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  5. "The girl has an apple."

"The girl has an apple."

Translation:У девочки есть яблоко.

November 8, 2015



Genitive case;

It's my understanding that here the girl is the possessor. The noun girl - девочка - is female.

I thought in the genitive the rule was

Female (a --> ы) so why is it (a --> и) here?

So confused.


И vs. Ы is generally depending on whether the consonant before is supposed to be "soft" or "hard".

However, there are some rules which are fairly simple to learn, fortunately; If the preceding consonant is к or г (k or g), then always use и to follow.

For noun conjugation, this covers both sg. (singular) nominative and pl. (plural) genitive.



Девочка = girl

Девочки= girls

That is right or wrong?


Right and wrong. It depends on the case of the noun.


Exactly. Russian has a case system, consisting of six different cases. One for each day of the week, except for Sunday, when they just sit around and.. okay, okay, that's a lie.

There are several cases. The case you start with "I am a girl" and "The dog eats" is the 'Nominative' case. In that case, "Я девочка" is correct. However, in this case, we are talking about something the girl has or owns. Because Russian has always done it this way, they write "x has y" as "by x, there is a y".

This, by way of magic and rules of Russian grammar, implies the use of the Genitive case. So your Nominative case word 'девочка' gets magically transformed into another case - namely the Genitive - and ends up looking slightly different. Often (but not always), the word in the Genitive case looks exactly like the Nominative plural, so keep that in mind.

Alternatively, just go here: http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/morphque.cgi?flags=endnnnnp

(Most often passed on link ever in my Russian posts. Theron126 gave it to me once, and I've been using it ever since, I'm still grateful.)

Go to this website. Input a Russian word. Any word you like. Be mindful of the fact that the Russian letter ё is not accepted, but that substituting it with the regular 'е' will still give you all the helpful goodness of the declensions.

What's a declension, you ask? Fill in a word. Go on, I dare you. Hit enter.

Now look at the page that crops up and the results. You'll notice that it has all the six names for all the six cases. And that next to it, the word you input is shown, but each time, the ending - the declension - is a little bit different! If you know the Case you're supposed to use, you can use this website to help yourself pick out the right one, until you can remember when you need to use which one. :)


USEFUL LINK, thanks!


Very useful indeed. -Now to just find a site that gives samples sentences in each of the cases for any word you give it. :)


Not quite so advanced, but might help users understand the basic concepts of cases: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3lK-FRuEvCQ


Why is it У мальчика нет яблокА. but У девочки есть яблокО.


This has to do with the cases the words go following the verb есть when negated. Look at the two sentences.

  • The boy does NOT have an apple.

  • The girl DOES have an apple.

Apple has to be written in the genitive case because it is preceded (the item being negated/whose existence is being denied) by нет. When we have the verb есть (is/exists), and it becomes нет (which is 'not is/does not exist', basically), the item/person/whathaveyou that has changed from being/existing to not being/existing, is written in genitive.


Oh, OK. Thank you. I didn't know cases in Russian change depending on the negation. Or is it just with the verb есть? My mother tongue is Serbian and we have 7 cases, but we do not change them with negation. We say Дечак нема јабуку. (У мальчика нет яблока.) Девојчица има јабуку. (У девочки есть яблоко.) Thanks again!


It changes specifically for this verb. I have not yet seen it occur elsewhere but I think I remember reading there's like one or two other verbs where it does this, so apart from this verb, it's still pretty rare. Additional intel will have to be gathered from more knowledgeable sources, I'm afraid. :)


Good to know that not all the verbs change like this :)


So to confirm, if there is no negation, the object (in this case 'apple') remains in the nominative case?


Can anybody explain me when is used "есть"? Some phrases need it and some are without it...


I am not a native speaker, but as far as I understand it, the use of есть shows that there might have been some doubt about whether the object exists or not. So when you use есть, you are clearing up that doubt. You are saying that it does exist. If you know the object exists, then I think that you do not need to use есть. Like I said though, I am not a native speaker. There might be more to it. Or a better way of explaining it.


