1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Ukrainian
  4. >
  5. "There is no butter."

"There is no butter."

Translation:Немає масла.

November 14, 2016



What about "Нема масла." (Is more of a statement.) 'Немає масла" sounds funny and 'grammatically inaccurate'. Suggestions?

[deactivated user]

    «Нема» and «немає» mean the same thing. Both are grammatically correct, and both should be accepted.


    Confirm, both are accepted.


    I'm struggling to understand when to use the genitive ending and when to use the instrumental, e.g. маслом or масла. I know one of them is used with "без" but can't remember which. Can soneone post a simple explanation please?


    It's almost impossible to explain that in a simple and clear manner, at least I can't do it.

    We use different cases after different verbs or other words, and, basically, which case to use is to be learned along with the verb. This is similar how you learn prepositions in each situation in English.

    I've seen it on the Internet.

    The cat is in the tree

    We struggle with those in English because we would use a different preposition, and it's not so much about the rule but about a specific situation and traditions.

    So we use the genitive after "немає" - it should just be memorized and learners should get used to it.

    немає масла (nom. = масло), немає кота (nom. = кіт), немає грошей (nom. = гроші) - there's no butter/cat/money

    In Ukrainian, when we learn about the cases we learn what questions the words in that case answer. So for the genitive it would be кого? чого? (немає чого? масла. немає кого? кота - We don't have what? Butter. We don't have who? Cat).

    For the Intrumental the questions are "ким? чим?" (with what/by means of what)?

    That's probably not very useful for non-native learners, I must admit it, but it helps natives a lot to memorize the names of the cases (surprise-surprise, the native speakers usually don't really know a lot about the cases, althouh they can use them correctly).

    A few examples of the Intrumental case:

    I write with a pencil - Я пишу олівцем (Nom. = олівець)

    He became an actor - Він став актором (Nom. = актор)

    Please note that the first example is probably very clear from the general rule - you write with a pencil, this is literally what the Instrumental is about and why it was named so.

    The second example is just what I explained above - you just need to learn that you use the Insrumental after certain verbs, ond of them is "to become" = "ставати/стати".


    "Там нема масла." Would be more grammatically accurate for "There is no butter."

    [deactivated user]

      Actually, English 'there' often acts as a dummy pronoun, not referring to any place in particular. You can't say "No butter is" or "Butter is no", so you need to re-arrange the sentence and include "there": "There is no butter". So, "there" can be a 'dummy' word to make the sentence grammatical, and therefore it's not translated.

      Of course, without the context, we don't know if 'there' is a dummy word, or if it refers to some place. So, both «Там нема(є) масла» and «Нема(є) масла» should be accepted.


      That would be "There is no butter there".


      Sagitta145, "There's no butter there" or "there isn't any butter there" would be better translations in that case.


      Thanks, that was probably a typo!


      Там немає масла - My tutor seems to think this is ok? Is it a grey area?


      It is discussed above, but Там немає масла = There's no butter there.

      Немає масла = There's no butter.

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