"Нам надо сварить картошку и лук."

Translation:We need to boil potatoes and onions.

December 4, 2015

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I'm not surprised that лук and картошка can have a collective plural sense, but is a singular reading wrong here? Also, can't you cook potatoes and onions? (not a native speaker of English).


In English you can do either ! Cook potatoes and onions ......or Cook potato and onion !


Yeah, both can be either countable and uncountable. If you've already chopped them both up, it would be completely normal for a recipe to say "cook the potato and onion", not referring to a singular potato or onion.


I'm really enjoying Duolingo Russian and the Tips are indispensable. In the Food Skill, the Tips could use a rewrite.

For example, the concept of mass nouns (like "лук") is introduced with this statement. "Food offers a delicious intake of mass nouns. Russian has them massed up even where English does not!" It's likely the writer was trying to be clever, but these sentences are poorly written and the meaning is unclear. The tips should be simply put and easy to understand.

It would be more useful if they defined "mass noun" and then went on to say that the Russian language has many mass nouns that are related to food, then point out that there are mass nouns in Russian that are not mass nouns in English and include specific examples.


Is сварить really only limited to cooking via boiling? "We need to cook potatoes and onions" was marked wrong for not using "boiled."

I ask this because, when searching the Internet for actual Russian examples of сварить in literature, I come across many examples like:

кто ему сорочку выстирает, кто ему есть сварит?

Who will wash his shirt, who will [boil food (?)] for him?

It seems to me that the Russian author intended сварит to mean "cook" in a more general sense -- as general as, for example, the verb готовить. Am I wrong?


It's complicated. "Варить" is to cook by boiling. In the context of Duo's sentence it can't mean anything else. But boiled food, especially soups are such an essential part of Russian cuisine that the word "варить" can be used in general statements like the one you've found. Soups are considered to be universal meal to the point where Russian equivalent of "stay in kitchen" is "варить борщ".


When to use нам


I am writing the correct answer but it refuses to except it. What can be dawn


English rules and Russian rules seem to differ. So I recommend taking a bit of time each day to find the differences and similarities. Then review them! That's what I do.

[deactivated user]

    Hi! Why the use of "Нам", instead of "Мы"? Regards from Madeira Island


    Can I say нам надо варить воды


    That would sound strange. "Варить" means "to cook by boiling". "To boil water" is "кипятить воду". "Кипятить" is the word for "to boil" when it is used for liquids (drinkable or not) or for things that are boiled for a purpose other than making food.


    I agree, too. Come on, Duo, you should be better than this!


    сварить - what's wrong with cook instead of boil, when you boil potatoes you are cooking them ! And I have never heard of onions being boiled !!


    I agree. I don't think an English speaker would ever use these words, but everything is boiled in a soup, including onions. Boiling onions sounds gross to an English speaker because we never say it that way. We boil broth, soup etc.


    it seems to me like is картошку singular, not plural.


    Agreed, how would you say if you mean one of each?


    This isn't an issue but I was using the word back and I got down to "We need to boil potatoes and..." before realizing one of the options was America. :/


    In other exercises (e.g. with fish and soup) Duo accepts 'cook' for сварить.


    Mashed potatoes was the first thing I ever learned to cook for myself as a kid you wash them peel them chop them put them in a saucepan with other vegetables such aa onion or leek boil them untill they are soft drain the water ( I collect it as a broth and put it on the kitchen garden as potato water) then put a little milk and butter in and mash them untill soft and tender but you boil potatoes soft

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