1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "У мальчика есть карандаш."

"У мальчика есть карандаш."

Translation:The boy has a pencil.

November 11, 2015



"Caran d'Ache was the pseudonym of the 19th century French satirist and political cartoonist Emmanuel Poiré (November 6, 1858 – February 26, 1909).[1] "Caran d'Ache" comes from the Russian word karandash (карандаш), meaning pencil, which in turn comes from the Turkish words kara taş, meaning black stone." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caran_d%27Ache


Also the brand name of some really high quality color pencils for drawing.


Why isnt it мальчики? Is this an exception?

[deactivated user]

    No, it's not an exception. «Ма́льчик» is masculine, so the usual genitive ending is -а (ма́льчик 'boy' — ма́льчика, стол 'table' — стола́) or я after soft consonants (учи́тель 'teacher' — учи́теля).

    The ending -и is used for feminine words with stem ending in soft consonant or к/г/х/ш/ж/ч (да́ча 'dacha' — stem is дач- — genitive is дачи). Some masculine words can belong to feminine declension (notably short forms of names, like Ви́тя — stem is Вить- — genitive singular is Ви́ти), those words are exceptions. But «ма́льчик» is not.


    спасибо, i think i'm confusing myself w/ the genitive plural rules. But there's a different set of rules for the genitive singulars? Is there just two cases like you mentioned in the first sentence?

    [deactivated user]

      No, there are 3 cases in total. :D Russian has 3 declensions:

      • feminine a-declenstion (words engling in -а and -я in nominative singular; include some masculine words), e.g., вода́ 'water', во́ля 'freedom', свеча́ 'candle',
      • masculine/neuter declension (words ending in consonants and -о or -е in nominative singular), e.g. слон 'elephant', гусь 'goose', яйцо́ 'egg', со́лнце 'sun',
      • feminine i-declension (feminine words ending in soft consonant or шь/жь/чь in nominative singular), e.g. рожь 'rye'.

      Masculine declension can also end in soft consonant, so it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between a masculine declension and a feminine i-declension.

      Native speakers also find this difficult: at school, we paid speacial attention to remembering the correct gender of the words like гусь 'goose (masculine)' and на́дпись 'inscription (feminine)'. Also, they have a different gender in different languages (e.g. in Belarusian), so this suggests they have been a source of confusion for a while.

      Also, sometimes words have a declension that is different from its gender. E.g. «па́па» 'dad' has a feminine declension, but it's masculine. Most short forms of names have feminine declension.


      спасибо ешё раз! However, I don't think I was asking the right question. I understand there are 3 genders in russian. I believe my mistake was with the 7 letter rule, that only -и could go after them but didn't realize -а and -у can as well.


      I typed "u malchika est karandash" and got it wrong. I'm not sure why it is wrong because the Ь character doesn't make a specific sound. Please show me what the correct answer would be if written with the latin alphabet. Thanks

      [deactivated user]

        Ь (') doesn't make a sound in itself, but it changes the pronounciation of the previous sound. You can try to get this difference by comparing similar words: стол / stolстоль / stol', гол / golголь / gol'. I know getting the distiction might be hard, but with some practice you'll understand it.

        In fact, in your sentence it changes the meaning! «У мальчика ест карандаш» means '[Something] is eating the boy's pencil'. Creepy!


        Why is pencil not in the genitive?

        [deactivated user]

          With «есть» 'there is', you use nominative. With «нет» 'there is no', you use genitive.


          Карандаш and calendar... XDD


          What would it be called if it were a question? (Does the boy have a pencil?) Is there a differance?

          Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.