1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Есть?"



Will someone please explain the Russian word "есть" to me?


November 26, 2018



Two meanings. 1. To have. У меня есть книга. I have a book. 2. To eat. Я хочу есть. I want to eat.


There is also a military/naval expression:

- Ко мне! (Front and center!)
- Есть! (Sir, yes, sir!)

Some etymologists say, it is a loan from the English "yes". The same way as the naval expression "Рынду бей!" is a loan of "Ring the bell!".


"Есть" means: 1) "to eat" ; 2) a present tense translation of "to have": "I have smth" = "Я имею что-то" = "У меня есть что-то"; 3) a present tense translation of "to be": "I am a human" = "Я есть человек" = "Я - человек". Translations "Я имею что-то" and "Я есть человек" are understandable but native speakers use "У меня есть что-то" and "Я - человек". Sorry for my bad English.


Don't sweat it. Your English is very understandable!


Есть - to exist. In this sentence, word for word : by you exists ( is) hot water?


If you are asking about "У вас есть горячая вода?" then it means literally "By you is (there) hot water?" which normally translates into "Do you have hot water?"

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