"Я не ем рыбу."

Translation:I do not eat fish.

November 9, 2015



Why "рыба" is in accusative?

November 12, 2015


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

November 12, 2015



November 13, 2015


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?

June 20, 2017


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.

June 20, 2017


Я вас благодарю!

June 20, 2017


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

November 20, 2016


Children sometimes say that.

November 20, 2016


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

November 21, 2016


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.

November 21, 2016


Thank you for responding. Спасибо большое за ответ!

November 22, 2016


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.

July 15, 2018


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

July 16, 2018


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) :)

March 8, 2018


This poor, poor man

September 27, 2018


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

November 10, 2015


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

February 10, 2016


я уже

February 14, 2016


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

March 4, 2017


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

September 2, 2017



  • Одна рыба, две рыбы, много рыб(ы)

  • One fish, two fish, plenty of fish

July 16, 2018


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

February 20, 2019


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

November 9, 2015


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.

December 18, 2015


Exactly I think same, too

June 23, 2016


nope, that's right too

November 9, 2015


Report it.

November 19, 2015


Fish is noncount so we don't add the

May 23, 2016


Don't be absurd

October 19, 2016


You can definitely say "I don't eat the fish". For example, "What do you eat during your family's fish Fridays?" "I eat the soup and the sides but I don't eat the fish".

January 13, 2017


Well, this phrase is true for me actually :D

October 4, 2016


Для меня тоже :)

October 7, 2016


Satin Kitteh pls leeve, plz.

July 20, 2017


I dont get this too

February 5, 2018
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