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Why do we need the word "нужно" in Russian?

Hello, dear student! Continuing our discussion on obligations, today I would like to talk about such words as "нужно" [nuzhna], "нужен" [nuzhen], "нужна" [nuzhna] and "нужны" [nuzhny] (plural form). These words express necessity of doing something but not obligatory, i.e. one can need and want something, but if he does not get it - it is not a big deal.

Мне нужна эта книга, хотела почитать ее на ночь [Mne nuzhna ekhta kniga, khatela pachitat' ejo na nach'] - I need this book, just wanted to read it tonight.

To make up a sentence with this word, you should use the following structure for the present tense: a noun in dative case + нужен (нужно, нужна, нужны) + noun in nominative case. The word "нужен" always agrees with a noun in nominative case in gender and number (i.e. something that we need):

Мне очень нужна эта ручка [Mne ochen' nuzhna ekhta ruchka] - I absolutely need this pen.

Нужна (что?) ручка - need (what?) a pen - the word "ручка" in this example is the object that we need, that is why we use it in the nominative case.

The structure in the past tense is the following: a noun in dative + быть (to be in the past tense)+ нужен (нужна, нужно, нужны) + noun in the nominative case. The word "быть" agrees with a noun in nominative case in number and gender:

Марату была нужна виза [Maratu byla nuzhna viza] - Marat needed a visa

Всем нужны были деньги [Fsem nuzhny byli den'gi] - All of them needed money.

And, finally, the structure for the future tense: noun in dative case +"быть" ( to be in the future tense) + нужен (нужна, нужно, нужны) (need) + noun in nominative case. The word "быть" agrees with a noun in nominative case in number:

Чтобы уехать мне нужен будет паспорт [Shtoby uekhat' mne nuzhen budet paspart] - To leave I will need a passport.

Ане будут нужны ключи [Ane budut nuzhny klyuchi] - Anne will need the keys.


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