"У мальчика есть мама?"
Translation:Does the boy have a mother?
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Мама is the subject of this sentence, so it's in the nominative case, not the accusative. Accusative is used for direct objects. There are no direct objects in the Russian version of this sentence, only in the English translation. The literal translation of the sentence would be something like, " (A) mother exists at (the) boy."
Nope, it's Genitive here in Russian. I also took a while to figure it out.
Case 1. Person x owns thing y. Only x is in the genitive (possessor).
Case 2. X owns none of y. Both x and y are in the genitive.
Case 3. X owns some (eg lots or a little) of y. Again, both x and y are in the genitive.
For cases 2 and 3, the trick is to imagine ownership of a share/ portion/ fraction of the whole. Then the Genitive makes sense.