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  5. "Нам надо приготовить обед."

"Нам надо приготовить обед."

Translation:We need to prepare lunch.

November 6, 2015



FYI: Нам is Мы (We) in the dative case. You can put it with надо, нельзя, etc. (= We need to, we are not allowed to, etc.)


Yes, there is an English equivalent: "it seems to us"="нам кажется" (impersonal "it" is often missed in Russian, "to me"=dative "мне"). Same goes for мне надо (needed to me), мне нельзя ([it is] prohibited to me), this non-direct construction is just much more used in Russian. By the way, Russian speakers often use this construction instead of more common direct "we're allowed", "we're required" in English as the direct form feels quite unusual to them.


For a more in-place translation in which word order can be preserved it might help to think of it as "for me (it) is necessary" or "for me (it) is allowed".

In english the subject is "it," but if you think about it, the word "it" is actually referring to the act that ia necessary. So in a sentence like «мне надо подумать» ("I need to think"), if you just think of «подумать» ("to think") as the subject, the translation would then become "to think is necessary to me" or maybe "to think is needed by me".

Hopefully one of these two ways can help people better conceptualize this sentence structure.


What's this obsession with word order? When I speak Russian I want Russian word order and when I speak English I want English word order. I don't expect them to be the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C18jBLKZ5pc


Because some people enjoy understanding and not just repeating. If it helps one understand, what's so wrong with that? Humans are not standardized. What works for you does not necessarily work for another.


What works for you does not necessarily work for another. I completely agree. I'm very liberal when it comes to word order. I'm very liberal with all things grammar really. Peace & Love!


I find it useful to understand the literal meaning so that I can begin to think in Russian. Once I understand the Russian meaning of "By me is a plate" it becomes more intuitive than knowing "I have a plate" is this collection of wood but I don't really understand why. Finding that there are old-fashioned English equivalents helps all of this stick.


From a grammatical point of view, can we think of "Мне/Нам/... надо ..." as the Russian equivalent for the French impersonal expression "Il me/nous/... faut ..."?


Exactement :)


Merci beaucoup !


There is an English parallel in the archaic phrase "it behooves us" - meaning "it is a duty or responsibility for us to do something". It also means "it would be proper for us to do something" and "it would be beneficial for us to do something". It is thus not the same as "we need to" - it is more a combination of "we should" and "we need to" - a connotation of being less than a need, with a voluntary element to it. "Duty calls upon us to do something" rather than "necessity requires us to do something".

Here, it would be "It behooves us to prepare lunch". (It has nothing to do with cow and horse feet) The phrase comes from "Middle English [before 900 and then from] Old English behōfian to need" http://www.dictionary.com.


This makes more sense, as it would seem the pronoun itself would need to be an indirect object to take the dative form - e.g., "They are serving lunch to us."


OK I'm taking a risk of being wrong here...but it seems to me that if you say "to us" that is not dative but accusative (object of preposition). To have dative case you need to say "They are serving us lunch."


Both dative and accusative forms involve an object of the verb, but accusative is direct and dative is indirect. In the case of the sentence, "They are serving us lunch," "lunch" is the direct object of the verb (and would take on the accusative form), while "us" is the indirect object, as we are the ones to whom food is being given. The prepositions, e.g., to, with, from, under, etc., are what make an object indirect.


Does this mean, this verb is always in the dative?


джесси, Нам надо приготовить


Went to the comments expecting to see this, was not disappointed


TIL that the Hungarian words ebéd and uzsonna are Slavic in origin.


Is "dinner" really wrong in this sentence?


There have been the old long arguments of russian speakers on how to translate "dinner" to Russian: as "обед" or as "ужин". =) Обед is always the biggest midday meal (1-3 p.m.). Could an american call that "a dinner"? If so then it shouldn't be wrong.


In Ireland, traditionally dinner is the biggest meal which is hot and eaten from 13:00 to 15:00 ish. This is not really the case any more since now, in the city, people work 09:00 to 17:00 jobs.

In the late evening we eat a small hot meal called "supper". is this what "ужин" is?


Yes, "ужин", it's eaten after 6 p.m., usually hot and not that big (of course it really depends). It looks like your Irish meals reflect on Russian like that.


I mean there are two different ways to look at it. The time that обед occurs is closest to lunch. But it is also similar to dinner in that it is the biggest meal of the day.


We normally eat dinner at noon and supper at 6 pm. I'm from North Dakota. Lunch is what we have between meals, or snacks/desserts at an odd time, such as Sunday at midnight before your guests go home, you serve them a "lunch" or "a little lunch."

