I have encountered the sentence "Mom is not here anymore" translated as "Мамы здесь больше нет".

Why "мамы" and not just "мама"? Is it in genitive case?

  • 1
    Many synthetic language speakers when asked how to find grammatical case (падеж), just offer to ask a question. But they do not realize, that asking the right question requires to know grammatical case. I think there is no simple answer. What is even worst - grammatical cases have different questions between languages (Russian > Благодарить кого, Bulgarian > Благодаря кому). Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 12:58
  • the differences aren't that critical, and attestation to that is the fact that people do manage to master foreign languages, the majority of verbs applications i reckon still follow identical case paradigms Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:01

3 Answers 3


The thing in in Russian the phrase "Mom is not here anymore" is sort of answering the question "Whom do we miss here" rather than "Who is not here?" - it quite a subtle difference regarding the fact that the usage of "whom" is declining, but luckily it's still a thing in English so I can use it for explanation )

  • whom? - кого (genitive)
  • who? - кто (nominative)

Negative construction with "нет" always needs genitive in Russian and answers the question "нет кого/чего", and not "нет кто" which is ungrammatical:

Нет кого? - Нет мамы.

However you can say "Мама не здесь" (as opposite of "мама здесь") which is totally correct.


When you use negation meaning that something or someone is absent, especially strong negation (not here anymore) it's natural in Russian to use нет, which demands genitive нет (кого,чего?) мамы, хлеба. Otherwise you can say

Мама не в Москве,она в Саратове. Or Мамы нет в Москве, она в Саратове.

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