


thank you. i was confused about that too


a cat is not here = the cat is not here


Should "There is not a cat here" be accepted?


I'm not 100% sure how but I think the Russian sentence would be quite different, in terms of order. You can find some explanations in the replies to the first comment.


Today I learned that you can form grammatically correct sentences in Russian without needing a subject. What is this language . . .


And we also know that there are lots with no verb.


Sneaky, throwing кошки out front like it might be plural, having to realize it's a genitive of negation.


Why is the plural form of cat used in the Russian sentence, but the translation shows singular? I see that others say the plural form is кошек, which is more confusing for me.


кошек is acc/gen plural, кошки is nom. pl and gen. sing... here's the declension table for кошка https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/кошка#Russian

and here's which cases mean what http://masterrussian.com/aa071600a.shtml


I wrote "here there is no cat", marked wrong. Correct solution: "there is no cat here". It's the same!! o_O


"Here there is no cat" makes no sense in English.


isn't the right spelling of cat(fem) with genitive : кошкы this is what my lesson card on the genitive case is saying tell me so i can edit it ! :)


"кошкы" would be what you expect from just following grammar rules, however the sacred "spelling rules" take place here: you can never write кы, only ки. http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/spelling_rules.php


sorry to ask this, i am quite confused, but, why does кошка end with a и and not ы, it's different to what the lessons have taught me... thanks in advance


"кошкы" would be what you expect from just following grammar rules, however the sacred "spelling rules" take place here: you can never write кы, only ки. http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/spelling_rules.php


Because of the к. If the last consonant is a к, the plural (and the genitive) is in и. I can't remember the name of the rule, but it works for several consonants.


"There aren't any cats here" I'm kinda think this is correct but even if it isn't I was corrected with: "There isn't any cat here." Which implies we are now discussing eating cats and there is no cat meat around us.


"кошки здесь нет" is wrong, Correct is " кошки здесь нет" Is it oшибка Дуолинга, думаю, да?


Could you also say "кошки нет здесь"


If I got it correctly...

I think that would put the emphasis on "here", like saying "the cats are not here, they're somewhere else". The sentence in this exercise instead emphasizes the absence of any cat in general.


Shouldn't this be the cats are not here. Plural instead of singular?


No: нет always uses the genitive. Кошки is the genitive singular of кошка (plural would be кошках). It just happens that it looks exactly the same as the nominative plural (something that happens for almost all feminine words), but we know it cannot be nominative, because of нет.


How to say: the cat does not here?


I think that "does not" without a verb is incomplete English grammar: What do you mean to say with such a sentence?


This sentence makes no sense, sorry.


Why is "Кошки" singular for cat here when usually it has an "i" at the end when its plural?


Because кошки is both the nominative plural and the genitive singular form of кошка. And in this case, since it is a negative sentence that uses нет, it requires the genitive case, so кошки - and not кошка - is the right form of the noun.


You should use the Genitive Plural. It would be a possibility for the students to understand the difference. "Кошек здесь нет".


Does this sentence have the same meaning: "Кошка не здесь"? (if it's even a possible sentence)


It's not a big deal, but I just want to put out that seeing the answer listed as: "The cat is not here."


my translation as:

"The cat is not here."

Was actually quite funny. Maybe the period at the end was too much? Perhaps my punctuation was punishing..? Well, either way. I wonder where the cat went...


Occasionally, that happens to me because I am doing listening exercise, where you are supposed to write in Russian what you hear, and I instead translate to English by mistake (since in most other exercises you do have to translate).

Maybe that is what happened to you.


I believe that

"Cats are not here"

should be accepted as a translation, as in English, the negative uses an indefinite quantity. I don't know how to call this rule correctly. There is the same thing in French "Il n'y a pas des chats ici = There are no cats here / Cats are not here". Both English sentences have the same meaning.


The meaning of the Russian sentence is that the cat (one specific cat) is not here. As if I was looking for my cat Murka and said: The cat is not here.


How would you say "there is not a cat here" then?


Здесь нет кошки.


In French it would be "Il n'y a pas DE chats ici".


My answer was there are no cats; is not t correct


excuse me, It is my mistake


Кошки = Cats Кошки is not Cat


It can mean both, read the thread to understand it better.


Кошки is also the genitive singular, so it depends on the sentence and context. In this case genitive singular should be used, which is кошки

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