"The man has a sister."
Translation:У мужчины есть сестра.
Depends on the context. If everyone knows that the man has a sibling but doesn't know it's a sister or a brother, then you can use «У мужчины сестра» to say the sibling is actually a sister.
«Есть» is used when existence is important. However, if everyone knows he does have a sibling, existence is not important and the important part is «сестра» (i.e. you're not making a statement about the man having someone, you're making a statement about who is the sibling the man has). But if it wasn't previously known if the man has any sibling, then «есть» is required because you're making a statement about existence of a sister.
If you wrote «У мужчины есть сестры», it wound be understood to mean «У мужчи́ны есть сёстры» 'The man has sisters' because it's allowed to drop the dots over «ё». However, this is not what the English sentence says.
«У мужчи́ны есть сестры́» (with plain «е», not «ё») is ungrammatical: «сестры́» is a genitive case, and this sentence requires nominative, because 'sister' is the grammatical subject (literally it's something like 'at man, [there] is sister).
I am so lost on genitive. Why is сёстра not сёстры? I am getting every single one of these wrong even after reading all the "rules" from this site and others. This is just not sticking for me, any other tips before I give up while still in beginner phase? It seems like sometimes the noun/pronoun as the last word gets a genitive ending and sometimes not.
«Сестра» does not need to be declined in this sentence; it will remain in its Nominative singular form. Think of this sentence as meaning “There is a sister with/by/of the man.” That’s pretty much what it translates to literally. So, the only word that will need to be declined to Genitive case is «мужчина» (which is spelled «мужчины») because of the preposition «у». Genitive case normally applies to words that are the origin or possessors/owners of other words.
“The cat has a mouse.” = «У кошки есть мышь.»
“Cat,” in its Nominative singular form, is «кошка», and Genitive singular is «кошки». The Nominative singular form for “mouse” is «мышь». Notice the word for mouse did not change, but “cat” did, because it is the possessor of the object.
“The boy threw the dog’s ball.” = «Мальчик бросил мяч собаки.»
«Мальчик» is in its Nominative singular form because it is the subject, and «мяч» is in accusative singular because it is the direct object of the verb “to throw,” but because “ball” is an inanimate masculine noun, it does not have a different form for this case. And, finally, «собака» (Nominative singular for “dog”) is declined to Genitive case «собаки» because it is the owner of the ball.
Thanks, I can follow this a little better. It just doesn’t seem to be consistent or I’m just getting overly frustrated and blind but I had two exact phrases end with “juice” where one was “сок” and the other was “сока”. Does it matter on the gender for this possession. One was “the boy had juice” the other “the girl has juice” I keep getting these wrong because it seems object being possessed changes to genitive sometimes. I know after “нет” it will. Thanks again for the reply.
No, it's not apparently wrong. In fact, it's exactly the suggested translation (У мужчины есть сестра). Looks like a bug with the input in Roman alphabet. :/
Мой ник на белорусском языке. По-белорусски лягушка — это «жаба», а жаба — «рапуха». :)
No. The sister is nominative because it's a grammatical subject of the sentence.
In English, it's object: "The man has a sister", 'the man' does an action of 'having' directed at the sister. So, sister is grammatically an object, she doesn't do the action but an action is directed at her.
However, Russian treats things differently. In Russian, sister is the subject, and sister exists near the man: "By [the] man, there-is [a] sister". (Of course, we don't translate it this way, this is just to show the grammar.) So, here's the sister that does the action of 'being', and she is being by/near/with the man. Sister is grammatically the subject, she is the one who 'is'.
My point is not specifically about this phrase, but about these "Mark the correct one" exercises in general. I would find it really useful to hear the phrases spoken. I'm still struggling to attune my ears to the sound of Russian, and it would be a great help to hear the words as well as seeing the spelling.
Something weird going on... The instructions said "Write this in Russian" and gave this sentence: "The You has a sister." My answer was "у женщины есть сестра " but the program informed me that was incorrect and provided the "Correct solution:" "У мужчины есть сестра."
I'm at a complete loss. Why the strange English sentence? How does "you" ¿or "the"? get translated as мужчины ?
I think the program needs to study Duolingo more!
No. Because of the preposition «у», «мужчи́на» must be declined to the genitive case, which is «мужчи́ны».
This is a great website for checking declensions: http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/morphque.cgi?flags=endnnnnp