"У нас нет масла."

Translation:We do not have butter.

November 11, 2015

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so is масло butter, oil, or grease? These are quite different substances, you wouldn't want to smear oil on your bread or put butter in your engine.


I smear plenty of olive oil in my toast, you should try it some time.


You have to figure out the context. I've heard my father in law and others call automotive oil масло as well. Along those lines, in English we use the word hot to mean the weather is hot, food is hot temperature wise and food is hot (spicy), but in Russian they have different words/phrases for each of those.


I am wondering the same.

[deactivated user]

    Масло (butter) and повидло (as in 'apple butter') are also very different substances, but English calls them with the same word. When I want to fry something, I could put either butter or vegetable oil on the frying-pan, but not apple butter! Does that make English less logical than Russian? Hardly. Russian and English just name substances according to the different criteria.

    For 'butter' in English, the distinguishing feature is that you can spread it on your bread. For «масло» in Russian, the distinguishing feature is that you can use it for frying. Each language has its own set of concepts chosen according to different criteria. That's why learning foreign languages broadens your outlook: it helps to see that the world can be described differently, with other distinguishing features being important.

    If you need to distinguish the words that are unified under the same concept, you could add qualifying adjectives, both in Russian and English:

    • fruit butter 'пови́дло',
    • milk buter 'ма́сло',
    • сли́вочное ма́сло 'butter',
    • расти́тельное ма́сло 'oil'.

    As for grease, the English word 'oil' also has a food meaning (vegetable oil; Russian масло) and a technical meaning (oil which Russia and Saudi Arabia sell; Russian нефть), and having them combined in the same word never hurt anyone. The context in which they are used are just so different that it's practically impossible to put butter (масло) in your engine, or to put нефть (oil) in your salad.


    Got it - so oil created from carbon fuels etc., is нефть, cooking oil/butter is масло, unless specified as расти́тельное ма́сло. As you say, English does the same thing with vegetable oil vs. engine oil, and so on.

    Thanks szeraja_zhaba.


    Apple butter??? I have never heard of that, do you mean jam or jelly?


    In New York, and probably elsewhere, you can also find pear butter, apricot butter and prune butter. Their consistency differs from jams and jellies, and are closer in similarity to a thick, more concentrated version of applesauce, which is in no way like tomato sauce or any other, for that matter;-) Of course this has nothing to do with the lesson. However, one of the great things about learning other languages is learning about other countries and all they have to offer- condiments only being a miniscule example. Since beginning Russian, the language of my long-deceased grandparents, I've enjoyed learning about other aspects of Russian culture via YouTube, including food and drink and an ocassional mention of butter:-)


    It's delicious! It's like concentrated applesauce with spices and sugar, but no butter. I think they call it apple butter because you spread it on toast like butter, similar to peanut butter.


    It's not really butter, it's just called that because it has a similar consistency to butter.


    This is a really useful reply, thank you!


    Great point! And this was the very reason I started to learn Russian, France and German.

    Chinese here. While we are on it, масло, milk butter is literally translated as 奶(milk)油(oil)/牛(cow)油(oil),or 黄(yellow)油(oil), in Chinese. As you can see, two of it are similarly distinguished as Russian, one of it is distinguished by colour:)


    Thanks for the clear explanation. But now the West are able to put cooking oil into a converter and turn it into engine fuel for running a car... More confusion in store in the very near future...


    In russian масло might be butter or engine) realy) and sometimes it is grease) Вutter= сливочное масло= butter sandwich. Engine oil= машинное масло=oil for cars. Our languages are different)


    sometime is масло sometime is масла and i don't know why !

    [deactivated user]

      Russian nouns have several case-forms.

      When the noun is the subject of the sentence, «ма́сло» is used. It’s called nominative case.

      When you speak about absence of something, you use a construction «нет» + Genitive case. Genitive case of «ма́сло» is «ма́сла».


      Still for this word, it seems they are pronounced the same way be it "маслo" or "масла " ! How confusing ^^ !


      I am not a native Russian speaker but as far as I can tell the pronunciation is identical. This is because stress is on the first syllable of the word and the short pronunciation of "o" and "a" are the same.


      Yes, the stress position is relevant. No, pronounciation shouldn't be identical here (see my comment velow, in response to iFng7.


      thanks for helping me ! спасибо


      So when it's positive, the noun is in the nominative case, and when it's negative it's genitive?


      Using "нет" makes the object take the genitive.


      There is wrong accent on the second syllable in pronunciation here. Correctly is "мáсла". Not "маслá"!


      Oops, I think you are right. Please report it too.

      I'm not native, but Wiktionary says:

      ма́сла: IPA(key): [ˈmaslə] genitive singular of ма́сло

      масла́: IPA(key): [mɐsˈla]

      nominative plural of ма́сло, or accusative plural of ма́сло


      what's with all the poverty in these last few lessons? nobody has water or milk, not even the cat, there is nothing on the table. I surely didn't see that in the other courses I took :(


      Why there isn't article a before butter, when I translate it?

