"I have apples."
Translation:У меня есть яблоки.
There is a slight difference in meaning (есть emphasises the existance of the apples), but they're indistinguishable when trying to translate a sentence without context. So neither is incorrect, and it annoys me quite a lot how I get streaks ruined by having to guess which of the meanings Duolingo meant.
just beginning Russian, so I m not sure of the importance of the apostrophe here, especially if not written in Cyrilic. How a about a pity point at least for remembering "est"?
When transliterating Russian, the apostrophe stands for the Russian letter ь. The ь is called the soft sign and indicates that the consonant preceding it should be softened/palatalized, thus affecting the pronunciation of the word. So then est (ест) and est' (есть) have different pronunciations and completely different meanings. The first is the he/she/it conjugation of the verb "to eat" and the second means "there is/are" so as you can see the apostrophe is pretty important.
Note: In case you're confused, u menya est' (у меня есть) literally translates to "by me there is" and is the most common way of saying "I have (something)" in Russian.
It’s written in Cyrillic: apostrophe represents the soft sign (ь). With the soft sign, «есть» means '(there) is/are/am', it's a copula (you can hear the pronounciation here). Without the soft sign, «ест» means 'eats/is eating' (pronounciation here).
The soft sign (represented by the apostrophe) changes the pronounciation of the preceding consonant to palatised. We call the «ть» a soft version of «т», and «т» is the hard version of the sound. English doesn’t have this distinction, but soft consonants are similar to slender consonants in Irish.
Is the verb in this construction invariable regardless of whether the subject (or object?) is singular or plural?
Russian is same specific language unlike French, English, Esperanto etc. Because of it's cyrillic typing method, but it is very easy to learn. Just like Americans learn alphabets in kindergarten.
You can add a cyrillic keyboard through your phone's language and input settings
Yes, because есть (est') and ест (est) are different words. «У меня ест яблоки» (U menya est yabloki) would mean '[She is] at my place eating apples'.