How to say 'I have' in Russian
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, Russians use a very pecific 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.
Now you know how to say “I have” in Russian. Practice the examples with the audio track and come back for the next lesson to continue to learn Russian!
More lessons on the Russian grammar constructions
- Here and there in Russian (#016)
- Forming negation in Russian (#025)
- Forming questions in Russian (#026)
- How to say 'I have' in Russian (#036)
- How to say 'I like' in Russian (#056)
- Double negation in Russian (#082)
- Можно and нельзя [(not) allowed/possible] (#152)
- Need, have to, must, should in Russian (#153)
- Можно, нельзя, надо, должен, пора in the Past and Future tense (#154)
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