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  5. "I have a sister."

"I have a sister."

Translation:У меня есть сестра.

December 1, 2015



Can't the «есть» be omitted?

  • 1785

It's a bit context dependent. When present, «есть» indicates the existence of something that may or may not be there. E.g., if your listeners are not yet aware whether or not you have any siblings, «есть» would be called for. You would omit it, however, if the topic of siblings is already being discussed and the goal is to simply state their gender (e.g., someone else has already mentioned having a brother).
In any case, both are grammatically correct, and you will never risk being misunderstood if you drop «есть».


Looking at your last sentence... an answer omitting the 'есть' should then DEFINITELY be accepted. What's right is right, right?


Correct versions also: "У меня сестра." "У меня имеется сестра" "Я имею сестру."


I think it should, but I'm not sure


What's the difference between У and Я, cause both mean I right? When is one supposed to be used and not the other?

  • 1785

They are not even close. Я is indeed "I" (nominative). У is a preposition similar to English "by". What confuses you is that the most typical way of saying "I have X" in Russian is "У меня есть X", which grammatically corresponds to something like "X is by me". So "By me" is "у меня" (dative - as required by preposition "у").


Okay, that helps a bit. Thanks. Have a lingot!


lesson is stuck on question, "I have a sister", for which my answer, "u menya est sestra" should be accepted.


I studied Russian for eight years. I'm taking this placement test as I'm a bit rusty, not having spoken Russian for two years, though I certainly remember that "У меня сестра" works quite as well as "У меня есть сестра". Wtf duo?

  • 1785

There is a subtle difference between the two. You should use "есть" when the existence of something is in question. E.g., if it's not known to the other party whether you have any siblings, "есть" is warranted. On the other hand, if it's expected that you have a sibling, and you simply state that it's a sister, not a brother, "есть" is not needed.


Ok so, it's our job to guess which is meant. In other words, we have to know what context we have without there being context for us to know what context we have. We have to sometimes guess, get it wrong and then realize that you wanted the other kind of answer. Got it

  • 1785

you wanted the other kind of answer

Are you addressing me? I merely explained the difference between the two, so perhaps a simple "thanks" would suffice?
If you feel your answer should be accepted - use the appropriate report option. I am not a contributor to this course, I did not come up with these examples and I cannot just add possible translations. And I most certainly do not want anything (including any kind of answers) from you. Please exercise your attitude elsewhere.


There's something a bit off with this task. First I entered 'u menja sestra' (which is very close to the suggested answer here, and as mentioned by other people here). However, Duolingo went off on a tangent... it of course said my answer is wrong, but it did NOT suggest that the 'est´' should be there. It said the right answer is 'Ja imeju sestru'! That's an entirely new construct to me, besides I couldn't possibly have known how those words are conjugated (they haven't appeared at all before this).

Could the developers please consider adding tiny bits of "pre-reading" or something? As it is now, many times it is 100% pure GUESSWORK to get the tasks right. In books, there are usually short sections explaining the aspects of the grammar that you can then logically use to actually think your way through the problem. Why not here?

If I had started Russian from scratch on Duolingo, I think would have hit the wall almost straight away... I've studied it elsewhere just a tiny bit and that helps SO MUCH. Too much in fact, that's why I feel like Duolingo needs improvement so much. It's more like a TEST of your abilities than a LEARNING tool (which is what it is supposed to be).


I don't know how to write "est". I prooved est, iest, yest, jest, est', iest'...impossible!


"U menya yest' sestra." is not accepted.

Is there a different transliteration I should be using? I tried several ways after that, but don't know ....nothing was accepted and I had to copy the Russian from google translate just to get past this item. Also, google translate put the transliteration how I had it too.

Any mods care to explain? Thanks.


this one is pissing me off. every correct answer is being rejected. i even cheated and copied the "correct" answer they gave and it still isn't being accepted


How about сестры.

  • 1785

"Сестры" is genitive; a positive statement requires nominative.
You would use genitive with "нет": У меня нет сестры.


Okay, what this is saying is the right answer is completely wrong; Я имею сестру. That is wrong right?


Я имею сестру это как-то двусмысленно . И правильно по русски все же сказать у меня есть сестра


If there are several correct answers, why is only one of them displayed on this page?

They should all be listed, especially if the alternatives are very context-dependent and one or some of them would in some other context be inappropriate or worse, incorrect.


Is there a rule on when to use "Y" or "Я" to say "I" ?


Есть is likely to be omitted, lads


I simply can't figure out how to input the soft sign with a US keyboard. Most of the other Cyrillic letters can be typed like in the official transliteration, but none of the usual apostrophes or accent marks work for the soft sign.

What does work is to put some random letter where the soft sign is, then it's accepted as a 'typo'. I usually use 'j'. But it would be more satisfying to get it really right.


Can you help me??

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