      [deactivated user]

        Butter is uncountable. It's a substance, you don't normally say 'one butter': instead, you say something like 'one stick of butter' or '100 grams of butter'. Therefore it's not used with article 'a', because 'a' is used only before countable nouns.


        Thank you! I was so confused.


        I said, "We don't have the butter." I think both should be right. Like imagine you and your friends are being accused of stealing a particular stick of butter.


        It sounds better, then, to say "Масла у нас нет".


        I had never heard of Apple Butter until now. I had to search for it on the internet. So, basically there is no "butter" in apple butter. It is like apple purée. Right ?


        "we are out of butter". Is that sould be accepted?


        That's not a bad translation, but that means that you had butter at one point and now you have none. This statement is more neutral.


        Ha, the words to pick included "we haven't any butter". Used it just for a change of pace and it was wrong... feel like I was tricked!


        Nominative: ма́сло - ending in "o", so it must be neuter.

        Hence the Genitive is ма́сла.


        ма́сло (máslo) [ˈmaslə] n inan (genitive ма́сла, nominative plural масла́, genitive plural ма́сел) "butter; oil": Inherited Old East Slavic масло (maslo), from Proto-Slavic *maslo ("oil; butter"), of uncertain origin. Related to ма́зать (mázatʹ, “to smear”).


        there are 4 different kinds of butter (car oil salad oil, cooking oil and butter for toast or crumpet etc)


        We don't have the butter?


        "We don't have butter" not correct?!


        This translation is now accepted. I'm surprised it wasn't before, it's almost literal...


        so what does у stand for


        It is a preposition that translates commonly as "At, by, near". Here it is used with a pronoun to demonstrate possession.


        I am still totally confused about the "we" pronoun in Russian :(


        When in doubt, wiktionary is a good resource for verb conjugation and noun/adjective declension. https://ru.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BC%D1%8B


        Great mnemonic: think of Mazola vegetable oil... OK, but I could really use some etymology detectives on the Mazola brand name. A quick Google Translate quest seems to eliminate Italian, (Hungarian mazol- seems to mean "painter," ??) and the brand's website isn't much help. The resemblance to масло/масла meaning oil or butter can't be a coincidence!


        Good mnemonic! Mazola is a branded name for corn oil, as Latin languages and English speakers outside the USA usually call corn "maize".


        "We've don't have any butter" is correct, and should be accepted :-)


        Why масла not масло


        It is genitive case: http://www.russianlessons.net/lessons/lesson10_main.php In the future please read other comments if you have questions like these - I can see the comment right below this one has a good explanation provided by Dimidov, for instance.


        I was just wondering what's the difference between using "есть" and "у"

        [deactivated user]

          «У» is a preposition, it indicates a possessor («у нас» is like 'at our possession').

          «Есть» is ‘there-is’ or ‘is’ (у нас есть масло 'at our [possession] there-is butter). «Есть» can be omitted sometimes when it’s not emphasised in the sentence.

          «Нет» is ‘there is no’, the negative form of «есть» (у нас нет масла 'at our [possession] there-is-no butter).


          Hello, i got a question: how would we be able to mention a countable item (sic. The) in Russian? У нас есть масло would designate a butter, not the butter. Thanks much


          Why does not "does" work, I know it is incorrect, but I am Not here to learn english


          Have I got it correct if I say that: У меня есть = I have (literal: near me is...) У меня нет = I don't have (literal: not near me is...)

          I just learn easier if I not only learn what phrases mean but also how they translate literally; how they mean if you will. :)


          Yes that's good. I would just say "Near me (there) is no" for the second one.


          How can I tell "есть" and "ест" apart in speaking? How do I know if someone HAS butter or is EATING butter?


          есть doesn't mean "have", it means "there is". You will never see есть as a verb with a subject in the traditional sense.


          Why is "We don't have the butter" incorrect? How would you say that in russian?


          That should definitely be accepted.


          The audio in this course is getting worse... I'm sorry but whoever is doing the pronunciation in the recordings is either not a native speaker, or it's just pieced together from other snippets. The emphasis is frequently on the wrong vowel, often in a way that never actually occurs in Russian. In this sentence, for some reason they emphasize the final A? It should be at the beginning.


          A parte tutte queste disquisizioni su olio e burro, avete rotto le scatole con traduzioni dove a volte in inglese bisogna mettere l'articolo e a volte no. In russo non c'è, quindi la traduzione in inglese deve essere sostanzialmente corretta sia che io metta l'articolo oppure no.


          Why is масло not accept it?


          Whats the different between масло and масла?


          масла is the genitive form (like it is here) and also the plural.

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