"The woman has cats."
Translation:У женщины есть кошки.
When you have a noun in the genitive case (in this case, the thing in between "у ___ есть"), feminine nouns with a hard ending take the ы ending. Feminine nouns with a soft ending or a ь ending take the и end. Since женщина is a feminine noun with a hard ending, it takes on the ending "ы" when you are talking about the woman having something. It appears like it is a plural noun when in fact it is not :)
For masculine and neuter nouns, the hard ending ones take the а ending and the soft ending nouns take the я ending. Soft and hard can be determined by the seven letter rule for nouns (i.e. nouns with к г х ж ш щ ч at the end will take a soft noun ending).
Hope this helps! :)
It is singular Genitive. Also, plural Nominative (some nouns differ in stress their). The Genitive plural has quite a few patterns, so you might as well leave it for later. Zero ending, -ов (ев) and -ей are the typical endings depending on the class of the noun (e.g. мам, сестёр, компьютеров, ножей).
- typical feminine nouns lose the ending vowel there. For мама and машина you have мам and машин. However, for nouns with a -к- suffix like девочка, кошка it is девочек, кошек. Pretty much the same, only with a vowel inserted to break the cluster. Without ш/ж/щ/ч/ц/й you would insert O instead (лодка → лодок)
The only nouns where the Genitive singular and the Genitive plural are the same are indeclinable nouns ( all their forms are the same). Some types of loanwords behave this way. The same goes for the Nominative: only indeclinable loanwords have their Nominative plural the same as their Nominative singular.
Here is the full chart for кошка in case you are interested.
- Nominative ко́шка
- Accusative ко́шку
- Genitive ко́шки
- Prepositional ко́шке
- Dative ко́шке
- Instrumental ко́шкой
- N ко́шки
- A ко́шек
- G ко́шек
- P ко́шках
- D ко́шкам
- I ко́шками
Note that кошку form. Only these а/я-nouns have it. Other nouns do not have a unique Accusative form. They either use the Nominative or the Genitive. Which also happens for all nouns in plural (see above: кошек is both the Gen.pl and the Acc.pl)
Okay this is strange. In the English sentence/translation, "the woman" is the subject (nominative singular) and "cats" is the direct object (accusative singular). That is the structure of the sentence. Of course, in English we don't have noun declensions for the different cases.
Now, in Russian, the standard translation has the nouns in totally different cases. <<У женщины есть кошки.>> = "With (the) woman there are cats". Grammatically, "женщины" is the direct object (genitive singular) while "кошки" is the subject (nominative plural). I can see how this change of cases is facilitated by the "У" at the start of the sentence.
Is this correct? If yes, then please tell me if the following sentence is grammatically correct: "Эта женшина есть кошек."