"Нет, у меня нет мыши."

Translation:No, I do not have a mouse.

December 1, 2015



Why is it not. I do not have mice.

December 1, 2015


The confusing thing is the case. It tripped me up too. This structure (У меня нет..../I do not have) means whatever it is you don't have is in the genitive case.

мыши can indeed be mice plural, but only in the nominative case. As mosfet says, the plural in the genitive case is мышей.

Wiktionary can be helpful with verb conjugation: мышь

April 16, 2016


It's actually noun declension (not verb conjugation).

November 17, 2017


У меня нет мышей (genitive plural)

December 1, 2015


How is this not plural?

March 4, 2016


Well, you have to correct your expectations.

In this sentence you can clearly see that it is "someone does not have something", with the structure of У + Genitive + нет + Genitive. Now, you will ALWAYS expect the noun modified by «нет» to be in the Genitive case anyway, so this one is abolutely certain (you may even use this fact as a working definition of what the Genitive is).

You are now left with two options:

  • мыши is Genitive singular. It works, because it is indeed the Genitive singular form of мышь ("mouse")
  • мыши is Genitive singular. does not look like any of the Genitive plural endings (zero-ending, -ов/-ев, -ей, -ий) so this can only work if мыши, like суши, is an indeclinable noun of foreign origin. Which proves to be false.
March 4, 2016


I just learned so much from this comment. Thank you! It really helps to be walked through an example like this.

April 4, 2016


I guess if you don't know all six cases by heart this won't make any sense. Because it doesn't to me.

October 6, 2016


I'm still trying to wrap my head completely around this, but it is a very helpful explanation. Thank you!

March 30, 2016


According to the declension table I have, the Genitive plural of мышь is мышей, not мыши, which is nominative plural and genitive feminine singular

April 29, 2018


Oh. Indeed. Sorry for the mistake. Of course, I meant the Genitive singular.

April 29, 2018

  • 103

In Russian does a computer mouse use the same word as the animal mouse, as is the case in English?

April 13, 2017


I believe so. According to this webpage listing Russian words for computer terms: https://www.funrussian.com/2012/03/01/computer-words-russian/.

April 16, 2017


why isn't it "у меня не мыши", since not = ne and no = net? Or a better translation to english would be "I have no mice"?

March 11, 2016


"У меня не мыши" means "I have not mice (but something else)" :)

March 27, 2016


Well, I would stick to the fact that the phrase "I don't have" always translates in Russian to у меня нет

March 22, 2016


Perhaps a grammatical analysis would answer this question: In «у меня нет мыши», нет acts as an adverb, changing the verb from "having" to "not having" - not being in possession of or not owning a mouse, which is real and exists somewhere.

In «у меня не мыши», не is acting as a adjective, make the thing "had" to be "not-a-mouse". There are two problems with this usage:

  1. That's confusedly ambiguous - I have a not-mouse, which could be anything, e.g. a horse is not a mouse, but we have no idea what the not-a-mouse thing is, so it's ambiguous.

  2. From another point of view, не мыши is philosophically confounding - you can't "have" something which doesn't exist, and taking not-mouse to mean something that doesn't exist is a philosophical concept rejected centuries ago by Emmanuel Kant and his successors: If you can have a not-mouse, then you can also have a unicorn, since both can have all possible qualities which would make them complete - except existence.

I'm going to keep an eye out for how не is used - I know, for instance, that it performs the adverbial function of modifying adjectives: вода не глубокая = "The water is not deep".

April 29, 2018


Excellent. Thank you.

I was thinking of other examples which were along the lines of ...there are no/Нет mice here. In this case Нет is negating the verb, the fact of having them. I do not have.

January 26, 2019


I find it easier to just think of it like the question "Do ____ (have) no mice" and then just tweek with the ending to make it a statement or a question

Have would be есть but it's only implied here

October 5, 2017


Would it not t be у меня ЕСТЬ нет мыши? Why is есть not needed here?

September 9, 2018


I must wonder why we are learning how to say mouse and fly before for example right and left

February 25, 2019


I think that there is a problem in this sentence

May 26, 2018


OK, it's the textbook answer.

June 8, 2018


Shady_arc - thank you for the explanation.

February 14, 2019


Why is мышь in the Genitive case? Other words were in the nominative case in earlier lessons.

February 21, 2019


Statements of nonexistence with нет always use the Genitive. Same with не было in the past and не будет in the Future:

  • Нет времени объяснять = There's no time to explain
  • У меня нет воды. = I have no water (structurally, close to "there is no water" )
  • Не будет времени объяснять = There will be no time to explain
  • Вчера не было хлеба. = There was no bread yesterday.
February 21, 2019


Why can't I use the contraction don't here instead of do not?

February 25, 2019


You can and may happily and correctly use the contraction "don't" and DL accepts it.

March 5, 2019


It is translating mice as mouse.

April 25, 2019



See the comment here by the moderator, Shady Arc. It explains the use of the genitive case which is why mouse appears at first glance to be plural in the Russian sentence. It is not. He explains why.

April 26, 2019

[deactivated user]

    If мыши is mouse what is mice. If i do not get a satisfactory answer . I am finished with duolingo

    August 13, 2018

    • 103

    I think your problem is that the translation for mice depends on the use in the sentence, each of 6 grammatical cases having its own version. Likewise, mouse, the singular form, has its own six forms, some of which are spelled the same as some of the plural forms. It only seems complicated to us in English because we do most of the same job with adding prepositions such as to or of in front of most nouns rather than changing the spelling. You can look up the declensions of most nouns many places with a quick Google search, but for this particular instance we have nominative sing. мышь plur. мыши genitive мыши мышей dative мыши мышам accusative мышь мышей instrumental мышью мышами prepositional мыши ммшах

    August 14, 2018


    In this sentence, "мышей". mosfet07 answered this near the top: У меня нет мышей (genitive plural)

    August 13, 2018
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