Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/AngryPeasant

A question about having, had

AngryPeasant
  • 18
  • 15
  • 12
  • 8
  • 6
  • 4

I understand that Russian indicates possession with:

у + genitive + есть + nominative (present tense) у + genitive + был/а/о + nominative (past tense)

My question is how do you express "to have" when it not about possessing things. For example "I am having/had a good time." or "We had good weather yesterday". Do you use the same construction for these sentences or something different? Thanks!

2 years ago

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
zirkul
Mod
  • 25
  • 18
  • 6
  • 3
  • 1193

Unfortunately (for the learners), there is no direct analogue of those constructions in Russian, and there is no all-purpose verb similar to "to have" which you can use here.

"I had a good time" - "Я хорошо провёл время" (literally: "I spent the time well", meaning "I enjoyed it", not "I have accomplished a lot"). This sentence would be a description of your experience; I would not use it as a polite thing to say at the end of a date etc.- in that case I would phrase it somewhat differently.

"I am having a good time" - no direct analogue in Russian I can think of. You can say "Я хорошо провожу время", but that would work only if you are describing your well-being over somewhat extended time (e.g., you ring your mum to tell her about your tropical vacation); it would not work if your goal is to describe your present state of excitement. E.g., you cannot say that in the middle of a party.

"We had good weather yesterday" - "У нас вчера была хорошая погода", but only if you want to stress that the weather was good at your location (presumably, while talking to someone from elsewhere). Otherwise, it's just "Вчера была хорошая погода" - "The weather was good yesterday".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AngryPeasant
AngryPeasant
  • 18
  • 15
  • 12
  • 8
  • 6
  • 4

Thanks a lot!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosenoiree
Rosenoiree
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5

I am not native in Russian, but my native language is also slavic, so I suppose I can help. The expressions you've mentioned are a bit "idiomatic" to me in English and there's no shared verb in their translation to the slavic languages. For example, slavs instead of saying they had a nice weather, would rather say that the weather WAS nice (however, talking about "having" a nice weather isn't incorrect, at least in Polish, but it's rather less common). About having a bath/a shower - we don't have it, we take it. Meals - NO having a meal, just eating it. Having fun - also no direct translation, but still - no having. We "enjoy ourselves" or "spend a great/nice time" :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexeyGolo4

hmm. I speak Czech and Russian and in Czech you can say "Mel jsem vcera kachnu k veceri" - "yesterday I had a duck for a dinner" Also "Meli jsme tady slunecko" -"We had a sun here"

But in Russian "to have" is rarely used at all.

2 years ago