From what I've seen in the comments the last few lessons, есть is used to emphasize that the object belongs to the subject ("mom HAS a sister"), and is dropped when that's not the focus of the sentence ("У мамы сестра - актёр": "mom's sister IS AN ACTOR").

I may be wrong here, the mobile app makes keeping track of discussions a pain =/ someone more fluent, please correct if necessary.


No, it's the у that indicates the belonging. Есть roughly translates as "there is/are".

Mom's sister is an actor => Сестра мамы - актриса.


"Девочки" are the plural ??


Nope, it's the genitive singular.


For feminine nouns, sg. nominative happens to match pl. genitive :-)


I think you meant the other way round (sg gen = pl nom)


I have a question on what is owned. яблоко is singular in this case, but in other questions, such as У мамы есть брата, brother is plural. why?


У мамы есть брата actually doesn't make sense. For singular/plural. It's simply a case of whether you own singular or plural things. The problem with брата is that it's genitive case, but it should be nominative.


What makes the У necessary? I left it out and it was wrong


у is the preposition: "у меня" is like "at me" or "by me". This is a construction that exists in the Russian language due to the impact of the Finno-Ugric languages that have been spoken in vast areas of the present Russia. This corresponds to the ablative case in the Finnish language: "Minu-lla on kissa" = "у меня (есть) кошка" = "at me is a dog". The other Slavic languages use the same kind of expression as English: "I have a dog".


I'm sorry: "minu-lla" is adessive, not ablative in Finnish. Ablative would be "minu-lta" = from me. But for a more thorough conversation of the Finnish language we have to wait for the day when Duolingo is offering Finnish.


I can't wait. The more I hear about Finnish the more I'm convinced it's the hardest language in the history of the universe.


Ok so without knowing the context - the version without есть also should be correct.


Is есть necessary here?


Yes. The existence of an apple is in question. Есть is always used in these cases because the structure of these types of sentences are "Near or by <the girl> there exists a<n apple>."


why not яблока ?


Dimidov explains above that the genitive form яблока is used if the sentence is negative (the girl does not have an apple). Because this is an affirmative sentence (the girl has an apple), we use the nominative (basic) form яблоко.


By the girl there is an apple. "girl" is genitive because it follows the preposition "у". There is nothing to make "apple" genitive.


How would I know the difference to "the girl has an apple" and "the girls have an apple"? They look the same to me


Remember that girl/girls will be genitive because they follow "у". Some of the genitive forms overlap with the nominative forms which can confuse some people.

The girl has an apple => У девочки есть яблоко
The girls have an apple => У девочек есть яблоко


I think that девушка и девочка is a girl.


у этой девочки есть яблоко - I understand it is wrong, but I cannot capture the subtle meaning of when to use этой, эта, and so on. Please help me with some simple, closely related examples. :(


I don't think it's necessarily wrong. It is more likely that "the" will be untranslated than translated as some form of этот. But if you are translating it as этот then you've picked the right form, этой is the genitive singular feminine.


sg. soft stem
-a/-я мама мамы земля земли zero-ending masc, -о/-е neut сок / молоко сока / молока конь коня -ь fem мышь мыши so if the a ending must be in genitive just ы and they didn't mention another way.how it can be и ?,


DuoLingo is tough on девочка vs. девушка... :-/


The hint says у этой девочки есть яблоко is right. So why was I marked wrong?


The most likely thing is that you made another mistake and didn't notice it.


What's the difderence between девушка и девочка?


девушка is a young woman (maiden), девочка is a girl. In other words, девочка is younger / smaller than девушка.


I heard "у мужчины есть хлеб" but thought he said "у машины есть хлеб"; hmm, strange, I thought..

[deactivated user]

    When do I use yabloko and yabloka.


    Яблоко is the singular and Яблоки is the plural


    and яблока is the singular genitive.


    и and ы are 100% random and nonsensical.


    See LICA98's comment above. It's the 7-letter spelling rule. There is also a 5-letter spelling rule and an 8-letter spelling rule.


    Thanks! I'll check it out.


    Quick & dirty trick: If the preceding letter is a к or г, then pick и.

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