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  5. "Я не ем рыбу."

"Я не ем рыбу."

Translation:I do not eat fish.

November 9, 2015



Why "рыба" is in accusative?


because it's being acted upon - the sentence being in negative makes no difference here.


Thank you for the answer, but this logic does not satisfy me. What I mean is that with the same logic one could say the in the sentence "I do not have fish" fish is being acted upon and the sentence being negative makes no difference, so the fish should be in accusative: "У меня нет рыбу.". As far I understand though, in such a sentence the correct form should be genitive: "У меня нет рыбы.".

Could someone please clarify this for me? When does a negated sentence require the object to be in genitive?


The difference in your first example, though, is that grammatically the sentences are structured differently in both languages. "To have" in English is transitive and it takes a direct object, but in Russian there is no such transitive action and instead the idea is expressed with the (literal) translation as "By me no fish". Just bear in mind that cases and tense, etc., do not translate 100% between languages - what's prepositional in one might be expressed with dative in another, or one might require a nominative subject while the other might only imply a subject through verb conjugation.

Regarding negated transitive verb sentences in Russian, there's a good and simple post about it on this site: http://blogs.transparent.com/russian/accusative-and-genitive-in-negative-russian-sentences/ The long story short is that generally, tangible/concrete nouns (book, car, machine, etc.) will still be accusative even in a negated sentence (like in this one, where we're talking about fish), whereas abstract nouns (thoughts, ideas, proposals, etc.) will take genitive case. As that site points out, though, you still might encounter both cases.


Я вас благодарю!


Shouldn‘t negative verbs take genitive? «Я не ем рыбы»?


Children sometimes say that.


Children? Is that childish? I though it was the old way to do it, older Russian. Like «Я не пью пива».


I meant to say when children are capricious (don't want to eat), they can say Я не ем рыбы. it means that they don't eat any fish at all.

It makes two sense.

  1. You have dinner and they serve fish, then you need to say Я не ем рыбу! (nominative) you talk about this fish dish.

  2. You tell someone about your habits, in this case you need to say Я не ем рыбы! because you talk about many kinds of fish (genitive). Another version Я не ем рыб sounds odd.

Я не пью пива is the same.


Thank you for responding. Спасибо большое за ответ!


But isn't that just what the sentence is saying: "I don't eat fish - ever, at all"

Given the exercise answer and your explanation, it seems like a matter of form rather than content: Use accusative for "I don't eat fish" and genitive for "I don't eat any fish" - but in English the mean the same thing. There is some subtle nuance of distinction in the English, and I suppose there is also that nuance in Russian, but to me it seems like a distinction without a difference.


Pay your attention the qestion was about рыбы. Yes, рыбу you can say in any case with little difference.

I don't eat fish at all - Я не ем рыбу вообще


In polish you could say: Ja nie jem ryby (if it's about one fish), or Ja nie jem ryb (if it's about any fish at all) :)


This poor, poor man


"I don't eat THE fish." is wrong...?


This is because the sentence means you don't eat fish in general. You don't like fish, you don't eat it ever. This is how I understand it.


Exactly I think same, too


Is it just me, or the Я in this sentence kinda sounds like "ye"? Is there any reason/explanation for that?


Is рыбу a "Mass Noun", like картошку "potatoes" (картошку is feminine accusative singular)?



  • Одна рыба, две рыбы, много рыб(ы)

  • One fish, two fish, plenty of fish


Why is the не totally inaudible at normal speed? Do Russians really slur their words this badly?


In my experience, yes! I have been told i over pronounce my words when I speak Russian. I've been living in Ukraine, off and on, for almost a year...as obviously i speak to slow also! Lol


That’s fine, but you’re probably doing it for the wrong reasons, Mr. Lovecraft.


...but when I do...I hold my breath.


Well, this phrase is true for me actually :D


Для меня тоже :)


Satin Kitteh pls leeve, plz.


I dont get this too


why рыбу? isnt 'fish' a mass noun? how can an accusative replace the negative rule?


@susanashe - Bear in mind that collective nouns in Russian still decline depending on their gender - feminine words ending in -a/-я will take an -у/-ю ending in the accusative regardless if it's collective or not.

In this case, рыба is actually not a collective in Russian like it is in English. A fish is рыба, many fish is рыбы.


I sentence i can use a lot


the system gives the answer: "wrong" before I have the time to speak!!!!!


Like in not eating right now or never, like a vegan? Or both depending on context?


@TheMilesto1 - Could be either, just depends on context.

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