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https://www.duolingo.com/Josh562331

What does the 'У' do at the beginning of many Russian sentences?

Josh562331
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I noticed a У at the beginning of many sentences in Duolingo, such as 'У папы есть яблоки' but in English, why does that say Dad has apples and what is the у for?

Also why does the verb 'to have' contain 2 words? Not so complex just wanna know why :ъ

2 years ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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I think it just means at or by: 'at Father [there] are apples.' This is merely the common way of expressing ownership in Russian, rather than using a transitive verb as English does.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Josh562331
Josh562331
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Thanks so much!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KellyF12
KellyF12
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Okay, let me try to help you :) У is known as the construction "to have" in English. "У" in Russian literally means "to me or by me" For example, У меня есть кошка. I have a cat. But if you were to look at it literally, it means "by me is a cat, to me there is a cat". When learning Russian try not to compare it to English as in most languages, there is no direct translation and each language has their own way of expressing certain things. So let me break it down. У (by, to) меня (me) есть(have) кошка (cat). If you are saying that someone else has something "у папы есть кошка" then папа would go into the Genitive case, the same as меня.

Also may I add, when you are telling someone you don't have something У меня нет кошки, you get rid of есть and put the noun in the Genitive case.

I hope I helped a bit.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brzohn
brzohn
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A correction: I'm not certainly not fluent, but I took Russian in college, and "есть" doesn't mean "have." "Есть" doesn't have an exact English equivalent; it's a word you use to emphasize that something exists. Like if someone asks you if you have a cat, you'd say, "У меня есть кошка" — "I have a cat," because the other guy wasn't sure the cat existed. But if the cat's hiding under the couch, and you coax her out, you'd say, "У меня кошка" — "I have the cat," because the cat's existence wasn't in question, just its whereabouts.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KellyF12
KellyF12
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Well thank you very much for your correction, I do appreciate it. I do however know that есть does not directly mean "have" the construction however includes есть. Which is used to show possession. Also есть is used when something exists. But however I try not to directly translate everything.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Josh562331
Josh562331
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Understood and now it makes some sense! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KellyF12
KellyF12
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I am glad I could help :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SergeyEvseev73

I want to clarify it. A straight analog for "есть" in English is "there is, there are". But directly translating it's the same word as "is". "есть (yest')" and "is" (and for example german "ist") sound similar because they are both from common Indo-European root. Actually sometimes we (russians) use "есть" in its main sense for some emphasis. For example, "Машина есть механизм" instead of usual "Машина это механизм". It sounds for russian ear like something old russian or scientific. Ukrainians use it more often ("есть" is "є" (ye) in Ukrainian) the same way English spoken people use "is". In Old Russian (and Old Church Slavonic, yet another predecessor of modern Russian) were different forms of the verb "быть" ("быти" in Old Russian): "Яс (Аз) есмь" - "I am", "Ти еси" - "You are", "Он, она, оно есть" - "He, she, it is", "Ми есме" - "We are", "Ви есте" - "You are" (plural), "Они суть" - "They are". The forms died out like in Old English, for example. P.S. "У ... есть ..." we can (and we do almost always) translate as " ... have (has) ...", but it's not direct translation. For " ... have (has) ..." we have (and we use it sometimes) direct translation. For example, "I have ..." translates as "Я имею (Я владею) ...". P.P.S. Sorry for my bad English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SergeyEvseev73

It's not completely correct, actually. "У" means neither "to" nor "by". "To me" is "ко мне", "by me" is "от меня". In this case for example "У меня" means "In my possesion", "У папы" means "in dad's possesion" and so on. In other case it may mean "my, his, her..." and something like that. For example, "у меня рука сломана" we can translate as "my arm is broken", or "у дома сломана крыша" we can translate as "the house's roof is broken", but under the hood it still means "something in my posession" (my arm is the arm I posses, the house's roof is a part of this house, something it "posses"). I hope I explained it clearly. P.S. Sorry for my bad English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KellyF12
KellyF12
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I thought "ко мне" means towards me, as in, something is moving towards me. And "от меня" as in that letter came from me. My Russian workbook and grammar book says "у меня" means "next to or by something" P.S your English is fine :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SergeyEvseev73

Yes, you are almost correct. But "towards me" and "to me" mean both in Russian "ко мне". For example, "You move towards me" (Ты идешь ко мне or Ты идешь по направлению ко мне) means "you move in my direction" (if I'm correct here in English). But, for example, "Come to me!" (Иди ко мне!) means almost the same in Russian, and both types of sentences use the word "ко (к)". And, of course, "by" means "from" in case of direction (Ты идешь от меня, for example), but it also means "made by someone". For example, "Jeans by Dolce and Gabbana" translates as "Джинсы от Дольче и Габбана (or "Dolce & Gabbana" without translation, it can be and so, and so)".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KellyF12
KellyF12
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well thank you for your detailed answer :) Grammar is cruel haha :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1Pozin2
1Pozin2
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How, guys, are you translate in English sentences like “У попа жила собака.” or “У мамы играет музыка.”?

3 months ago

[deactivated user]

    Those are difficult to translate because English doesn’t have exactly the same grammatic structure!

    I’d use ‘A priest had a dog’ (or ‘There was a dog living at the priests’ place’) and ‘Mom has music on’ (or ‘Mom has music playing’, or ‘There is music playing at the Mum’s place’).

    If you need a literal translation, this is closer to ‘At [the] priest’s [possession/place, there] lived [a] dog’ and ‘At [the] Mom’s [possession/place, there is] music playing’.

    EditDelete3 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/1Pozin2
    1Pozin2
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    You are right! I think the best are ''There was a dog living at the priest's place'' and ''There is music playing at the Mom's place''.

    3 months ago