"We need to cook shchi for lunch."
Translation:Нам надо приготовить щи на обед.
Ah, ok... I didn't know the perfective /imperfective distinction. I'll need to study the "aspect" concept.
Yeah, getting comfortable with aspect is essential. I like the summary here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/mbxeyxa ...or to have someone walk you through it, google "Russian verbs aspect" and choose video - there are several explanations on youtube (including mine on the Russian grammar channel).
No, prigotovit' has nothing to do with soup, it is a perfective verb that indicates an action that is finished. Gatovit' is an imperfective verb that emphasizes rather the continuous process of cooking than the finishing of the task.
Imperfective aspect is what you find in English continuous tenses such as in "I am cooking now", "I was cooking yesterday", "I habitually cooked daily, when I was young", "I will be cooking tomorrow through all day".
In Russian, you use a Perfective verb if you mean a definite task, with a deadline, like cooking lunch, or dinner, or whatever meal.
(PS: since you got 9 likes, so far, maybe you were just cracking a joke or a pun, but I couldn't get it by any means)
I'm not a native Russian speaker so someone else please correct me if I'm wrong. But to try to answer your question:
Not exactly, but there are ways of communicating it with extra words. It's not built into the verb forms the way it is in Russian. In English, when we want to communicate these things, we do so by using "helper" words.
For example in English, in past tense, we use constructions like "I used to do that." to communicate repeated or habitual actions that are covered by imperfective verbs. Romance languages use the "imperfect" past tense to communicate this. In English, we use constructions like "I have done that." to communicate simple, completed actions, like the perfective in Russian, for past tense.
In future, we often use constructions like: "I will be doing that." to communicate imperfective, although in English, saying "I will do that." is a bit more ambiguous, corresponding to either future perfective or imperfective verbs in Russian.
Kind of like in German and some other languages, Russian dosen't distinguish in present tense between constructions like "I read" and "I am reading". In Russian, you can only use imperfective forms in the present, and they encompass both of these meanings.
Basically, the deep answer is...as with comparing any languages, each language makes a different set of distinctions, and there are usually some ways of communicating similar things, but they don't correspond in a 1-to-1 way.
Absolutely. English has what are called the simple and the perfect aspect, in addition to two others (not relevant).
In english, the standard construction of perfect verbs is combining a past participle (typically ends in -ed) and the verb 'have' fully conjugated.
Simple: I cook shchi. Perfect: I have cooked some shchi. (A determiner needs to be there in order to clear up ambiguity.)
Temporal aspect - as regards finished acts or continuous actions in process or habitual - are something necessarily present in any developed language. However, temporal aspect is expressed differently in different languages, and that is the point of the previous post.
Some languages, as Latin, or Portuguese, or French, use different tenses, like perfect past/imperfect past. In Portuguese: "eu cantava" (I was singing) was a continuous action, or a repeated action (I used to sing all days). It is called "pretérito imperfeito" (imperfect past). "Eu cantei" means that you sang once and finished (either because you sing no more, or because you finished your performance). It is called "pretérito perfeito" (perfect past).
Now, English has not so many tenses, being poorer in verb inflection. But English uses periphrastic inflections abundantly, like "I was singing, I used to sing, I have sung, I had sung, I usually sang, I sang my recital (up to its end)" and so forth. All these examples are past actions with different temporal aspects, through periphrasis (i.e. using more words).
Now, in a more inflected language like Portuguese you will get these basic temporal aspects through one single inflection of one single verb. Likely, in Latin or in Greek.
Now, in Russian, you get this distinction in temporal aspect not by a different inflection of the same verb, but by a different verb that forms an imperfective/perfective pair. Most often, the verbs are cognate, but they are different words.
Temporal aspect is part of our reality, if life, and is universal. How you express it depends from each language, within very different structures.
Готовить (with the soft sign!) is imperfective, which is used for repeated actions, or an action in progress, or when the idea of completion & result isn't important. Приготовить (perfective) is typically used for a one-time action that has been (or will be) completed, with a result. The choice of aspect is very sensitive to context, and Duolingo unfortunately doesn't provide much context. I suspect they prefer perfective (приготовить) here assuming that the щи needs to be ready for lunch – there's a result that's relevant.
