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Russian grammar - Presence and absence - 'there is' and 'there isn't'

Presence and absence - 'there is' and 'there isn't'

Expressing presence or existence we use the verb есть in the present tense and был/-ла/-ло/-ли in the past tense.

With presence or existence the subject takes the nominative case.

With non-existence or absence the subject takes the genitive.

Expressing non-existence or absence we use нет in the present and не был/-ла/-ло/-ли in the past tense.

The words есть and нет in these phrases can be on either side of the subject.

In the past tense of this pattern we always use the neuter form былоregardless of the gender of the object.

Examples:
Есть вода.
There is water.

presence: вода (fem. singular) (есть) вода (remains in the nominative)

А нет молока.
But there is no milk.

absence: молоко (neu. singular) (нет) молока (genitive)

Есть соль.
There is salt.

presence: соль (fem. singular) (есть) соль (remains in the nominative)

А нет перца.
But there is no pepper.

absence: перец (masc. singular) (нет) перца (genitive)

перец means 'pepper'

Была вилка.
There was a fork.

presence: вилка (fem. singular) (была) вилка (remains in the nominative)

А не было ложки.
But there was no a spoon.

absence: ложка (fem. singular) (не было) ложки (genitive)

В поле есть дерево.
There is a tree in the field.

presence: дерево (neu. singular) (есть) дерево) (remains in the nominative)

В стакане была вода.
There was water in the glass.

presence: вода (fem. singular) (была) вода (remains in the nominative)

В блюде есть соль.
There is salt in the dish.

presence: соль (fem. singular) (есть) соль (remains in the nominative)

В стакане нет воды.
There is no water in the glass.

absence: вода (fem. singular) (нет) воды (genitive)

На вашем столе есть письмо.
There is a letter on your desk.

presence: письмо (neu. singular) (есть) письмо (remains in the nominative)

В центре города есть кафе.
There is a cafe in the centre of town.

presence: кафе (neu. singular) (есть) кафе (remains in the nominative)

В этой газете есть интересная статья.
There is an interesting article in this newspaper.

статья (fem. singular) (есть) статья (remains in the nominative)

статья means 'newspaper article' or 'magazine article'

Рядом нет туалета.
Nearby here there is no toilet.

absence: туалет (masc. singular) (нет) туалета (genitive)

рядом means 'nearby'

Здесь нет станции?
Is there no station here?

absence: станция (fem. singular) (нет) станции (genitive)

Не было пива в магазине.
There was no beer in the store.

absence: пиво (neu. singular) (не было) пива (genitive)

пиво means 'beer'

В классе не было учителя.
There was no teacher in the classroom.

absence: учитель (masc. singular) (не было) учителя (genitive)