036 – How to say ‘I have’ in Russian

Giving you a big of a break from boring grammar rules, let’s learn how to say ‘I have’ in Russian. To do that the Russians use quite a specific construction, very different from English.

If you want to say ‘I have…‘ or ‘I have no…‘, use the construction ‘у меня есть‘ and ‘у меня нет‘ accordingly. Translated literally, it means ‘in my posession there is (no)’.

The pronoun ‘меня‘ here is in the Genitive, and since you’ve already learned the personal pronouns in the Genitive you can figure out how to say ‘you have’, ‘he has’ and so on. Remember that after нет you also have to use the Genitive.

Let’s look at some examples (highlighted nouns and pronouns are in Genitive):

У меня́ есть кни́га.
I have a book.

У тебя́ есть жела́ние прогуля́ться?
Have you a desire to walk?

У него́ нет па́спорта.
He has no passport.

У нас есть вре́мя вы́пить ко́фе?
Do we have time to have a coffee?

У вас есть вре́мя для меня́?
Do you have some time for me?

У них нет уро́ков сего́дня.
They have no lessons today.

More on this topic: I have, you have, he has…

Practice all today’s example sentences with the audio track.

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