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  5. "Нет, у меня нет мыши."

"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.


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


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


У меня нет мышей (genitive plural)


How is this not plural?


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.


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


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


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


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


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

  • 661

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


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


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"?


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


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


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".


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.


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


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


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


I think it's because we need words that go well with the genitive lesson that comes after this animal lesson (I'm doing then both at the same time). Perhaps the nouns we learned before were too simple or too complex.

Also, in English left and right are frequently used with prepositions, and I assume the prepositional case is is own course.


Contrary to what you may think, prepositions in Russian are not used with the Prepositional case—I mean, most are not.

A little over 4 prepositions ever use it: в (во), на, о (об, обо) , при.


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


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.


It is translating mice as mouse.



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.


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


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


Either my pronunciation is very poor or there is problem with the voice-to-text system. The system has no problem with my first 'нет' but can't seem to get past the second 'нет' (I'm writing after my 4th attempt). I also find the responses inconsistent - sometimes it will 'light up' multiple occurrences of, say, 'не' (or 'не' and 'нет') in a sentence and other times words will fail to light up until the system times-out and pronounces it correct, making it difficult to know if I've mispronounced something or got it right.

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