Do Russians use this expression to mean "I need to fart" the way Americans say "I need to cut the cheese" or is it only used by Russians to refer to the slicing of a dairy product in a culinary sense?
No, it doesn't mean anything like that xD "To cut the cheese" means you need to cut the cheese xD
The original question in this sub-thread:
"Do Russians use this expression to mean "I need to fart" the way Americans say "I need to cut the cheese" or is it only used by Russians to refer to the slicing of a dairy product in a culinary sense?"
What did you think what being discussed by me, duolingoHepCat and Nuept? I'm kind of surprised you couldn't follow the discussion here.
No, I was referring to your statement "It does mean that in Italian". I've never heard any similar expression.
Could someone please tell me why "мне" is used? Is this dative? Thanks :-)
I try to think of dative in this usage like "Life gave me a situation where I need to do something" ;)
Because "to need" is something that yourself requires, while "must" refers more to something someone else wants you to do or that you absolutely need to do, which is not the case here, cause you just need to cut it for a reason but you don't actually have to.
So how would you say "I must slice the cheese" in Russian? When I took Russian lessons in school, we learnt it that way, that нужно is the less serious word for having to do something. Is it the other way round?
To be sure you get across the full meaning of 'I must', you should say "Я непременно должен"
No, not at all. "нужно" is less strong than "надо". Though it'd be better if you asked someone with more knowledge of the language, I am just a beginner ;)
Who told you that "нужно" is less strong than "надо"? They are absolutely interchangible in most cases. Exceptions include "надо бы" and the questions "Что вам нужно?" and "Чего (вам/тебе) надо?". The former is neutral, although not particularly friendly, the latter is really rude. In a informal conversation, "надо" is used slightly more often than "нужно" mostly because it is easier to pronounce.
Context (as well as intonation) means a lot, though. So often we use "must" in a more casual way without any real sense of an imperative. ."I must go there sometime", or "I really must have a go at that" - these can express a rather vague desire to do something. I think you're right in your explanation, but the sentence "I must slice cheese" doesn't have to be interpreted in English as strictly as that - it could vary from" I will be punished if I don't slice cheese" right though to "What a great idea - I think I will slice some cheese" If you really do enjoy slicing cheese that much!
"нарезать" sounds other than expected. Is there a special rule for how to say"-зать"
I believe the "а" in -зать, since unstressed, is pronounced as a schwa /ə/. This is pronounced close to the "uh" as in "uh-oh."
In this text нарезать is actually read regularly; what you need to know is that "з" is always read as a "z" as in 'zoo', then the "а" is read as an open "a" as in 'last', but there are some occasions in which you read it as the "e" in 'belly'. Regarding the "ть", seeing that it's followed by the softening letter "ь", it's approximately the sound you get with 'spritz' with the last "tz". There isn't actually a corresponding sound of that compound in English, but if you listen to the audio speaker, you'll soon get used to it.
I read this as "I need to cut the cheese"... does this saying also apply to farts in Russia as it does in the USA? Because I'm laughing so hard right now.
It is very seldom if ever that a Russian announces the need to fart. In the past it was done by saying, "Мне надо выпустить голубкА" (I need to let a little pigeon out). Nowadays a kid/ teenager may warn his or her company by saying, "я собираюсь испортить воздух" or "осторожно, газы!"
Haha, I like that term xD thanks for the info though!
I take it your first language is Russian? Or you've been there or something? (I mean you seem to know enough about the culture that indicates to me you've lived there at some point)
Yeah, Russian's my mother tongue. And I've been living in Russia all my life (except a couple of years I spent in the U.S.)
Sweet, you think I could follow/friend you for some help? I really want to know Russian, and a native speaker is the best teacher of a foreign language.
So, I don't suppose it would be appropriate to request that someone "Потяните палец." ??
«Потянуть палец» means “to strain the tendon in your finger”. If used in the imperative, the phrase will be meaningless.
