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How to express belonging in Russian

Hello, dear student! Today I would like to tell you the way we exress belonging in the Russian language or in other words show that we have or possess something.

For that purpose we need such word as "есть"/"иметь" [est'/imet'] - have, possess. Please, pay attention to the word "есть" - do not mix it up with one which shows that a person eats, consumes meal. We are talking about the word "есть" that expresses the possesson of something.

У вас есть книга Гарри Поттера? [U vas est' kniga Gari Potera?] - Do you have Harry Potter book?

У Ирины есть много красивых платьев [U Iriny est' mnoga krasivykh plat'ev] - Irina has a lot of beautiful dresses

To express belonging in the present tense, we need the familiar word "есть" and personal pronouns + noun in the Nominative case:

У меня [u minya] - I have
У Вас [u Vas] - you have
У тебя есть + ручка - [u tibya est' + ruchka] - You have a pen
У него [u nivo] - He has
У неё [u niyo] - She has
У них [u nikh] - They have
У нас [u nas] - We have

У нас есть большая картина [U nas est' bal'shaya kartina] - We have a big picture

In this example we have personal pronoun "у нас" + "есть" + noun in Nominative "картина". The word "есть" indicates the present tense, something that taking place now. Please, pay attention to the preposition "у" followed by a personal pronoun that will always be in genitive case:

У нас (у кого?) [U nas] - We have

У них (у кого?) [U nikh] - They have

To make sentence negative and express negation, we should add the word "нет" + noun in the Genitive case, for example:

У Марины нет родителей [U Mariny net raditelej] - Marina doesn't have parents

У меня нет его номера телефона [U minya net ivo nomera tilefona] - I don't have his phone number

You can see in the second example that sometimes, the word "нет" and noun in genitive case can separate any other word, in our case - the word "его" (his).

If you want to express all above mentioned information in the past tense, which is necessary in retelling texts in Russian, you should learn the following way of formation:

The word "есть" changes to the infinitive form of the verb "быть", which agrees with possessed noun in gender and number, for example:

У Сони была кошка [U Soni byla koshka] - Sonya had a cat

Pay attention, how the form "быть" has changed to "была" because the noun "собака" is feminine as you can see from its ending, the number - singular.

У папы был трудный день [U papy byl trudnyj den'] - A dad had a tough day

As the word "день" is a masculine noun, the verb "быть" changes to "был"

У неё было зелёное яблоко [U niyo byla ziljonae yablaka] - She had a green apple

The word "яблоко" is masculine, that is why "быть" changes to "было"

To express negation, we add the particle "не" to the verb "быть", for example:

У него не было денег оплатить учёбу [U nivo ne byla deneg aplatit' uchyobu] - He did not have money to pay for his study

У Карины не было багажа с собой [U Kariny ne byla bagazha s saboj] - Karina didn't have any luggage with her.

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