to me it seems like a more proper arrangement of the words would be "У меня хорошая новость для тебя", would this work in an actual conversation with a Russian person?
Also, why is there no есть in this sentence?
"У меня хорошая новость для тебя" sounds less natural.
You don't say "есть" because the main point is not that you have news, but that your news are good.
English (and Hebrew, my language) would still use 'have' (or 'yesh' in Hebrew) even if it's not the point... I guess that's what makes it so much harder to learn Russian - It takes a whole other point of view to actually understand it and not just memorise it.
You are absolutely right, English and Russian are very different. Believe me, Russians have exactly the same difficulties with "wrapping their heads" around English. Articles? Auxiliary verbs? And tenses - who on earth needs so many tenses instead of just past, present, and future? :-) You need time to get used to thinking in another language. Don't get discouraged!
Actually, I have to say that the fact that I also know Hebrew helps me here because it's appearently closer to Russian than English and much more than I thought, and it helps me understand and get along with some of the rules in Russians that also exist in Hebrew but not in English. for example, there's no concept of "am/is/are" in Hebrew and I have no problem getting along without them in this course thanks to that. Anyway you have no reason to worry, this course is a course I intend to finish :)
I am Serbian and I find this Russian very easy to learn! 80% of words that I learned in Russian are almost the same or have the same base. Привет из Сербии! :) But of course, it's because of the slavic origins...
Only Для is for person? can I use на instead?
And is this the general word order when to phrase such things? It has to be "a subject for somebody have sth."?
Why is news singular instead of plural like I see it used on the Russian websites?
Because it is "one piece of news" :-) There is also a very common phrase: У меня для тебя две новости - хорошая и плохая. С какой начать? - I have two pieces of news for you - a good and a bad one. Which one shall I start with?
In fact English is the odd language here - our "news" is always plural. We never give anyone a single "new", even if we only have one piece of information to impart. Perhaps we should!
I was so concentrating on everthing else in the sentence that I didn' t even catch that "news" was singular! Thanks for pointing that out. And Olimo's response about it being only "one piece of news" is interesting. It sorta makes sense when worded like that.
If there was more than one "good news" to report at one time, like, your dog has been found AND your bike is done being fixed, would it then be plural?
Yes, that would be "У меня для тебя хорошие новости". You can even emphasize there are two good pieces of news: У меня для тебя две хорошие новости".
Are there any guides or rules that lead to this kind of word order? It seems very hard to predict (for me at least).
I can't think of any rule or guide. Seems that you have to observe Russian usage for a long time to grasp the essence of word order...
how does для тебя interact with this sentence? I can see that it's the genetive of ты, which I thought would be used here, but when do we stop using the genetive case in this sentence? Is the feeling closer to passing news between two people. "I have good news for you (to have)"?
thank you. i went to a russian translation site and punched in I have good news and it replied .y MeHR ecTb xopowNe HoBocTN so i was confused. I thought words that ended in OCT were usually masculine. (sorry I don't have a russian keyboard.)
"Хорошие новости" is plural.
I thought words that ended in OCT were usually masculine.
On the contrary, almost all of them are feminine. The only exception I can think of from the top of my head is "гость" ("guest").