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  5. "Мне нужен полезный совет."

"Мне нужен полезный совет."

Translation:I need some good advice.

April 11, 2016



where else can I use полезный when compared with добро and хорошо


I'll save you the click: Полезный useful, helpful, good (having a practical or beneficial use)


Why нужен instead of нужно?


It is because of the gender of the noun совет. male gender - мне нужен совет, female - мне нужна помощь, neuter - мне нужно молоко, plural - мне нужны друзья. But you can use нужно with infinitive in the same case, for examle - мне нужно получить хороший/полезный совет. but it sounds much less common that the given phrase.


Out of topic.. Is there a relation between 《Совет》and《Советский》?


Yes, of course. Советский comes from another meaning of совет. The one that means "council".


Полезный means also good? In my opinion it had to be useful


A more literal translation would be, "I need useful advice." (By the way, the "some" is not implied in the Russian text; it would be denoted, I believe, by putting полезный совет in the genitive case: полезного совета). However, we don't say 'useful advice' in English; we say "good advice," and the addition of "some" is just part of the normal colloquial way of saying this.

So, really, Duo has sacrificed an exact translation here in the interest of getting one that sounds natural in English (possibly under pressure from native speakers to do so). But new speakers to English would probably have no way of knowing this. Это позор.


The позор part should be more like «А жаль», really. :) When you say позор it means that the ones responsible now look like morons and must be ashamed of themselves.


Спасибо, Shady_arc / Igor. Я определенно не хотела это сказать! ;-) I thought at first of saying жаль, but I wasn't sure if it got across what I wanted to convey. Apparently, I should have gone with my first intuition!

By the way, can one say полезного совета "some advice," as I said above? Это правильно? I'm thinking of the example of 'хотите арбуса?'


That will not work. Совет is countable in Russian (think of a "tip").

Even with mass nouns the form of нужен will reflect the change of the subject. When switching to the Partitive/Genitive or an expression with a quantifier, "нужно" is used:

  • Мне нужна вода → Мне нужно воды (a bit odd)
  • Нам нужны деньги → Нам нужно больше денег (fine)
  • Ей нужен сок. → Сколько ей нужно сока? (fine)

To my ear, Мне нужно воды sounds quite bookish, and with other words it will not work at all. It is best to use нужно with quantifiers. We do, however, use the Genitive with negation; it often sounds fine:

  • Не нужно паники
  • Ей не нужно объяснений
  • Мне не нужно счастья, не нужно победы.

In colloquial speech, Мне нужно is occasionally combined with an Accusative when you came or called somewhere to contact a certain person. It is not the most elegant wording to ask for a person but native speakers do use it:

  • Мне нужно директора.
  • Здравствуйте, мне нужно Марию Сергеевну.


Опять спасибо большое, всё ясно. I was of course thinking of the partitive genitive, but I couldn't think of the name for it at the moment. And you're right, it doesn't work with countable nouns.

My Russian is a bit rusty; after all, it turns 30 next year, but has been mostly sleeping for about 20 of those. :-) I'm so grateful for Duolingo, and for helpful individuals like yourself!


When I fist heard it, I thought that was "Мне нужен советский союз".


For sure advice is best found by using duo lingo as a translater/messaging app .. if that fails, try asking random people on tinder


so soviet means good!?


The word "soviet" is initially the transliteration of совет, which is "advice" or "council".


"I need sound advice" was not accepted as an answer. I believe this should be acceptable.


Is it not okay to say "I need AN advice" instead of "SOME advice"?


Advice is uncountable, so you cannot use AN with it.


You are right about that, but I feel like in an actual conversation people would rather say "an" than "some"


No one in America would ask for "an advice". You're thinking of grammer rules that tell you to use an in front of words that start with a vowel, but in this case advice is somthing that you can (sort of) measure. Someone could give you a lot or a little advice, and you are just asking for some.


Native English speaker here. I have never once heard "an advice"; only "some advice".


Well, совет is a count noun in Russian, unlike the English "advice". I think this is the cause of the mistake.


два совета. Yep, it is possible (in theory), on the rare occasion when the number of pieces of advice is important. "Несколько советов" and "пара советов" ( a few/couple tips) are used.


Interesting. Would you say "два советы" if you asked two different people, or if the same person gave you two tips, or both, or neither..?


Thanks for the correction and the advice on advice!


In my native language, "advice" is a countable noun too. Sometimes we use numbers with it, usually small ones, and say "I have X advice for you." I wonder if you could use the Russian совет the same way? "У меня два совета тебе [for the job interview]. First, be on time, and second, be polite."?

  • 2146

If you want a helpful opinion from somebody, my advice is to stick to "some advice" or just "advice".

"An advice" is something completely different.

In commercial correspondence, advice usually means information communicated by letter. It is used chiefly in reference to bank drafts or bills of exchange.

Here is a simple example. In the past, before there were ATMs, one could write a letter to a bank saying "please advise me the balance of my account". The bank would send a letter giving the balance. The bank's reply was "an advice".


In America we'd call that an advisement, I think, not 'an advice.' It still sounds odd to this native (American) English speaker.


You can either say "some advice" or "a piece of advice"


Or even 'a bit of advice.' This is often (but not exclusively) used when someone gives you unsolicited advice: "Let me give you a bit of advice."


Margarita, i have the same problem with English. Advice should be countable. It is countable in my native language. I can totally give three advices to somebody if i want. But English is weird and you cant count advice for some reason.

  • 2146

To add to what newguy25 said above, if you want to count advice in English it is "pieces of advice" that you count. "I gave him some advice." "I gave him three pieces of advice."


"Advise" should be accepted it s proper English


advise, in proper english, is always a verb. the substantive is "advice."


You advise somebody using advice

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