1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "I have five history books."

"I have five history books."

Translation:У меня есть пять книг по истории.

December 4, 2015



I don't get why sometimes omiting есть is wrong and sometimes adding it is wrong as well......


You can say "У меня пять книг по истории", " У меня пять исторических книг", and if you are not a native speaker most likely you would say " У меня есть пять книг по истории". You would be understood, but you would be detected as not a native speaker.

  • 2296

У меня пять книг по истории is marked wrong...


I had written "У меня пять исторических книг" (exactly like you said), but it was marked as incorrect.


so Duolingo is not a native Russian.


This is exactly what I learned when I studied in Moscow many years ago. I am frustrated by this course's frequent insistence on "есть."


Continuing with the obviously foreign way of saying things, is it grammatically wrong to say «у меня есть пять книг истории»? I have five books of history?


After two years, I would like to second that question.


From all the sentences in Duolingo and all the various comments about how and when to leave out есть, my understanding is that if there's some kind of qualifier (like an adjective or a number) beside the noun, you may omit есть. Because of that qualifier, it's like you have already acknowledged the existence or possession of that noun. So if I said : У него красный дом, I am already implying that I know or assume that he already has A house, I just don't know the details. My other impression is that if есть is put in when there is a qualifier, then it makes the sentence into an emphatic one. Eg. He does indeed have a red house!


Is it wrong to say книги об истории (books about history) instead of книги по истории (books treating historical subjects)? Perhaps книги об истории is just too generic, and you would want to have a further complement, as in e.g. книги об истории России.


No. In that case it is still would be "книги по истории России".


I have noticed that my original formulation is a bit muddled. So is it just plain wrong to use книга о + prepositional? How do you then differentiate between a book pertaining to a specific field of study (e.g. a history book) and a book on a particular argument or problem within that field (e.g. a book about the influence of the Decembrist uprising on the Russian revolution)?


В русском языке существует определенная сочетаемость слов. По предмету, например, по истории, по математике, по физике. Либо о событии, о влиянии, о периоде. Book on a specific field of study(History, Math, Physics) would be used with по. A book on a particular argument or problem would be used with о/об.


Is there no adjective from историа? I tried "У меня есть пять исторических книг".


It probably means "I have five historical books"... so not quite the same meaning as "history books". Just a guess on my part though!!!

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.