In the infinitive, «есть» is 'to eat', and «быть» is 'to be'.
In the present tense, «ест» is 'eats' (about a 3rd person, e.g. она́ ест 'she eats'), while «есть» is '(there) is'. This sentence doesn't really use the verb 'to have': instead, we use the verb 'to be' + the preposition «у» to show the possessor.
I once saw a documentary about a guy who ate a bicycle, part by part. He was French, and had extremely strong stomach acids and a very tough stomach. They cleaned all the oil and grease off the parts, and cut them into small bits, but he actually ate the whole bike, except for the rubber parts and the brake pads. No electronics on it.
Pretty sure the bicycle was a side dish with the main course being baguettes! ;)
Given the lack of articles, is there a reason this has to be "a bicycle" instead of "the bicycle"?
Isn't 'velosiped' shortened in colloquial speech? It is such a long word...maybe to 'vélo' like in French?
My thoughts exactly. And they say it SOOooo fast. Before I learned the Cyrillic alphabet I was like WTF!?
To me, the fast version doesn't have the some sounds as the slow version.
Yup. It's "вел" or "вéлик". Don't know if duo teem is teenage enough to make these colloquial versions officially acceptable answers though.
So, "тебя" is the genetive form of "ты". What is the genetive form of the more formal "вы"?
You can see the declension table for most Russian words on Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%B2%D1%8B#Declension_3 (following this link opens Kabardian article for some reason, make sure you scroll down to Russian)
I tried "You have bicycle?" and it was not accepted. So I have to use proper grammar in my English translation, yeah?
Yes. The translations are added by course authors by hand. Even adding all the translations in correct English is a very hard task. Allowing relaxed grammar would mean several times more work, and the benefits of supporting relaxed grammar don't justify adding so much work.
"У" it doesn't mean "I"? This can be rougly translated as "Me you have a bicyle?"
No, «у» is a preposition. It has several meanings, the original ones are probably 'near' or 'at'; but here it's used to indicate a possessor.
«Тебя» is a genitive case form of «ты» (just like «меня» is the genitive case of «я»). Russian pronouns, nouns and adjectives have several forms for different meanings. After the pronoun «у», you use the genitive case form.
This sentence doesn't really have a word 'have'. Russian word 'have' is only used in formal speech, or when talking about abstract things. Here, we use the verb 'is, exists' (есть) with the preposition «у» to indicate possessor. This is the usual way of translating the verb 'to have'.
Literally, it means: at/near you, [there] is [a] bicycle.
Hope it helps.
"Have you a bicycle?" is not accepted. I was pretty sure it was good English, though.
I think it all depends on what your definition of "good" English is. While the construction, "Have you a ...?" may be much more common in British English, I've read that it is somewhat more informal than other constructions. Paradoxically, in American English, the construct, "Have you a ...?" would definitely come across as a bit affected and/or hoity toity.
I will admit that when I first read your post, I did have to ask myself why your response couldn't be an accepted version of the answer. As much as I like the nursery rhyme, "Baa Baa Black Sheep," it did not fully convince me that such a construction was a standard use of English, so I poked around the internet a bit and came across some good pages on the topic. I've pasted the links to them below, in order, by what I thought were most relevant:
In a post below, szeraja_zhaba makes a good point about excluding answers with less than standard grammar or those that are less commonly used. Google Ngram further supports such decisions by illustrating word frequencies and with regard to certain constructs, specifically -- "Do you have ... ?" versus "Have you ...?" -- "Do you have ...?" appears to almost always be more common, but it varies to some degree depending on what is being asked, as the illustrations below show:
At one of the pages I provide links for above, someone mentioned that American English may be influencing British English. I don't know that such a thing could be proven by the Google Ngram alone, but the graph below is certainly interesting:
I realize this post may be more useful to someone doing the reverse course, but even if you aren't, I hope you found this interesting.
Very interesting, Lisa. Thank you for your insights.
Given all what you said, my point is: is all this enough to label my answer as plainly wrong? Is it enough to rule out an otherwise grammatically correct sentence because it "sounds British"? I don't think so. You would have to convince me that British English is "not good English".
As for the observation by szeraja_zhaba: I agree completely with him. In this case, though, the sentence he is discussing is "You have bicycle?"*, which can be found only in some dialects but it is not grammatically correct, as far as I know. Such a sentence should not be accepted, obviously.
