Sunday, October 14, 2012

I have / I don't have in Russian

  In Russian we rarely use the verb иметь (to have) when talking about owning something. The most common way to say you have something is to use у меня есть:

У меня есть собака. - I have a dog.
У тебя есть телефон. - You have a phone.
У тебя есть эта штука? - Do you have this thing?
У вас есть блендер? - Do you have a blender?

If you don't have something, you use у меня нет:

У меня нет времени. - I don't have time.
У меня нет сил. - I'm tired (literally: I don't have powers).
У него нет денег. - He doesn't have money.
У них нет детей. - They don't have kids.
У меня нет никакого желания это делать. - I don't have any desire to do it.

In colloquial we often skip есть completely:

У меня собака. - I have a dog.
У меня много дел. - I'm busy (I have a lot to do).
У неё красивые глаза. - She has beautiful eyes.
У России много проблем. - Russia has many problems.
Сил нет. - I'm tired.
Время есть? - Do you have time?
Есть пять минут? - Do you have five minutes?
Нет времени на уборку. - No time for cleaning.
У меня живут собака и кошка. - I have a dog and a cat (here есть is replaced with живут - [they] live, so the sentences can be translated as “A dog and a cat live with me”).

У меня много книг. А у вас?
I have a lot of books. What about you?

Now your turn. Write me about what you have — in Russian :)

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