1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Это кошка, у неё нет фамилии…

"Это кошка, у неё нет фамилии."

Translation:It is a cat; it does not have a family name.

November 13, 2015



Don't try to tell cat breeders something reasonable like this. Have you SEEN some of the names they put on pedigrees??? O_O


I thought of кот Матроскин (фамилие такое).


I just wanted to leave a comment about him! :D You beat me to the punch.


The real question is how does one even get onto this topic


I also dont get the cat focus of duolingo. We ll know all about cats when we re done with this course...


Don't forget about Tim the dog! At least he can think for himself!


"This cat, she does not have a last name."

Should this be accepted as a good alternative?


To express that sort of 'this' you would normally need to use эта instead of это, because it needs to agree with the subject. I see you study French, so think of it like the difference between 'C'est un chat' (это кошка/кот) and 'Ce chat...' (эта кошка/этот кот...). Bear in mind that if you wanted to say, 'This cat has no last name', the French 'сe chat' would work fine as the possessing subject of the sentence ('Ce chat n'a pas un/de nom de famille'), but you wouldn't be able to do quite the same thing with the possessive sentence in Russian, which needs у + genitive case, as well as the genitive ending on фами́лия because of the negating нет. If you wanted to say, 'This cat has no last name', you therefore would need to use, 'У этой кошки нет фамилии'.


"This cat doesn't have a last name" is exactly what I had put. Thanks for explaining why it wasn't accepted. Have a lingot.


Thanks for your in-depth response. :)


Is it <<у неё>> because the specific cat is female it because кошка is grammatically feminine?


The first. An alternate translation of the English sentence is: Это кот, у него нет фамилии.

But this can only be used when the cat is known to be male. The given version works for cats of both/unknown genders.


Oops. I meant the second!


У моего кота, конечно, есть фамилия.


wow, "she is a cat; she has no last name" wasn't accepted


No, because that is incorrect. "She is a cat" = "она — кошка".


I mixed it up with "It does not have a family". How would that be in Russian?


"У неё нет семьи".


I hate that "фамилии" (familii) does not translate into "family"...


How come it's "фамили". Normally only feminine nouns ending with -ь use to have this ending? фамила seems to be conjugated like часть.


The noun is фамилия. Its declension pattern is the same as for other -а/-я ending nouns, except it also uses -и where "мама" would use -е.

Other nouns endgin in ия behave the same:

  • Мария →нет Марии →книга о Марии
  • Италия →из Италии →жить в Италии
  • аудитория →нет аудитории →об аудитории

Such nouns use -ю as their Accusative ending, -и as their Genitive/Prepositional/Dative ending and -ей as the Instrumental ending.


in the listening exercise: can you tell between "это" and "эта"? should they both be accepted in this case?


You can't tell the difference—however, эта makes much less sense.


Why is last name not accepted?


kinda weird structure in english

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