  • Обед = lunch, a midday meal
  • Ужин = dinner, an evening meal


In some variants of English (especially in the UK), dinner is the midday meal and supper is the evening meal. Dinner should certainly be accepted in this sentence and anywhere else as a translate for Обед.


holy crap that streak....


This is very much true in the Deep South of America, breakfast-dinner-supper is used a lot (even if viewed as a bit more informal/old-fashioned) but with more folks moving around now, breakfast-lunch-dinner is more universally understood throughout America.


For me, an older Mid-Westerner: lunch - light noonday meal dinner - main meal (usually evening meal during the week and around 1:oo or 2:oo on Sundays) * supper - light evening meal (the word is not used a lot; mostly to emphasis that it is not the main meal; however, I know a few people who use it to mean any evening meal)


Are both of these supposed to be hot meals, or is there a difference?


So what is "supper"? A "night meal"?


Supper is always at night (evening). Dinner is somewhat regional in the US, although now it seems to be mixed just about everywhere. In general more "traditional" or "rural" people have dinner at noon, while more "urban" or "blue collar" people have dinner in the evening. Dinner usually implies the largest meal, and as others have said, it implies a hot meal. Lunch derives from the notion of a take-along meal, such as goes in a lunchbox and is taken to work. Since factory workers often took their "lunch" to work to eat at noon, I believe this is how the noon meal came to be known as lunch.


Remarkably, my mother and I - who grew up in the exact same geographic region under identical economic conditions - will argue until the end of days about whether dinner constitutes the midday meal or not. The woman raised me, taught me English in school, read to me at night, fed me dinner, and we still can't agree on it and never shall. So I think it's potentially a regional thing as well as a generational thing, or maybe a perception thing: to me, dinner is a major meal, so lunchtime is inappropriate to be called dinner unless it's Sunday or a holiday. So there you go! Not to worry - if I'm ever asked, "Do you want to get some dinner?" I always seek clarification of context and say, "Sure. What time?" and let the asker drive the context. Because I'm always up for food.

Never turn down food.


So what's the definition of a "luncheon"? I'm guessing this is similar to a "dinner" in that it is a more formal midday meal; but perhaps with cold meats, finger-food etc. instead of a hot dishes - ?


hmm... well I don't go to a lot of luncheons, but I'd say that is a more organized lunch, i.e., a get-together at lunch time, perhaps with a program or speaker.


I might digress slightly, but can готовить (imperfective) also be used here?


Depends on context. The imperfective has a meaning more along the lines of, "We need to get to work on making lunch." The perfective is more like, "We need to get lunch done."

One of the major functions of the imperfective is to focus on ongoing process, while the perfective focuses on completion.


What is the difference between "приготовить" and "готовить"? / What does the prefix "при" indicate?


Thank you! A lingot for you!


This «нам надо» thing really strange.

Kenneth Katzner's English-Russian-English dictionary defines надо as an adverb. Under the usual rules of grammar, that would attach надо to приготовить, which becomes "must prepare" or "need to prepare" rather than simply "prepare". The dative case casting of "us/we" doesn't seem to be just because of the presence of надо, but because of the way that надо приготовить work together.

I tried translating "Lunch is prepared by us" in Google Translate, and got «Обед приготовлен нами», where нами is in Instrumental case, I think because "we" are instrumental in preparing lunch. That situation seems a lot more straight-forward and logical - or even obvious.

Нам надо [verb] is just weird, because an adverb is acting not just on the verb, but continuing through to affect the person/thing performing the action of the verb, at least in this instance.

That makes me realize that English is just as weird, but it's not complicated by cases. "We need to prepare lunch" has the same kind of "need to" adverb attaching to "prepare" while reflecting back on the subject "we" with the necessity of doing the preparing - but it's all invisible, because of the near-absence of cases in English.


You do my heart good - quoting from Katzner’s like that. Are you enjoying the dictionary, friend? I hope it was a helpful purchase that I encouraged. I know I love mine.

Нам надо is indeed weird to English grammar. I have aligned it as best I can with English grammar by making it analogous (at least in my own mind) with an overly wordy, archaic-sounding, “It is needful for us to....” This does not completely preserve the dative us in English, and in fact makes us prepositional, but it helps to fix the Russian construction in my mind.


Shouldn't "fix lunch" be an acceptable translation?


Yes. "We need to fix lunch."


As if having my dog fixed was bad enough, now I have to fix my lunch?


June 2017 - Still not fixed.


