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Why do we need the word "есть"? How to express belonging in Russian

Hello, dear student! Today we will talk about the verb "есть" and the reason why it denotes belonging. To learn how to use this word in speech correctly, we should find out what cases can we have:

1. When we talk about quantity:

У Антонины много разных друзей [U Antaniny mnoga raznykh druzej] - Antinina has a lot of different friends

У Антонины есть много разных друзей [U Antaniny est' mnoga raznykh druzej] - Antonina has lots of different friends

Pay attention to these two sentences - they have similar meaning but there is the word "есть" in the second one. The point is that to express belonging in Russian, we can omit the verb "есть", so we often do not even use it because everything is clear. For example:

У моей сестры высокая температура [U majej sistry vysokaya timperatura] - My sister has high temperature

There is no word "есть" in this sentence but we can understand from its meaning that her sister has high temperature and it is not necessary to write or say the word "есть".

2. When we talk about any features or characterize anything:

У Кати красивые ресницы [U Kati krasivye risnitsy] - Kate has beautiful eyelashes

У Кати (есть) красивые ресницы [U Kati (est') krasivye risnitsy] - Kate has beautiful eyelashes

As in the previous examples, we should not necessarily use the word "есть" because we understand the meaning anyway.

У Лизы (есть) красивое платье [U Lizy (est') krasivae plat'e] - Liza has a beautiful dress

3. When we talk about any diseases:

Я гуляла под дождём и теперь у меня грипп [Ya gulyala pad dazhdyom i teper' u minya grip] - I have been walking under the rain and now I have the flu

"У меня грипп" implies that a person has this infection ("есть").

У моего ребёнка ветрянка [U maivo ribjonka vitryanka] - My child has chicken pox

This sentence implies that a child has such disease as "chicken pox".

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