Lesson 036

How to say 'I have' in Russian

The audio for the lesson is available at the bottom of the screen under the blue button.

Now, when we have learned Russian personal pronouns in the Genitive case, we can learn how to say “I have” in Russian. To do that, the Russians use quite a specific construction which is 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 possession there is (no)”.

As we learned in the previous lesson, the pronoun меня is the Genitive form of я. Using the formula above and the Genitive form of other personal pronouns you can figure out how to say “you have”, “he has”, etc.

Now let’s practice on some examples (highlighted nouns and pronouns are in the Genitive):

У меня́ есть кни́га.
I have a book.

У тебя́ есть запасна́я ру́чка?
Do you have a spare pen?

У него́ нет де́нег.
He does not have money.

У неё сего́дня день рожде́ния.
Today is her birthday. (She’s having a birthday today.)

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

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

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

Using the formula у + noun/pronoun in the Genitive (without есть), you can specify the location of something or someone at somebody’s place/possession:

У нас до́ма го́сти.
We have guests at home.

У меня́ твоя́ су́мка.
I have your bag.

На́ши де́ти у ба́бушки.
Our kids are at grandma’s.

Твои́ докуме́нты у нас.
We have your documents. / Your documents are at our possession.

Ключи́ у меня́.
I have the keys.

Practice the examples of this lesson with the audio recording (at the bottom of the screen under the blue button).

Russian Pod 101

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The offline version of the course includes the lessons in MP3 and PDF formats. The PDF files are available in two formats: for desktop and mobile devices.

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