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I just started learning Russian two weeks ago, so be patience with me, please!

I'm a native Portuguese speaker, and i also speak decent English, with a basic grammar knowledge.

My question is, how do i say:

My house has three windows.

I tried: У меня дома есть три окна.

But Google translates it to: At home I have three windows.

Which is not exactly what i meant. I want to say that the house owns the windows. What are the cases governing this? Thanks!

  • You can begin with morpheme-by-morpheme glosses (example). "The house has the roof."/ Дом имеет крышу. You cannot say 1) "В доме крыша" or 2) "У дома крыша", by ommiting a verb. The first is nothing to any case. In the (2) a verb will help: У дома есть крыша. But На доме крыша is OK, = А house has a roof. or, if the actual context presented, we might think the house. Again, in first steps use morpheme-by-morpheme glosses: На доме есть крыша ≈(sem)≈ Дом имеет крышу. In past tense there isn't a way in using without a verb. – Avtokod Oct 20 '15 at 0:15
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The equivalent Russian phrase is:

В моём доме [есть] три окна. ("есть" is usually omitted in this kind of expression)

"Дома" means 'at home'; it is also possible to say (meaning your apartment or room in a bigger house):

У меня дома три окна.
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I want to say that the house owns the windows

Well, technically it would be У моего дома [есть] три окна, but Russian speakers usually avoid saying that "a thing" has (or owns) "another thing(s)".

You have to put it in other way. For example, В моём доме три окна (i.e. there are three windows in my house).

  • Which one of the 6 cases is being used? Thank you guys! – Fernando Oct 18 '15 at 21:44
  • That's the prepositional case i guess. – Fernando Oct 18 '15 at 22:47
  • @Fernando Yes, you're right. Talking about "things", we mean location, so it's prepositional case. Talking about "persons", we mean ownership, so it's genitive case: "My brother has much money" -> "У моего брата много денег". – Matt Oct 19 '15 at 7:44
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    Actually, Russian speakers usually do say that "a thing" has (or owns) "another thing(s)". Consider these: «у этого стула три ножки, а у того четыре», «у этого платья отвратительный вид», «у этой жидкости сильный химический запах», etc. Perhaps "ownership" is a wrong word to speak about things having some parts or properties, still that is really what is called "possession" in linguistics, there are several different kinds of relationships between the "possessor" and "possessed." – Yellow Sky Oct 19 '15 at 11:31
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Also "У моего дома три окна" works well for "My house has three windows"

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В моём доме три окна.

My house has three windows.

В моём доме есть три окна.

The same but suggests continuation, more talk about the windows. For instance, you say that one is painted green, the other two yellow.

У меня дома три окна.

My apartment has three windows (while the house may have more).

У меня дома есть три окна.

At my home there are three windows. Something special with the windows. You are underlining that the windows only exist, so maybe they are not useful? For instance, you are speaking about window frames stored in your apartment rather than openings in the walls or that while your apartment has three windows, you can use only one (others are blocked by furniture or in locked rooms or parents prohibit using them).

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