So why are there two different words for child and children (plural)? Is it just a quirk? I would expect the plural of children to be робёноки (children) or something, or maybe the singular of this version of children to be дет or деть (child).
I'm just curious, can I use either or? Or how does this work?
No reason, really. It is called suppletion. The phenomenon is found in many languages. For example, in English "went" works as the past tense of "go", and "people" effectively works as a plural of "person" (whereas "persons" enjoys limited use).
«Дитя» is rarely used these days unless you go for high style—but its plural is used as a de facto plural of «ребёнок».
«Ребята» is the plural you might use when talking about boys or addressing a group of kids to tell them something.
Fortunately "ест" would make no sense here. Now if someone asks you "ты ешь детей?" you should be worried.
Ok, what if I want to say: "No, I don't have children", should I say : "Нет, у меня не дети ?"
Нет, у меня нет детей.
Не is used to negate a verb or a specific word in a sentence, so "у меня не дети" means that what you have is "not children".
Нет кого/чего? Детей. So genitive case is used. That is how native russians learn cases, not sure it would help others though.
ive found the app lingvist is really useful for learning cases.. its like fill in the blanks. it tells you what case its expecting, and if you type the wrong one it shows you a table of all the diff declensions for single/plural/perfective/gender etc... unfortunately its limited to only 80 cards/day w/o premium or something
Correct. Both as a single polite form and when addressing to one person but meaning his/her family by "вы".
why "do you have kids?" is wrong? why "any" is needed here? (and sorry for bad english)
i don't know, hmm http://image.prntscr.com/image/d32f9221c2254167b783a644a323d1d1.png
Yeah, but it probably should be accepted. That said, "do you have any kids" is what you would most likely hear from a native speaker.
On the e. Useful tip: Plug the word in question in here: http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/morphque.cgi?flags=endnnnnp
It will show all the forms of the word and the stress. Always read the entire table and you'll start to figure out the rules.
No, because "дети" is plural. If you wanted to ask "Do you have a child?", you'd say "У тебя есть ребёнок?"
You're welcome! Yes, those are some of those unhelpful words that the plurals don't look at all like you would expect them to.