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Thread: When do you use "есть"?

  1. #1
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    When do you use "есть"?

    What are the rules for using "есть" when expressing possession (to have)?
    I pulled the following examples from another forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Анатолий Д
    I am not sure whether there are any rules on this issue.
    It's one of those things that a native speaker acquires unconsciously.

    Examples when you need or don't need "есть" in Russian:

    You have an opportunity, a choice, - у вас есть возможность, у вас есть выбор.

    He has a true friend - у него есть настоящий друг
    He has many friends - у него много друзей

    He has a car - у него есть машина
    He has a new car now - у него теперь новая машина

    He has two kids - у него двое детей
    He has a cat - у него есть кошка

    It looks like it is hard to figure out a rule

    The following use "есть" because the direct object is singular.

    You have a choice - у вас есть выбор.
    He has a friend - у него есть друг
    He has a car - у него есть машина
    He has a cat - у него есть кошка

    The following do NOT use "есть" because the direct object is plural.

    He has many friends - у него много друзей
    He has two kids - у него двое детей


    But why do you omit "есть" here?

    He has a new car now - у него теперь новая машина
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

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    Re: When do you use "есть"?

    Actually, you can say "У него теперь есть новая машина", it isn't a mistake and isn't unnatural.

    As for the "rule" about singular objects, the sentence "У него есть апельсины" is more natural for me, than "У него апельсины".

    I'd say, it doesn't sound good, when a pronoun is near an object ("У него машина"), so we put "есть" to separate them ("У него есть машина"). But if there is some word between them you don't need in "есть" ("У него красная машина").

    And some words about logical stress. If you say "У него есть красная машина", the word "есть" is stressed, so you firstly want to say he has a car. If you say "У него красная машина", you firstly want to say his car is red.

    It's really difficult to explain. "У него настоящий друг" (without есть) sounds not very good in spite of my words above


    But there is a thing I know exactly. In most cases you should prefer passive voice + есть rather than active voice + имею ("У меня есть машина" instead of "Я имею машину")
    My English isn't so good, зато с русским все в порядке ))
    I'll be very thankful, if you correct my mistakes.

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    Re: When do you use "есть"?

    Quote Originally Posted by pranki
    Actually, you can say "У него теперь есть новая машина", it isn't a mistake and isn't unnatural.
    That is good! That means the singular object "rule" works.

    Quote Originally Posted by pranki
    As for the "rule" about singular objects, the sentence "У него есть апельсины" is more natural for me, than "У него апельсины".
    I can understand this also because апельсины acts like a collective noun.
    "He has (a bunch) of oranges."

    I am guessing that "У него есть дома" would sound weird because it is difficult to imagine houses as being a collective noun.

    Whereas "У него есть туфли" would sound fine.
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

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    the reason you normally say He has a new car now - у него теперь новая машина - is because the emphasis is not on the existance of the car.
    Не откладывай на завтра того, с кем можешь переспать сегодня
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    I'm just beginning Russian myself but was under the impression that you use есть to say or ask if someone has something but if the existence of the object or thing is know than you wouldn't include есть.

    For example you would include есть to ask: "do you have a car?"
    You wouldn't include есть to ask: "Do you have an old car?" because it implies that the person must have a car.

    Does that make sense or am I way off the idea??

    Thanks
    Sara

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    Re: When do you use "есть"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    Quote Originally Posted by pranki
    Actually, you can say "У него теперь есть новая машина", it isn't a mistake and isn't unnatural.
    That is good! That means the singular object "rule" works.
    These sentences are a little different though. As other people noted, "u nego teper' est' novaja mashina" places the emphasis on the existence of the car (which perhaps he did not have before and rode a bike), and "u nego teper' novaja mashina" would normally be used to mean that he has replaced his old car with a new one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprty100
    I'm just beginning Russian myself but was under the impression that you use есть to say or ask if someone has something but if the existence of the object or thing is know than you wouldn't include есть.

    For example you would include есть to ask: "do you have a car?"
    You wouldn't include есть to ask: "Do you have an old car?" because it implies that the person must have a car.

    Does that make sense or am I way off the idea??

    Thanks
    Sara
    I think it makes a lot of sense.

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    Personally, I've never thought of есть as "to have" in certain set-phrases. I always think of it similar to the word "est" from many romantic languages meaning is.

    "У меня есть проблемма с многими людей."

    By me there is a problem with many people. So, I've never really thought about there being a rule for est'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprty100
    I'm just beginning Russian myself but was under the impression that you use есть to say or ask if someone has something but if the existence of the object or thing is know than you wouldn't include есть.

    For example you would include есть to ask: "do you have a car?"
    You wouldn't include есть to ask: "Do you have an old car?" because it implies that the person must have a car.

