036 – How to say ‘I have’ in Russian

Today let’s take a break from the boring grammar rules and 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 жела́ние прогуля́ться?
Do you feel like walking? (Do you have a desire to have a walk?)

У него́ нет па́спорта.
He does not have the passport.

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

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

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