"No, this is not a notebook."
Translation:Нет, это не тетрадь.
A short answer: you should not have thought "after negarive things we have to use the Genitive case". This is plain wrong.
A longer answer requires you to understand what IS the Genitive of negation and how verbs sometimes trigger the Genitive when negated.
First, the Genitive is always required when the noun has a «нет» attached, effectively in statements of "non-existence". The past and the future versions of нет are «не было» and «не будет» respectively. Consider нет a quantity word:
- пять кошек = five cats
- коробка кошек = a box of cats
- нет кошек = no cats
Second, Russian verbs have their own case requirements. Some verbs called transitive behave in a simple manner: they have a "direct" object that is thought of as being utterly and most seriously affected by the action. These verbs use the Accusative case for such an object.
- sometimes Russian transitive verbs align neatly with English verbs of the same nature (those that have a direct object with no preposition whatsoever): take, send, invite, kill, create, write, read, ask, love, hate, see, hear, destroy, punish, reward, thank.
- sometimes it does not work: нравиться "like" is intransitive, while слушать "to listen to" is transitive. Ждать (to wait) is sometimes transitive for entites that can affect their own "arrival" (e.g., people, cars) but only uses the Genitive for other things (e.g., events). In English it is virtually always "wait" + "for" with nouns.
Some such verbs sometimes switch to the Genitive when negated:
- Я не слышал сигнала/сигнал. ~ I did not hear the signal.
- Я не обратил внимания на запах. ~ I did not notice the smell ("обратить внимание" is the expression for "to pay attention, to note").
Under these circumstances, some Slavic languages switch to the Genitive consistently or, at least, very often (I heard, Polish is such a language). In contemporary Russian, however, this switch is fairly complicated. The default is "keep the noun Accusative"—and yet some verbs or contexts trigger the Genitive nonetheless. Explaning it would require a very long post.
НИ is a particle that means "not one" and is widely used for "neither . . . nor . . ." struccture, which is where you will find it in our course:
- Я не ем ни яблоки, ни апельсины. = I eat neither apples nor oranges.
You can use it for more than two objects if you want to be that dramatic:
- Я не ем ни кошек, ни собак, ни попугаев. = I do not eat cats, dogs, or parrots.
НЕ closely resembles the English "not" and is used for negation.
Sort of. To be more exact, they are opposites when use as double(triple etc.) conjunctions. Here is how и, или and ни match their English equivalents:
- both . . . and . . . = и ... , и ...
- either . . . or . . . = или ... , или ...
- neither . . . nor . . . = ни ... , ни ...
The only trick is to remember that ни ... , ни ... is used in negative sentences in Russian. In English you may need to switch to "or" or to not negate the main verb, otherwise the sentence will come out weird:
- Я не пью ни колу, ни водку. = I do not drink cola or vodka / I drink neither cola nor vodka.
Please see my answer (and Shady_arc’s correction) here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11557601$comment_id=11557823
Well, тетрадь is singular (nominative), and тетради is plural (nominative; or singular genitive). Both «Э́то тетра́дь» 'This is an exercise book' and «Э́то тетра́ди» 'These are exercise books' are correct sentences.
• тетра́дь (tetrádʹ) [tʲɪˈtratʲ] f inan (genitive тетра́ди, nominative plural тетра́ди, genitive plural тетра́дей) "notebook": Borrowed from Ancient Greek τετράδιον (tetrádion, “quaternion of parchment”), from τετράς (tetrás, "four; tetrarchy; four-leaved pamphlet"), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷetwóres.
Only if you use transliteration as your display method, I suppose. I see Нет, это не тетрадь. instead.
An apostrophe usually represents a soft sign (ь), which adds palatalisation to a consonant without adding any vowel (though, ъ and ь used to be short vowels until about 800 years ago).
Palatalisation means that the pronunciation of the consonant changes: the middle of your tongue is raised towards the roof of your mouth, and, also, sometimes you use the blade of your tongue rather than the tip while articulating (I find it hard to imagine anyone pronouncing English T with the tip of their tongue while having the middle part high up).
Most Russian consonants come in two flavours, palatalised and normal. Some do not—in the latter case, the ь will just be a spelling convention (for example, ch in doch' and luch is pronounced the same; however, doch' is a feminine noun, and luch is masculine).
Do you mean the grammatical gender? Russian nouns fall into several classes because of how they historically acquired different ending patterns. If we imagine a person who knows NOTHING about Russian, they still may notice how adjectives use different endings:
- новая кошка, новая пицца, новая мама, новая математика
- новый стул, новый друг, новый компьютер, новый мужчина
- новое окно, новое здание, новое море
- новые кошки, новые моря, новые компьютеры
It is easy to notice that adjectives react to some property of a noun—also, the endings seem to correlate with the endings of the nouns themselves. Class 4 is the plural, and it does not seem to differentiate between nouns that were different in the singular.
You can also note that most nouns that mean females belong to class 1. Nouns that mean males belong to class 2. Such systems are traditionally called genders, and this is how languages of Europe usually treat their nouns (in Russian, it is род "kind").
In Russian, the gender is fairly transparent due to a massive overlap with declension classes. Look at the ending in the base form.
- а/я → feminine, unless it means a male (plus, we have a few common gender nouns like плакса "crybaby" or судья "judge")
- consonant → masculine
- consonant+ь → fem/masc, check the dictionary (though шь, чь, щь, жь are only for feminine nouns)
- о/е/ё → neuter.
- мя → neuter. We only have 10 such nouns; however, имя "name" and время "time" are amongst them.
- if it is a name of a person, their biological sex overrides whatever the ending suggests
The rules do not work 100% of the time for indeclinable loanwords (e.g., какао, кофе, портфолио, Конго, кенгуру, суши) but these are good rules to start with.