I have two cats

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by SJC Tancho, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. SJC Tancho Member

    New York(Long Island)
    English(US) & Spanish(El Salvador)
    у меня есть два котей

    Would this be the right way to say "I have two cats" in the genitive case?
  2. YMOPA

    YMOPA Senior Member

    Repub de Tejas
    In Russian, you must be gender-specific.

    2 female cats: "У меня́ две кóшки"
    2 male cats: "У меня́ два котá"
    1 male 1 female: "У меня́ кот и кóшка"

    Oddly, when uncertain of the gender, in Russian you use feminine form: "Там много кошек" - "There are many cats" regardless of the gender. There is also a genderless form, rarely used in conversation but often used in official documents and official/scientific documents: "Кошачья стая", "Семейство кошачьих".
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  3. Ёж! Senior Member

    In my experience, this is casual in the case we're talking of 'individuals': sometimes we say "кот"/"коты", sometimes "кошка"/"кошки": «на дороге два кота»/«на дороге две кошки». But when the 'species' is meant, in common parliance it is called "кошки": «здесь много кошек».
  4. YMOPA

    YMOPA Senior Member

    Repub de Tejas
    Your experience obviously contradicts the language norms. I understand, you are speaking for yourself, but you do confuse cats with hedgehogs. For hedgehogs, indeed, male is primary gender, but in case of cats, female gender is.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/кот - notice the gender-specific
    vs http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/кошка#Russian - notice genderlessness
    also: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Кошка

    gosh, why do I always have to dig for refs to prove the obvious... :confused:
  5. Ёж! Senior Member

    I think you're misunderstanding what I was saying. When the gender is technically unknown, but the cats are well identified, you can think they're whatever gender that fits better your imagination, and so use whatever word. When you're talking of unspecific cats, they are always called "кошки", becuase this is the word that names the species for us.

    For example, you probably would not call a big fat cat that seems to be laughing at you right now a "кошка"; this is a "кот"! Another example: the sentence «чтобы избавиться от мышей, надо завести кота» is no worse than «чтобы избавиться от мышей, надо завести кошку». In fact, the former may sound better, because the ability to make a good hunt is associated with virility.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  6. bibax Senior Member

    "у меня (есть) двух кошек"

    Is it correct?
  7. Maroseika Moderator

    Genitive can be used only in the negative construction: у меня нет кошек (двух кошек).
    In you case you need Nominative:
    У меня есть кошки (две кошки).
    У меня кошки (две кошки).
    Note that the case of the Noun depends on the Numeral and not on the Verb: У меня есть пять кошек.

    By the way, котя is affectionate diminutive, so you can use it as:
    У меня нет коти, нет котей, у меня есть котя, есть коти.
    Not sure though it can really be used in Plural. Never heard such usage.
  8. bibax Senior Member

    "У меня есть двух цветов: ярко-малиновый и темно-фиолетовый."

    Is it correct? I've found it somewhere on the net.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  9. YMOPA

    YMOPA Senior Member

    Repub de Tejas
    you mean, cats???:eek: Are you quite sure?
  10. bibax Senior Member

    Flowers, of course.

    But we are discussing the Russian grammar, the nominative vs. genitive case.
  11. Ёж! Senior Member

    The word "платья" (nom. pl.) is omitted; or any other noun in the plural nominative. This is possible in colloquial speech, not so much in the written form. Whatever noun is implied, in any case "цветов" is the genitive for "цвета" — "colours".
  12. SJC Tancho Member

    New York(Long Island)
    English(US) & Spanish(El Salvador)
    Oh okay. Thank you so much YMOPA. :)
  13. bibax Senior Member

    Now I understand. The web page was about flowers. So I mistakenly thought that "У меня есть двух цветов" meant "I have two flowers" although it meant "I have (flower(s)) of two colours".

    So the given sentence could be completed:

    "У меня цвет/цветок (or цветы) двух цветов: ярко-малиновый и темно-фиолетовый."
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  14. Ёж! Senior Member

    Not quite, the implied noun is "цветы", "букеты" or something like that, and only in the plural nominative. An afterthought: the implied noun is likely to be of the masculine gender, since this noun is likely the one that the adjectives "ярко-малиновый" and "тёмно-фиолетовый" both refer to.

    By the way, "цвет" almost always means a colour, and only a colour. Very seldom it can be used as a collective term for an undefined group of flowers.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  15. milena_volowina

    milena_volowina New Member

    У меня есть два цветка (two flowers): ярко-малиновый и тёмно-фиолетовый.

    У меня есть два цвета (two colors): ярко-малиновый и тёмно-фиолетовый.

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