"У них нет воды."

Translation:They do not have water.

November 21, 2015

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Tips and notes

In Russian “I have” is expressed by «У меня (есть)» structure. The owner is in the Genitive case.


"The of-case". It is one of the most universal cases. How do you make the forms? Here is the regular pattern:

ENDINGGenitive sg.soft stem-a/-ямамамамыземляземлиzero-ending masc, -о/-е neutсок / молокосока / молокаконьконя-ь femмышьмыши

A zero ending means that the word ends in a consonant or a soft sign (which is just a way to show the final consonant is "soft"). In the Nominative singular, a Russian word can only have the following endings: а, я, о, е, ё ornothing ("zero ending").


If you use «нет» to say that there is "no" something or you do not have it, the object is always in Genitive:

У меня́ есть я́блоко → У меня́ нет я́блока

Здесь есть рюкза́к → Здесь нет рюкзака́.


"of" (possession): яблоко мамы = mom's apple"of" (amount): чашка чая, много чая = a cup of tea, a lot of tea

A huge number of prepositions requires this case. Yes, «у меня есть», «У неё есть» only use «меня» and «неё» because «у» wants Genitive.

For он, она and оно Genitive doubles as a non-changing possessive "his", "her", "their": его, её, их.

initial «н» is used for him/her/them with the majority of prepositions (doesn't affect possessives)


A little side note: some nouns of foreign origin are indeclinable. It means that all their forms are the same. Foreign nouns that end in о/е become like that (кофе, метро, радио, резюме), as well as all nouns that do not fit into Russian declension patterns (see above).

This includes female names that end in anything other than А or Я. A few -ь-ending names are an exception (Любовь and Biblical names like Юдифь).

So, all of the following names are automatically indeclinable: Маргарет, Мэри, Элли, Дженни, Рэйчел, Натали, Энн, Ким, Тесс, Жасмин.


Russian also uses the Genitive to state that someone is "away", "not there": Мамы сейчас нет. In English such use would correspond to "There is no mom at the moment", or even "There is no me now". We are not hard on that particular construction in the course, but it is important to know it all the same.

Added bonus: when a verb directly acts on a noun, the noun is called a direct object and is in Accusative. In Russian, only -а/-я feminine nouns have a unique form for it. Others just reuse Genitive or don't change the word at all (Nominative)


Russian uses.... let's call it "consistent" negation. It means that in negative sentences you are required to use "nothing" instead of "anything", "nowhere" instead of "somewhere" and so on. Let's meet the first of these pronouns:

У меня ничего нет. = I don't have anything.Она ничего не ест. = She doesn't eat anything.

You'll also notice that, unlike standard English, Russian has no rule against using double negatives.


Whaaaat... omg i think im gonna cry i read this three times and still my mind is blank.


check YouTube and other sources :)


Thank you very much for that explanation Pablo!!! I have read it all. Duolingo should add the notes of the units in the mobile app too!!


Why is воды used instead of вода? Is here water genitive?


Yes, you have to use a genitive in у + нет sentences.

Брат (brother)

У меня нет брата (I don't have a brother)


Wow!!! Thanks for posting ... now I have to learn it ... runs away crying


Can somebody explain this sentence? I figure нет is the opposite of есть here, but what cases do the nouns take? Is it like with есть?


Genitive case follows "нет". "Есть"(which you can sometimes omit in a sentence) is followed by Nominative case.


I've noticed that in several exercises the word "воды" at the end of a sentence sounds notably different when you listen to it in slow speed - /badi/ turns to /bode/. Is that normal?


Same here, воды does not sound right at all when you listen to it "fast"


вода is stressed in "да", and its prepositional case form, which is воды, also is stressed in "ды", so the right way to pronounce is /vadé/, with the unstressed "о" sounding like "а".


Is it the same the genetive form and the plural form for all the words?


The only difference between them is the stress, we pronounce vadý in genitive and vódy in plural. And not all the words work like that, e.g. друг > друга (gen sing) > друзья (nom plural)


Why is it них here but not меня? Unless i just confused myself lol


"У них" - they have. "У меня" - I have.


Thanks for explenation

[deactivated user]

    Почему не верно "There is not any water" Why don`t "there is not any water"


    Because you're saying that "they" (у них) do not have water, not that there isn't any water.


    Anyone else try to use the contraction "don't" instead of "do not" and get the translation wrong for it or was it just me?


    This one was tough. Having the black country accent messes up everything i say so much that im 50 percent of the time wrong. I cant stop saying things harsh. Thats the way we speak. Soft endings just dont exist. Im lost and need help


    I am from near there and have a similar problem.


    It didnt let me speak a 3rd time


    Is this plural to water?!?


    No, it's the genitive case.


    Still don't get why "The boy has no apple" is accepted but "They have no water" isn't

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