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  5. "The woman has a brother."

"The woman has a brother."

Translation:У женщины есть брат.

November 9, 2015



Every lesson have some tips and notes, but they are only visible in the web app. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ru/Genitive-Case---1

Tips and notes

In Russian “I have” is expressed by «У меня (есть)» structure. The owner is in the Genitive case.


"The of-case". It is one of the most universal cases. How do you make the forms? Here is the regular pattern:


A zero ending means that the word ends in a consonant or a soft sign (which is just a way to show the final consonant is "soft"). In the Nominative singular, a Russian word can only have the following endings: а, я, о, е, ё ornothing ("zero ending").


If you use «нет» to say that there is "no" something or you do not have it, the object is always in Genitive:

У меня́ есть я́блоко → У меня́ нет я́блока

Здесь есть рюкза́к → Здесь нет рюкзака́.


"of" (possession): яблоко мамы = mom's apple"of" (amount): чашка чая, много чая = a cup of tea, a lot of tea

A huge number of prepositions requires this case. Yes, «у меня есть», «У неё есть» only use «меня» and «неё» because «у» wants Genitive.

For он, она and оно Genitive doubles as a non-changing possessive "his", "her", "their": его, её, их.

initial «н» is used for him/her/them with the majority of prepositions (doesn't affect possessives)


A little side note: some nouns of foreign origin are indeclinable. It means that all their forms are the same. Foreign nouns that end in о/е become like that (кофе, метро, радио, резюме), as well as all nouns that do not fit into Russian declension patterns (see above).

This includes female names that end in anything other than А or Я. A few -ь-ending names are an exception (Любовь and Biblical names like Юдифь).

So, all of the following names are automatically indeclinable: Маргарет, Мэри, Элли, Дженни, Рэйчел, Натали, Энн, Ким, Тесс, Жасмин.


Russian also uses the Genitive to state that someone is "away", "not there": Мамы сейчас нет. In English such use would correspond to "There is no mom at the moment", or even "There is no me now". We are not hard on that particular construction in the course, but it is important to know it all the same.

Added bonus: when a verb directly acts on a noun, the noun is called a direct object and is in Accusative. In Russian, only -а/-я feminine nouns have a unique form for it. Others just reuse Genitive or don't change the word at all (Nominative)


Russian uses.... let's call it "consistent" negation. It means that in negative sentences you are required to use "nothing" instead of "anything", "nowhere" instead of "somewhere" and so on. Let's meet the first of these pronouns:

У меня ничего нет. = I don't have anything. Она ничего не ест. = She doesn't eat anything.

You'll also notice that, unlike standard English, Russian has no rule against using double negatives.


I'm really lost on why this is missing from the mobile app. I don't use duolingo on a computer.


Even on a mobile device, such as a phone, Duolingo can still be accessed in a browser such as Chrome or Firefox. When accessed from a browser, the lesson info mentioned above IS available.


Yeah, and if you're unlucky, Duolingo has closed the current exercise when you return from the browser. Accessing the tutorial outside the app is a bug, not a feature.


If the put a lesson before the actual practice it will be much easier.


The hover text says "у этой женщины есть." Is this grammatically correct and simply not accepted or is it wrong?


That is my question as well. Why is the plural version of 'woman' used here? I got the 'pick correct translation from the following three' question, and all showed the plural form of 'woman', ending with -ины. I also note that szeraja uses it in a comment below, so is this correct?

How do you figure out if it's woman or women? Or does this have to do with cases, and should we always substitute the nominative case for genitive case here? Because that's what it looks like to me right now.

[deactivated user]

    It's not plurar, it's genitive singular. Russian nouns have several case forms. The most basic one is nominative case, used for grammatical subjects and for predicates in «X is Y»-type sentencens. Nominative singular is «же́нщина», nominative plural is «же́нщины».

    However, after the preposition «у» you use a different case: genitive. Genitive singular is «же́нщины», genitive plural is «же́нщин».