Please note, finally, that the "Have you ..." form is not just correct: it has been the dominant form in Britain, at least until the late Sixties, according to your graphs. It is probably widely used still now, at least in Britain. Therefore, I am not talking about a sentence like, "Hast thou a bicycle?" which might have been perfectly acceptable in XVI century, if only bicycle existed, but nowadays it is not. Besides, trust me, I'm not that old.
That having been said, I have been delighted by your work. I admired also the clever idea of using Ngram to compare sentences and I thought you deserved a lingot for that. Thank you again.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply, StefanoFer961741. Though your argument hasn't convinced me that British English and other types of English should be considered acceptable answers, I do want to commend you on the content of your post. Though we should all be tolerant of differing opinions no matter what, it is much easier to do when it is done so with respect. Plus, you throw in a compliment at the end!
If more people posted in this way, the world would have far fewer "flaming" ongoing arguments. So, thank you for expressing your opinion in a respectful, professional way. You set a good example and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future. Since one good turn deserves another, not only am I going to like your post, I'm going to give you two lingots in return.
By the way, I don't know if you've seen the thread at the link below:
but one of the posts in it suggests a British English course, which I think is a great idea. DonDakota who suggested it in the thread at the link above writes:
I was once trying to figure out how to ask for "potato chips" and asked an English family and it took several minutes to get an answer. What we call "chips" they call "crisps", What they call chips we call fries. After several minutes of a very confusing dialogue I finally asked them if they heard of "Ruffles", and they finally knew what I was talking about.
Hope you found that amusing.
Thanks again for your post and compliment. I wish you the best with your language learning.
Hi Lisa, thank you for your kind words. I enjoyed our conversation and found it interesting, too. The story reported by Don Dakota is amusing ... it reminds me of a similar anecdote by W. Churchill (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_(parliamentary_procedure)#Example_of_Anglo.E2.80.90American_confusion).
By the way ... tanti auguri per il tuo italiano ...
That is not good English. Do you have a bicycle ? Means, you do or you do not own one or currently have one in your possession or not. Yes or No.
Hi Chel-lala, thank you for your effort in clarifying the meaning of the sentence.
I have been taught, more than forty years ago, that "have you (got) ... ?" is British English, while "do you have ... ?" is American English. I even recall "Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?" as a nursery rhyme, and "Have you a daughter?" asked by Hamlet to Lord Polonius.
Unfortunately, I am not an English native speaker. For this reason, probably I cannot catch all the nuances involved, or give a final answer.
Thank you again for your help.
What is the difference between меня and tebya (sorry I don't know the Russian Dialect for it)? When I see it I always get confused because I have no idea which one I should use
Меня (menya) is 'me', тебя (tebya) is 'you' (both forms are the genitive case forms; the preposition «у», used to indicate a possessor, requires genitive case).
In coursive writing, 'т' looks like the Latin 'm', so maybe that's why you confuse the two words. Russian small м never has the 'm' shape.
your explanations are helpful also for beginners (I have been learning Russian for two weeks now -:)
is there a shorter version of bicycle in russian? because in english we have bike....
Well, we do have ве́лик, but it sounds very colloquial, so it probably won‘t be accepted by Duolingo.
Is this an academically correct English structure or a colloquial thing? I still remember getting a bad mark for something like that in my English class so long ago...
У тебя есть велосипед? There seems to be the verb 'to have' used twice in a sentence? one in front of the other - How utterly confusing!!
For a beginner it is really spoken very fast. I have to listen it several times. However, I have to admit that this is a way of grasping the "melody" of the Russian language.
good lord, is there a way to slow down the sounding of the russian words? I am having a hard time pronouncing it that fast.
Hi experts I have a query, please advise. У Тебя есть велосипед. will translate to "You have a bicycle" and same will become "Do you have a bicycle" if I add a question mark ?. Thus how to differentiate if a guy is asking or telling. While writing we put a ? mark so we know it is asking a question but when speaking we are not aware about it.
Phrase intonation is different. In a statement the intonation goes more or less flat through the entire phrase. In question it would make a parabola with the highest point at the part that's being asked about and going up a bit again at the end:
у тебя ЕСТЬ велосипед[?] - Do you have (or do you not have?) a bike?
у ТЕБЯ есть велосипед[?] - Do you (or is it you brother?) have a bike?
Not sure if I managed to describe it well, it's easier to hear than to get from any description.
Besides, you can also make a question using grammatical means: "Есть ли у тебя велосипед?" Though at least to me such grammatical would sound a little bit old-school or official.