Historically, сыр is the short form of the adjective сырой (damp, raw). In Ukranian the word refers to cottage cheese. The meaning "damp" still occurs in the idiom "Из-за чего сыр бор (разгорелся)?" (literally, Why did the damp forest catch fire?) = "What is all the fuss over?"
It's accusative (inanimate), because it's a direct object - the thing being acted on by the verb "to cut/slice". It's the same in inanimate accusative as in nominative, which makes it hard to tell unless you know the grammar.
For inanimate nouns, accusative endings are the same as nominative endings for all three genders, except for singular nominative feminine nouns endings in -a, -я, and -ия, which change, respectively, to -у, -ю, and -ию. (The only other feminine ending is -ь, which is the same in singular accusative.)
«Мне» (dative) is always used with «надо»/«нужно» to say “I need” if you need to do anything yourself. Literally it means “[for] me [it is] necessary”. «Меня» (accusative) may occur before «надо»/«нужно», but only as a direct object of the verb that follows «надо»/«нужно». For example, «меня надо любить» means “I need to be loved” - literally, “[It is] necessary to love me”.
I don't think there is a clear difference between' must' and 'should' in spoken English
I'm talking about "мне надо нарезать сыр". I think "I must" and" I should" would both cut the mustard in English.
I'm not an expert in English, just a student. You may be right. In that case, in addition, translations in the opposite direction must contain words like мне стоит or мне следует slice the cheese. It sounds very unusual in Russian.
Мне стОит это сделать = (literally) It is worth my doing it = I think I should do it. (I consider it worthy). Мне следует это сделать = I should do it / I ought to do it (Someone recommends it or it is wise to do it). Мне надо это сделать = I need to do it / I have to do it. (I feel the need to do it). Я непременно/обязательно/во что бы то ни стало должен это сделать = I MUST do it. Мне приходится / Я вынужден это делать = I have to do it. Мне не обязательно это делать = Я могу этого не делать = I don't have to do it. Зря/Напрасно я это сделал. = Мне не следовало этого делать. = I shouldn't have done it. Я мог этого и не делать. = Мне незачем было это делать. = I needn't have done it (Br. Eng) / I didn't have to do it (Am.Eng). Не может быть, чтобы он это сделал. = He couldn't have done it. Возможно, он этого не делал. = He might not have done it (, after all). Я, пожалуй, это сделаю. = I may/might as well do it.
Спасибо Дмитры. That's really informative. I'll try to get my head around those different nuances. I see you use the perfective form сделать, though on one occasion you use делать. Does the perfective imply future? Could you have used either in all the examples?
@DavidCorba5: The perfective implies that the action either has been finished or has not yet started. It also implies that we are talking about a one-time action or an action that has been or will be performed a specified number of times. If the number of times is uncertain, or you continue to do what you've been doing, the imperfective is used. The imperfective is also used if you negate the very option of starting an action. So only the imperfective can be used with мне не следовало or мне незачем; and only the perfective can be used with "я, пожалуй,". In all other examples it is possible to use either, but the meaning will not be the same.
Good point. I'm merely a student of Russian and had never heard of мне стоит or мне следует. But you've probably answered by question. Possibly Russian makes a more definite distinction between the two concepts - I should and I must. There is a difference in English but maybe we can be lazy about it. "I should" is a bit like a duty (though it doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to do it), whereas "I must" is more like I had better get on with it. Interesting that Russian has this slightly more impersonal construction. We put I as the subject, not into an oblique case (to me).
Tank you for chatting to me about these verbs. But note in the case "I must" it'd be "Я должен" because Мне должен means somebody owes me.
Need to, Should or Must are all the same and should all be correct. Please!
I understand that they mean the same thing, but there are different words for them in Russian. The aim is for you to give as literal a translation as you can, rather than carry across the meaning of the sentence. However, I can understand the frustration. By the way, "should" and "must" are slightly different. "Should" denotes that it is something that would be convenient if it was completed. "Must" is something that is imperative to complete. Also, "need to" is more casual, where as "must" is a stronger word.
Are you one of those five smart fellows that all felt smart? (Try to say it several times in a row)