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"Тебе надо помыть три тарелки."

Translation:You need to wash three plates.

January 19, 2016



And God said: "you need to wash three plates to achieve paradise"


What is the difference between Тебе and Тебя? Is one dative and one genitive???


Yes, but тебя is accusative in addition to genitive, and тебе is prepositional in addition to dative.


I can test for most cases by asking "who, whose, whom or what".

But how can I test for prepositional?


I've not seen this before. Can you explain this "trick". It might help me.


What about " you must wash three plates"?


My understanding is that Russians use the word "должен" when saying "must/ have to (verb)".

должен for singular pronouns (I, you, he/she/it) and должны for plural pronouns (we, you (formal), they).

тебе "должен" помить три тарелки = you "must" wash three plates


"Ты должен должен помыть"


I put the same thing and it was marked wrong. Not sure why.


To be clear: when you use a number in front of a noun, does the noun no longer need to be declined according to its position in the sentence? So if I use "три тарелки" in any position in a sentence, it will stay "три тарелки"?


In a way, yes and no, but mostly no. With 2, 3, and 4, then the noun will always be in genitive. If the noun is in the nominative position, it will be genitive singular. If it is in the accusative position, as here, then the noun will be genitive singular if it is inanimate (which includes all feminine and neuter nouns) and genitive plural if it is animate.

In all other cases (still sticking to 2, 3, and 4), the noun will use the plural form for the appropriate case and the number will agree with it in case, and in gender for 2.

This also applies to compound numbers ending in 2, 3, or 4, apart from those ending in 12, 13, or 14. So this will apply for 2, 22, 42, 124, 2073, etc., but not for 12, 113, 58314, etc.

1 agrees in gender and case with the noun, and requires the singular form. Again, this applies to compound numbers ending in 1, apart from those ending in 11, so to 1, 21, 1583051, etc., but not 11, 511, 38385211, etc.

5-9, compound numbers ending in 5-9, 11-19, and numbers ending in 0, if the noun is in the nominative or accusative position, require that the noun use the genitive plural form. In other cases, the corresponding plural form of the noun will be used and the number will agree in case.

This is a very confusing aspect of the language, but hopefully that breakdown isn't too complicated. It takes some memorising, but there are patterns to help.


"Russian will be fun" I said, "It only has three tenses, that's way easier than Spanish!"


I was also wondering if тарелки is used here because the genitive singular must be used following the number три; and because of the 7-letter rule - ?


Because it is Genitive, but и is anyway used because of the spelling rule, it would be тарелкы otherwise


Every child's worst nightmare...


Can someone help me explain the difference between мыть и помыть please


There is no Perfective present tense. There's a reason for that: It's more complicated than the following, but...

"The aspects are:
"Imperfective - Incomplete, ongoing, habitual, reversed or repeated actions
"Perfective - Actions completed successfully.

In the present tense, things are on-going, so they can't have been completed. Perfective present tense would be self-contradictory: an ongoing thing which has been completed makes no sense.

Things obviously can be completed in the past, and also can be completed in the future, so Perfective tenses exist for those time frames. Imperfective covers all the time frames.


But isn't "to wash" in the present tense in this sentence? How can it be perfective if is present tense?

  • 1423

Not a native here but this is not how I understand it. The verb помыть here is in the infinitive form. Meaning, it is the base from which other forms are derived (in Spanish this would be -er or -ire in Italian, while in Turkish it's -mAk...etc).

On a side note, the terms perfective and imperfective is quite misleading in my opinion. From what I've figured out following some videos on Youtube, it turns out that these differences are simply related to the type of the present (and surely it reflects back on the past tense as well). I find the most suitable (almost) equivalent to this system is in Turkish where in this language there are 2 present tenses; In one of them the verb ends with -Ar, while for the other it ends with -Ayor. In the Turkish program on Duolingo, they equalize this to regular present tense (e.g. I eat) while the second one is equated to the continuous (e.g. I am eating). Projecting this understanding, I think, helps me a lot in understanding the perfective and imperfective in Russian. However I read about it (specially on Duolingo) I never quite understood that until I watched some videos and recalled my knowledge of Turkish and English. It's just about using the verb to express a general or habit tense (imperfect), while the other one is about a continuous or current action at the moment (perfective). Hope this helps.