    You'll learn more about cases later in this course, but you can get a glimpse of all the forms in Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%89%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B0#Declension (click on the Declension of же́нщина to see a table). Don't worry if the table looks intimidating, there're in fact only 3 declension patterns, so if learn the patterns you'll be able to form these forms for every possible noun soon.


    Thanks, Szeraja! I've just hit Genitives in the tree, and I went ".. oh wait". I haven't learned it by heart yet, obviously. :)

    I'll read it over - again - and hopefully, together with this website I received from Theron ( starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/morphque.cgi?flags=endnnnnp ), it will slowly start to make sense.


    Is 'есть' obligatory here? I didn't use it and my sentence was marked wrong.

    [deactivated user]

      Yes, it's obligatory.

      You can drop «есть» if it's not the main piece of information. If you say «У женщины красивый брат» (The woman has a handsome brother), the main information is that the brother is handsome. However, in the sentence «У женщины есть брат», the main piece of information is the existence of brother, so you can't drop «есть».


      OK, I get it. Thank you. :)


      When is it женчины and when is it женщины?

      [deactivated user]

        Well... Those are two different sounds:

        • «ч» is an affricate (closer to the English ch),
        • «щ» is a fricative (closer to the English sh, but longer); it's distinguished from ш by being a soft sound (ш is a hard sound),
        • in some dialects, «щ» might be pronounced like a combination of shch, but this is not the standard pronunciation.

        It takes practice to distinguish them, just keep listening more. ^^'

        Usually you can distinguish them by context. For example, «женчины» is not a word. Only «женщины» is correct.

        Sometimes they change meaning (for example, час is 'hour', while щас is a colloquial pronounciation of сейча́с 'now'), but it doesn't happen often, so if you confuse those sounds, you probably won't lose much information.


        "For example, «женчины» is not a word."

        Well, I raised this question because duo showed me this word like this, женчины :s

        I may report it the next time I see it. Thanks :)


        duo seems inconsistent when it decides whether i had a typo or used the wrong word. I accidentally left the "ь" off the end of "есть" and the whole sentence was marked wrong. But other times i'll do something else really small, or even a couple of things, and it says i have a typo. Arrgh.


        It only marks it wrong if it's a multiple letter typo OR if the word you typo'd is a DIFFERENT word, as is the case with ест and есть.


        Gotcha, yeah, i noticed afterward that ect is its own different word. It just sucks, cuz i don't know the russian keyboard very well so it takes a long time to type, and i get frustrated when i have to do it all over again just because i missed a single letter, lol. sigh does anyone know of any games that help teach the russian keyboard like they have in english?


        Here's a thread where someone else asked: https://www.reddit.com/r/russian/comments/2bsx7g/any_good_sites_to_practice_typing_with_a_cyrillic/

        Here's the layout I personally use, it's easier to get used to as an English speaker, but it might screw you later if you need to use a real Russian KB. http://winrus.com/student.zip


        hey ! why not put брат in genitive form ? (брата)

        [deactivated user]

          Because literally, it sentence means something like "at woman's [family], there-is [a] brother". The brother does the action of 'existing', it's a subject of the sentence, so that's why it's in the nominative case.


          Why are the ownerships multiples?


          U zhenshini est brat can you tell me how to write it.?


          When a word ends with ь you have to use an apostrophe. The rest seems fine.


          U zhenshini est brat ( please tell me where is the mistake)


          U zhenshini est brat ( way duolingo doesn’t accepte the way I write it; how you write it using the same forme of alphabet )

          [deactivated user]

            I don’t know how Duolingo spells щ, but probably it should be written like this: U zhenshchiny est' brat.

            Est/Ест (‘she/he eats’) and est'/есть (‘there is; to eat’) are different words and Duolingo doesn’t allow confusing them. The ' (ь) sign matters.


            I don’t see way you don’t accept my answer Zhenshini


            U zhenshini esti brat, this is correct I always wrote zhenshini this way What is changed?


            Someone asked this above but it was never answered: The hover text says "у этой женщины есть" Why is this wrong when you enter it? Why does the real answer take out этой?

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