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How to express in Russian the possession of something in the present

Hello, dear student!

Today we are going to talk about the way how to express the belonging or ownership of something in Russian by means of words and correct construction.

There is a certain construction which you should memorize and know:

The belonging in present is marked by the word «есть» [est’] + Nominative case.
But be careful, do not mix up this verb with the one denoting «to eat» or «to consume».

Let’s inflect our construction for person and consider the examples:

У меня есть кофта [U min'ya est' kofta] - I have a pullover
У него есть магнитофон [U nivo est' magnitafon] - He has a record player
У нее есть мама [U niyo est' mama] - She has a mother
У них есть дом [U nikh est' dom] - They have a house
У нас есть кружки [U nas est' kruzhki] - We have cups
У вас есть чувство юмора [U vas est' chustva yumara] - You have a sense of humor

In these examples you can easily notice the highlighted word «есть» + noun in Nominative case – this is our construction which expresses the fact that a person has something (object or characteristic).

It is interesting to note that the preposition «У» [u] is always followed by pronouns, names, nouns or names of objects in Genitive case, for example:

- У стола есть хорошие преимущества, он очень стойкий [U stala est' kharoshie preimushhestva, on ochen' stoykiy] - The table has some good advantages, it's very stable.

In this example you can see, that the preposition «у» is followed by the noun in Genitive case (у чего? у стола), then there is our construction of belonging: «есть» + adjective (хорошие) + noun in Nominative case. Yes, sometimes you can separate the construction «есть» + noun in Nominative case by adjectives, for example:

- У моей сестры есть красивая юбка [U maey sistry est' krasivaya yupka] - My sister has a beautiful skirt
- У нее есть потрясающая возможность уехать заграницу [U niyo est' patryasayushhaya vazmozhnast' uekhat' zagranitsu] - She has a great opportunity to go abroad.

If you want to express the negation with this construction, i.e. say that a person doesn’t have something, you should use the following construction: «Нет + noun in Genitive case»

У меня нет кофты [U min'ya net kofty] - I don’t have a pullover
У него нет магнитофона [U nivo net magnitafona] - He doesn’t have a record player
У нее нет мамы [U niyo net mamy] - She doesn’t have a mother
У них нет дома [U nikh net doma] - They don’t have a house
У нас нет кружки [U nas net kruzhki] - We don’t have cups
У вас нет чувства юмора [U vas net chustva yumara] - You don’t have a sense of humor

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