"I had to cook the soup."
Translation:Я должна была приготовить суп.
Должен sort of works like a short adjective. You need a form of "to be" to make it work. In the meaning "should have, had" the word order «должен был», «должна была» etc. is a lot more popular. The reverse order is mostly used in the meaning of owing someone money rather than having to do something and is (relatively) rarely found.
Thank you very much for both the answer to my question and for bringing up the difference the word order would make (something that's going to take quite a while to get comfortable with).
Thanks for helping put together such a fantastic course and I think it's awesome that you still seem to be everywhere here explaining things in ever more detail!
был должен is a rather uncommon word order. RNC has over 9000 instances of «должна была» and 39 instances of «была должна». It does not sound all that wrong but somehow native speakers prefer должен first (and do it a hundred times more often).
Though, we do use "была должна" when we say she owed someone money :) (which is another meaning of должен).
Several reasons. Your current translation sounds like "I need I cooked this is a soup". A more correct version would be "Мне надо было приготовить этот суп". And then there is the definite article issue. Russian does not have one, so the best analogy would be saying "этот суп", which stands for "this soup". I noticed they don't accept it in this course, so the final version would be "мне надо было приготовить суп".
The aspect is different. Imperfective verbs (e.g., готовить, варить, читать, мыть, стирать, резать) refer to a process or a repeated, habitual action. Perfective verbs (e.g., приготовить, сварить/отварить, прочитать, помыть/вымыть, постирать/выстирать, нарезать) refer to an action that "happen" at one particular point in time, often associated with the result.
- perfective verbs do not have a present tense form in Russian. They can only mean an action that happened in the past of will happen in future. By the Russian logic, the action cannot be "being happened" right now: ongoing and habitual actions are always expressed with imperfective verbs.
In this particular case the use of pefrective приготовить would mean that you needed to get something cooked, implying the importance of the result. Here is an example:
- Моя сестра уже ехала домой. Нужно было что-нибудь приготовить. ~ My sister was already on her way home. (I) had to cook something.
The use of imperfective готовить would rather focus on the fact you needed to proceed with cooking, to start cooking. You could use it, for example, as an explanation why you could not do something else:
- Я хотел сходить купить стул, но нужно было готовить обед. ~ I wanted to go and buy a chair but I had to make lunch.
Option number one is masculine enough to number two is feminine. Second difference option number one says I had to cook soup and implies that you had to do that on a regular basis it's or an ongoing basis in some way whereas in the second option it implies that you had to complete the cooking of the action as ongoing action and in the second the verb is focused on completing the action once.