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A place for students, teachers and native Russian speakers to discuss Russian grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and other aspects of the Russian language.

Why does putting "у" at the beginning of a sentence change things?

0 votes
I recently began learning Russian, finally! I'm having a hard time with the alphabet and the grammar, particularly the way that putting 'y" at the start of the sentence changes the sentence structure. If anyone could please explain this I would be appreciative. Thank you.
asked Dec 18, 2013 by cleburn (130 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
I can only guess what exactly do you mean. And my guess is: you have a problem with a sentence like "У меня собака." = "I have a dog."

"У меня собака." literally is translated as "A dog is at me." word-by-word: "At me dog", where "У" is a preposition equivalent to "At". The verb "to be" in present tense in Russian is normally skipped and the word order is more free than in English..

Please provide an example when you ask next time - that will help.
answered Dec 18, 2013 by it-ogo (18,220 points)
edited Dec 19, 2013 by it-ogo
Thank you very much. I wasn't understanding what the meaning was for sentenced to be structured like this. But your explanation helped a lot. Thank you. And yeah, next time I'll add some examples.
Oops, sorry. I made a mistake.  The sentence is not impersonal. "Собака" is a subject, the literal translation is "A dog is at me." I am going to edit the answer..