Edit : My question is about preposition "IN" not about the verb "have" as you suggested.Can you open it again, please?

I'm studying with duolingo and this is the first time I saw this kind of "in" preposition usage as "У меня ...".

I always see it like " ... в ...".Can you explain this to me in terms of both grammar and colloquial speech aspects?Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of The usage of иметь
    – Abakan
    Sep 4, 2017 at 21:10
  • Consider "they are living at my place", "he would be living at yours", etc.
    – Arioch
    Sep 5, 2017 at 7:53
  • 1
    Also pay attention to cases. "....в мой дом" answers to where-TO question. Like when you make suggestion where to move to. (though even then more natural would be "...ко мне в дом"). If you describe the present situation, if you answer where-IS question, then it would be "...в моём доме" instead
    – Arioch
    Sep 5, 2017 at 7:58
  • Additionally you got another can of worms. "дома/домой" in the 1st phrase is NOT a noun and translates as "home", "дом" in #2 is regular noun meaning "house" or "household". Difference? Think about "coming (to the) home", "i am (inside the) home" forms
    – Arioch
    Sep 5, 2017 at 8:04
  • I'm trying to understand and as a grave error -actually-, most of the time I'm trying to relate it to my mother tounge -which is Turkish in which literally everything gets zillions of suffixes-.However, in Russian things not only take suffixes but also the whole prepositions, cases change.And this "У ... ...." is used in almost everything I guess.In "I have" sentences and also as a preposition.
    – Burak
    Sep 5, 2017 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


It seems that your confusion stems from an inadequate translation.

Они живут у меня дома. means 'They are staying with me' or 'They are living at my place'. The emphasis is on me and my household. They are a part of my household.

Они живут в моём доме. means 'They live in the same building as I do'. The emphasis is on the building. We do not know whether they are part of my household or not.

The preposition y has the following meanings in Russian:

  • near, next to (около, рядом с ◆ Жить у моря./ to live near the sea);
  • from (от ◆ Узнать у друзей./ to learn (to get to know about something) from friends)
  • possession (обозначает владельца ◆ У меня есть./ I have...[I am the owner of...] )
  • indication of a part of a whole (обозначает часть целого ◆ Ножка у стула./a leg of a chair)

The general meaning of the preposition в is 'inside'. For other meanings please consult your grammar book.

These prepositions are not interchangeable and convey different relationships with an object. However, translations to other languages may not reflect these differences for one reason or another. Often times it is related to collocations used in a translation target language.


The second sentence should be "Они живут в моём доме."

Они живут у меня дома - means "They live at my home."

Они живут в моём доме - means "They live at my house."

You can use the first sentence to point that you and others share the same living space. You can use the second one to say that:

  1. You and others are living in the same apartment building, but have different apartments.

  2. You and others are living in the same detached house. But then the first sentence is used more often.

  • 1
    In my house, at--на улице
    – V.V.
    Sep 5, 2017 at 15:44
  • 2
    @Burak: Short answer is no. Constructions "у меня / у них / etc." are special in Russian and do not have direct translation to English. See for example this question and my answer. Although it may be not the best in explaining the issue, it contains an important point: "у меня ... the direct meaning correspondence would be "in my world" (including both internal and external worlds)."
    – farfareast
    Sep 5, 2017 at 21:14
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    @Burak, the answer is correct, but I would like to add, that the phase "в доме" can sometimes mean "at home", usually when the one the speaker is talking about is the one he's talking to. Like "ты в моем доме". In that case it's about "at home".
    – d.k
    Sep 5, 2017 at 21:42
  • 1
    @Burak About your question I can safely use У ... ... pattern for other things as "I ... in ...", no, you can't. I can't say, how widely this pattern "У меня" applies generally, but you already gave some examples like "Я слушаю музыку у меня в машине", which would sound odd. Normally one would say "Я слушаю музыку у себя в машине"/"Я слушаю музыку в своей в машине"
    – d.k
    Sep 5, 2017 at 21:43
  • 1
    @Arioch, I stand corrected. It is an adverb of place both in English and Russian, although the usage is slightly different.
    – Olga
    Sep 6, 2017 at 15:38

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