Russians learn Turkish more easily than Turks who try to learn Russian language.And usually they have better accent than English speakers,though they insist on stressing on the letter E.


Why is this dative and not nominative??????????????????


Надо forces this.


The sentence more literally translated is "Three plates need to be washed by you" Dative makes it "by you" rather than the nominative "you"


I'd rather say it like "There is a need for you to wash three dishes", where "Надо" = "There is a need", "Тебе" = "for you" (kinda explains the dative) , "to wash" = "помыть"


I found this sentence very difficult, with several bits that I didn't understand. I'm going to sum up what I figured out thanks to various comments from other users above and from the great internet. In no particular order:

*1. Three plates: *

1.1 declension of noun with number:

"The nominative case of два (две), три, четыре and of the compound numbers ending in 2, 3, 4 (23,134, etc.) is followed by the genitive singular of nouns" (http://russianlearn.com/grammar/category/cardinal_numerals).

1.2 Genitive of plate:

таре́лка is feminine inanimate (https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%BA%D0%B0#Russian). Normally, that would make the genitive singular ending ы, but "After a sibilant or a velar (г, к, or х) consonant, и is written." (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_declension).

2. On the verb form (source for the following is German PONS cheatsheet for Russian):

Imperfective aspect describes duration/ repetition/ habit of an action. The point is the doing. Perfective aspect describes a specific, singular action/ its completion/ a chain of such events. The point is that the action has been completed/ the result achieved. To transform an imperfective verb into a perfective one, you add a prefix; in our case "по". Other prefixes exist for other verbs. Is there a rule to know which prefix applies? (Side note: Perfective verbs also exist. To go the other way, you add a sufix. So how do you know which vetb is naturally perfective/ imperfective?)

3. Мне надо:

3.1 dative:

надо (like нужнo) belongs to the category of predicative adverbs. "Syntactically, these adverbs express the predicate of impersonal sentences. The logical subject (when there is one) stands in the dative case" (http://russianlearn.com/grammar/category/predicative_adverbs). So мне must be dative here (rather than prepositional).

3.2 надо as opposed to нужно

3.2.1 Don't use надо when what you need is a noun. "In cases when your sentence states that you need to do something, надо and нужно are interchangeable."; however, the latter is more formaland moreover declined (in accordance with the noun). (https://russian.stackexchange.com/questions/1105/usage-patterns-of-надо-vs-нужно#1232).

3.2.2 some idiomatic expressions

where usage suggests preferring one over the other, though both are correct, e.g. надо бы.


I can't figure out a sentence with a perfective verb in the present, if both ongoing and repetitive, habitual actions are classified as imperfective. An action can be completed only in the past, so this seems the main difference: actions in the present or repetitive: imperfective. Actions in the past: perfective when past simple is required in English; switch to an imperfective verb when past continuous would be required. Two tenses in English, two verbs in Russian


Is there a lesson in the tree about the declension of numbers?


You should wash up three plates is wrong. Why?


probably because надо means need not should.


So is the subject of a sentence (тебе in this case) always in the dative when there's a number involved?


No. надо takes the dative in any situation, regardless there are numbers involved or not


The subject of the sentence is more "three plates" - "Three plates need to be washed by you". That's why "you" is in dative.

This would be more obvious if it were just "You need to wash the plate" = Тебе надо помыть тарелка. In this sentence, "plate" is clearly in nominative case, making it the subject of the sentence.

I see you're studying Spanish - the sentence operates something like gustar - where things are like by you, but the sentence is translated as "you like the things".


Can we use "ваш" to replace "тебе"??


We can use Вам


We can use "вам"

[deactivated user]

    Can we omit "надо" here ? Please answer this it is important for me to figure out "must/need to" uses


    Тебя and Тебе, what is the rule for using one or the other


    When I use numbers in a sentence, I need to use the genitive case?


    Thank you Jeffrey!

    • 1423

    What's the different between помыть and мыть ?


    we can use ты insted of тебе?


    Also have this question.


    Capital letter cheat mode engaged

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