It's an exception.
According to the Lopatin's reference:
§ 92. In the Genitive singular of the adjectives, participles and pronominal words of masculine and neuter gender, -ого (-его) is traditinally written with the letter г, but pronounced with в, for example: до́брого, хоро́шего, большо́го, си́него, четвёртого, чита́вшего, его́, чего́, того́, сего́, всего́, одного́, моего́. This also happens in the adverb ничего́ ('pretty good'), in the words ничего́шеньки, ничегòнеде́лание, сего́дня (and сего́дняшний), итого́; however, the word ничево́ки (name of the writing circle) is written with the letter в.
Note. In the word сеголе́тки (Nom. sg. сеголе́ток and сеголе́тка) г is not just written, but also pronounced.
This is why Duoling is beter than school. Asking the real philosophical questions! If he doesnt have nothing, does he have something?
Or maybe it's just Street-style talk. You know... "Yo dawg! He ain't got nothin'!"
(1) He, @c.schaell, didn't say anything about the fraction of African Americans speaking African-American Vernacular English (AAVE).
(2) Actually the majority of AAVE speakers are indeed African-American, hence the name "African-American" Vernacular English. However, this is not saying the reverse statement - that the majority of African-Americans speak in the AAVE variety.
(3) I get the impression that you have a negative view of AAVE, like a lot of people, because it seems like "broken" or "incorrect" English. But in fact, compared to standard American English, it can be more grammatically complete (less grammatically ambiguous) and much more economical in many many cases.
And if you still think AAVE sounds "dumb", then you should know that standard English underwent some creolization some centuries ago, which is why it is so grammatically basic (or "dumb") compared to both Old English and a huge percentage of other [proto-indo]European languages.
Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkzVOXKXfQk
I had У них ничего нет earlier. Does word order change the meaning or emphasis (or anything) in any degree for У них ничего нет and У него нет ничего?
It very rarely changes the meaning of the sentence. Because of the grammar, Russian can be very flexible with word order. However, у XX нет is a pretty set phrase.
I once heard it said that Russians put the most important parts of the sentence first because they don't care enough to listen to the end. ;)
the у always comes with a genitive. The genitive of он is его, but after у there is an extra н. literally, the sentence says "for him is not nothing".
Is the extra н an exception, only after the у to facilitate pronounciation or are there other cases like that ?
I'm not sure if it can be considered an exception. «Н-» gets appended to all pronouns beginning with е- if they are used after a pronoun and if they don't modify another word after them (so «у него», but «у его сестры»).
This is related to the history of the language, it doesn't really facilitate anything because «его» (/jɪ'vo/) starts with a consonant (/j/) anyway.
Not only pronouns beginning with -e but also их, им, ими etc.
Ex: У них есть дети.
Well, historially it is similar to Celtic nasalisation, but it's limited only to a handful of pronouns.
Think of it this way: If Russian didn't put the Н in front of Его/Её, then how would you know which pronoun has which object?
Example: "У его игрушки кошки." = His toy has cats. (У takes the first visible genitive "игрушки.") "У него игрушки кошки." = He has the toys of a cat. (У takes the first visible genitive "него," which means the word after that must be a regular plural feminine noun. But wait, it's followed by another seemingly plural female noun, which must make THAT one another genitive singular feminine noun.)
The H serves a good purpose in these situations. :)
Almost certainly because it's not close enough to "standard English" for Duolingo. Even if the extremely faint possibility of accepting the much maligned "ain't" were being considered (since I think it more frequently accompanies that unusual-to-English double negative), "jack" for nothing is probably too slangy to be worth including as a translation on Duo.
Right it was actually just a joke. I can see the community hasn't enjoyed it very much based on the down votes and sarcastic responses. I think I was in a particularly good mood and trying to express it but I'll be aware and try to avoid humour in future.
This basically mean "He doesn't have nothing" right? Does Russian work like French or Spanish, with double negations?
It's the genitive case in this sentence.
The nominative case is ничто, but it's a rare form that is usually replaced with genitive, at least in colloquial speech.
I wrote, 'he has nothing'. It was marked incorrect. It is a more natural way of saying he doesn't have anything.
Is this a double negative (ничего = nothing)? - how to know when ничего means "anything" vs. "nothing"?
Thanks, Henk, that actually even SOUNDS russian (at least according to the majority of russian characters speaking English on-screen!
Yes. According to https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%B3%D0%BE#Pronoun_3, " него" is genitive of both "он" and "оно́".