    Does that make sense or am I way off the idea??

    Thanks
    Sara
    That's a very interesting explanation! Being a native Russian I've never thought about that before. I could not figure out a general rule for usage of ЕСТЬ. I think you are 90 (or more)% right.

    Let's try: She has a lovely face. - У неё милое лицо. (Yes, we would never say У неё есть милое лицо., it sounds too weird!) According to your hypothesis, that's because nobody doubts that she really HAS a face. The same is with the phrase He has strong hands. - У него сильные руки.

    However, He is in a bad mood. - У него плохое настроение (impossible to say: у него есть настроение), He has a flu. - У него грипп. (У него есть грипп is impossible). Maybe, that's because such phenomena as "mood", "flu", "quinsy", "headache" and so on, are not an object of physical possession? У него хороший почерк. (Есть is impossible again). - He has a good (nice) writing, His handwriting is good.

    Maybe someone has more ideas?

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    Re: When do you use "есть"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    The following do NOT use "есть" because the direct object is plural.

    He has many friends - у него много друзей
    He has two kids - у него двое детей
    Now my 2 kopeks:
    He has some friends - У него есть друзья.
    He has kids - У него есть дети.
    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    The way I was taught was to omit 'есть' if there is an adjective describing what you are possessing.

    He has a car - "у него есть машина"
    He has a new car - "у него новая машина"

    Also, I was told that you omit есть when talking about personal features or characteristics, like a headache.

    I have a headache - "У меня болит голова"

    I'm by no means an expert, but it seems to work in most situations.

    tdk

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    What I want to say is that sprty100 and tdk2fe think right.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprty100
    I'm just beginning Russian myself but was under the impression that you use есть to say or ask if someone has something but if the existence of the object or thing is know than you wouldn't include есть.

    For example you would include есть to ask: "do you have a car?"
    You wouldn't include есть to ask: "Do you have an old car?" because it implies that the person must have a car.

    Does that make sense or am I way off the idea??

    Thanks
    Sara
    but if I am looking specifically for an old car - then "у тебя есть старая машина ?"

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    HA
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    Re: When do you use "есть"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59

    The following use "есть" because the direct object is singular.

    You have a choice - у вас есть выбор.
    He has a friend - у него есть друг
    He has a car - у него есть машина
    He has a cat - у него есть кошка

    The following do NOT use "есть" because the direct object is plural.

    He has many friends - у него много друзей
    He has two kids - у него двое детей
    неверно, совершенно нормально будет звучать и так:

    You have a choice - у вас выбор.
    He has a friend - у него друг
    He has a car - у него машина
    He has a cat - у него кошка

    и так:

    He has friends - у него есть друзья
    He has kids - у него есть дети

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    ...after your superior officer tells you to do something.
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    Re: When do you use "есть"?

    Quote Originally Posted by HA
    неверно, совершенно нормально будет звучать и так:

    You have a choice - у вас выбор.
    He has a friend - у него друг
    He has a car - у него машина
    He has a cat - у него кошка

    и так:

    He has friends - у него есть друзья
    He has kids - у него есть дети
    No. As mentioned above, you use "есть" to indicate the fact of possession. Your examples can be correct but only in praticular contexts.
    У него собака? Нет, у него кошка.
    У него мотоцикл? Нет, у него машина.
    Here the possession is implied (it is known that he has an animal or a vehicle), so "есть" is not used.
    But if you're going to say that he has a cat without any context, you should say "у него есть кошка".
    Another example:
    Он очень богатый. У него огромый дом в престижном районе, несколько шикарных машин, собственный самолет.
    Here the second sentence is used to prove the first one, not to indicate the possession, so "есть" is not necessary (but also correct).

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    You have a choice - У вас есть выбор - that sounds closer to real life actually.
    Like У вас есть фантазия (you have fantasy),
    У вас есть чувство юмора (you have sense of humour)
    У вас есть чувство долга, чести, такта; образование; смелость и решительность - all those abstractive things (things what we have but can't touch) demand the using of word есть.
    You just can't say in Russian - У вас выбор. У вас фантазия. You better say : У вас есть выбор or У вас есть фантазия.
    The word есть hides in many such phrases untill you ask the opposite question.

    However that's just how I look at such things.
    Я так думаю.

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    Good examples, Leof!
    And now imagine how strange it would sound if somebody says:
    У неё есть тёмные волосы.
    У него есть грубый голос.
    У меня есть насморк.
    Completely unnaturally, yeah?

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    Yes I'm thoroughly agree! They are rediculous in most of cases, BUT ,if you meant me is untrue, I specially noted that I meant the abstractive things which you can have but can not touch - everything what you said are not abstractive things, are they. They either can be touched or are evident to some extend.
    So I agree with you.
    Я так думаю.

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