Lets look at these 2 sentences:

  1. у нас есть / We have.

  2. что вы хотите есть? / What would you like to eat.

(In both of them the word "есть" is used differently).

I'm confused as for the use of "есть" in both "ordering scenarios" where on one hand it refers to "having" (which I don't get since "у нас" should include having on its own same way that "у меня" on its own does without having to include this "есть" addition) and on the other hand it means to eat. Also Also how would the phrase in Russian "what do you HAVE to EAT" be written and if it includes "есть" 2 times? I am guessing it would be something like: "что есть у вас есть"? or "что у вас есть по есть"?

Maybe these last 2 sound grammatically horrific but I'm a newbie here, thanks a lot !

  • 3
    "Что у вас есть поесть?" ("поесть", no space) is quite a smooth-sounding phrase in Russian.
    – Alexander
    Sep 25, 2018 at 2:27
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    Please do not put the picture of Putin in the question again!
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1 Answer 1


These two "есть" are homonyms. Есть like "to eat " and есть like "to own, possess,have". For choosing just consider the context.

In case of possession we can use the verb or leave it out. And in most cases we don't use the verb. But sometimes we use it for emphasis or you can't do without it (in questions mostly).

У нас (есть) большие возможности.У него много друзей. У вас есть конверты?– Да, есть. Есть ли какие‐нибудь новости о нем?

As for есть --to eat, we often say that sentence.

У нас есть что‐нибудь поесть?

Besides there's есть meaning "exists"

Есть многое на свете, друг Горацио,что и не снилось нашим мудрецам.

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