So far, this is what Duo has taught me regarding "for":
«Тарелка для риса, а тарелка на обед»
"A plate for rice, and a plate for lunch"
The dictionary entry for на is really long, with a large number of different translations and uses, some very particular to certain idioms. The dictionary entry for для is much shorter. The import I take from that is that для is the usual "for", while на depends on idiomatic factors which have to be memorized, although there are certain general rules about на that help narrow down this issue: at least, на is used in prepositional case for stationary (not moving) location of things, на столе = "on the table" and in accusative case for processes like engaging in a meal; the accusative на is also used for location where movement is involved - a process-oriented kind of situation. But if I had to guess, I'd probably use для for "for" if I didn't know the correct word.
After reading ALL these arguments I get to the following summary: When you are in Russia, stay hungry especially during dinner time. Move everywhere in the apartment but, by no means, do not go near any room that looks like a kitchen. You might have to cook, maybe in the perfect or imperfect way of cooking.Who cares for a result anyhow! Go to a restaurant and say щи and maybe someone will answer "Bless you" :)
На is used with prepositional/locative when it expresses position ('on' or 'at'), but it can be used with accusative for other contexts. "For dinner/breakfast/lunch/dessert" etc = на + accusative. It's always a good idea to watch the context carefully - some other prepositions can also be used with different cases, depending on the meaning & context.
In English "I need to cook" is ambiguous. It could mean, "I need to finish cooking" (perfective), or it could mean, "I need to be involved in the activity of cooking" (imperfective)
Here are two examples in English, both using "I need to cook." Imperfective: "I need to cook this ham, so stop bothering me." Perfective: "I need to cook this ham for Mary's party."
English has only one form of "to cook" so you have to figure out perfective/imperfective by the context provided. Russian has two forms of the infinitive, so even without describing the situation it's clear which is meant. The Russian ear is more tuned for the distinction between perfective and imperfective because it is built into their language. It's not built into English unless you speak like the Queen:"I will have needed to cook this for Mary's party."
We usually use "приготовить" because our aim is not in cooking, not in the process of cutting vegetables, but in the having the meal or dish done. You say "мне нужно готовить обед" if you want to specify that you need to be busy now with the process, it might be said in the situation when you letting your friend know why you need to leave. As a different example: "i need to prepare for the exams" - "Мне надо готовиться к экзаменам" you are emphathizing, that you will take time preparing for them, may be these exams are in 2 months only, so your process of preparing pretty much not gonna be done this time or today. "Мне надо приготовиться к экзаменам" will be understood as your exams are may be tomorrow already and you have only this evening to cover all the studing materials, so you're planning to be done with preparing today or this time.
I think that, before you suddenly change a verb you should put it in a special chapter for "perfective", otherwise if one has never heard of it, one cannot know...first give exercices and then change...it gets very confusing otherwise. We are at the moment trying to get hold of the cases we have learned up to now and the new vocabulary, it's kind of frustrating to handle with something that hasn't even been explained. Just FYI! Regards from Madeira Island!
Готовить should be accepted as well, because there is no context given here. The speaker might want to put emphasis on the duration of cooking or the action itself and not on the effect of getting shchi cooked. Just imagine you excuse yourself from a conversation, saying you have to cook shchi for lunch right now.
для isn't too bad, it means "for" but only in the sense of "to the benefit of", and it's always genitive.
на is very complex to understand. Probably its most straightforward translation is "on" or "onto". But it can also translate as many other words, including "for" in this exercise. Note that in "for lunch", "for" doesn't mean "to the benefit of", which is why "для" isn't used.
Нам надо приготовить щи на ланч. Why not? For me обед is dinner (bigest meal of the day eaten about 14-15 o'clock with family ) and лаич is lunch (smaler meal eaten about 17 if somean is hungry). What is wrong in my way of thinking?
I add that my native languare is polish so i see a lot of similarities between polish and russian and this word, i thing, is one of them.
Dinner can be at midday or in the evening, but lunch can ONLY be at midday. On a working day you typically have lunch at midday and a proper dinner in the evening, but on Sunday you have a big dinner at midday and a light meal ("supper" or "tea" in Britain) in the evening.
I wrote "Нам надо готовить щи на обед" and was marked wrong because I didn't use приготовить - which I was led by the course to mean "to prepare" - not "to cook."
The hints for this section hint at perfective versus imperfective verbs, so, ok, приготовить is the right word to use. But if you don't ever give us any context about perfective and imperfective verbs, it's a big disincentive to get marked wrong when you're trying to use the knowledge you do have.