May 2020, still not added


NO that's another meaning Приготовить обед means to cook a hot meal, not to put it into a lunchbox To fix a lunch - must be smth like сложить (положить, дать с собой, взять с собой) завтрак


Can "We need to cook lunch" also be correct?


We need to cook lunch is fine. Hope you are enjoy this coarse. Here is a lingot.


It's a great course! :) Большое спасибо!




We need to cook, not accepted for me xD


What is the difference between мне нужен and мне надо?


Нужен/Нужна/Нужно/Нужны mean need (something physical. Food. A job. A girl.) Надо is more for verbs. Having/needing to do something. It's better understood when you think of it as "must." You can't "must someone or something." ;)


Why "Нам надо", but "Мы надо"?


"Мы надо" is wrong. The reason why "нам надо" can be known from my first comment here.


"Fix" should be accepted as an alternative to "prepare." I reported it over a year ago. For me, "fix" is the automatic verb to use, whereas "prepare" or "cook" are verbs I'd have to think a moment to come up with. "Make" is also a usual alternative for me.


So the literal translation would be "it is necessary for us" or "it is required of us"?

What would the construction be if the person requiring is named and not impersonal, i.e. "Our mother needs us to come home"?


If you seperate the word приготовить as is shown it just seems to be talking about pre - cooking. like "preppers" on a diet regime. When I look up the translation for the sentence "We need to prepare lunch" it just suggests cook as готовить in place of "prepare". In English, saying you are preparing lunch doesn't indicate any advanced preparation.


Why is it приготовить instead of just готовить


Why is it нам надо instead of нам нужно?


Both "надо" and "нужно "are ok to use with a verb and there's no significant difference in meaning. So it's "нам надо" here simply because whoever wrote the sentence decided to use "надо".


thank you so much


In American dinner for lunch is old fashioned. In the south I believe it's still common. Supper for the last meal is more common. Of course if you use the "incorrect" term prepare to be bullied!


Is born and raised in the South sand have never heard anyone use dinner to mean lunch.


Since when Nam is we


Literally the first explanation on this thread.


Please the romanization of "lunch" in russian ,?


«We need to cook a lunch» – не принят. Скажите, пожалуйста, разве это неверно?


This is an answer on an external forum: "in a social context, the inclusion of "a" changes lunch from a meal to an event (meeting, party); in a personal context, it changes lunch from a concept (food) to a concrete object (brown bag, bento box)."


You really opened my eyes! I have found in my seventy-fifth year that a group of words, present in most if not all germanic languages, namely ”a” or ”an” together with ”the” operates to simplify human language to a high extent: If you compare it to slavic languages, they have a very complex system of verbs to express what we express with our indefinite and definite articles... ?


I can t type russian


In Windows you just need to install a "keyboard". I suppose the details vary depending on your version but basically it should be in the control panel under "Region and Language". There you can add alternate keyboards. You can switch using the language bar from the system tray or you can set a hotkey combo which I think is LeftAlt+Shift by default.


A Russian keyboard is very difficult to use, as the layout is completely different and you have no graphic hints. A phone keyboard works much better.


monika110452, you can install the "SwiftKey Keyboard" on your smartphone. It allows you to use a multilingual keyboard (Russian included).

I deem, there are similar solutions for a desktop. But I can't suggest any exact.


С каких пор lunch это обед?


Американцы уходят с часу до двух на ланч, мы уходим с часу до двух на обед.


Приготовить обед only "to cook a lunch", "prepare" just sounds alike in Russian translation, but has different meaning.


Well prepare in Russion sounds like "prepper" instead of PRE-pare.


True, but "to cook" is imperfective aspect.


Пожалйста, will someone explain the different between Надо и Нужно?


Read YaTvoyVrag's answer.


Why is the verb left in the infinitive and not declined in this sentence


The active verb is надо. It's like Нам (= to us) + надо (= it's necessary) + infinitive.


What is the difference between приготовить и готовить?


Приготовить is complete action and готовить is incomplete


What is the difference between приготовить and готовить?


Surley the English translation should be 'We need to Cook lunch'. Because the Russian is in past tense? And also, what is it you need to prepare for lunch: food, present, gift, celebration?


How the hell it is possible that обед is translated as "lunch" not "dinner"?! Both of them should be allowed!


Why not to prepare a lunch ?


Приготовить is to cook. This app marked it wrong as if it should say to make lunch!!! Duolingo if f up sometimes


What's the difference between обед and обедать


Обед is a noun, meaning lunch. Обедать is a verb meaning "to eat lunch".


southern US, Sunday dinner is after


dinner should be accepted as well as "oбед"




Haha...keep arguing until the cows come home....then you can just have supper!

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