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Difference between Надо and Нужно in Russian | Разница между Надо и Нужно

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

How to use words надо and нужно in Russian?

If you have been learning Russian language for some time, you have probably noticed that there are two words that mean exactly the same - they express a need for something. But what are the difference between these two words 'надо' and 'нужно'. Let's figure out! It is not hard at all!

Difference between надо and нужно in Russian

Overall, you can use both these words надо and нужно when you want to express an ideas that someone needs (or doesn't need something). On the first place you can put a pronoun (to whom) or any noun that shows who exactly needs something (it should be in a Dative case - дательный падеж).

Разница между надо и нужно в русском языке

As for the common sides, we can use infinitive forms of verbs with both these forms надо and нужно. Look at the explanation with examples in Russian below.

How to use надо vs нужно in Russian

One can also omit the pronouns indicating the subject (who needs something) when it's obvious from the context. Look at the examples below. In the first example, you can imagine your friend who wants to talk to you and says "Надо поговорить". You understand that he wants to talk to you and not to a girl sitting next to you. The second example also depends on the context and we can omit 'мне' if it's obvious from the conversation.

Как использовать слова надо и нужно в русском

But what about the differences between using these words 'надо' and 'нужно'. The word надо cannot be used with objects (nouns, pronouns) while 'нужно' can be followed by any objects. Look at the examples below.

Надо vs нужно in Russian language difference

Let's look at some other examples with the word нужно and different objects.

Have you noticed that the word нужно has changed its form? Нужно, нужна, нужен, нужны. Do you know why? Of course, it depends on the gender of an object that is used with the word нужно. If it's a neuter noun, then you need to use a form нужно. If it's a feminine noun - use a form нужна, masculine noun - нужен, plural noun (any gender) - нужны.

How to use нужно, нужна, нужен in Russian

If you want to see a full explanation of this topic with interesting examples, then you can watch this free Russian video lesson.

Difference between Нужно and Надо. Учим русский в контексте.

Russian video lesson on the difference between НАДО and НУЖНО. In this Russian lesson in Russian I will explain you how to use these two words in speech. We will also analyze and learn an amazing Russian poem "Человеку надо мало" by Robert Rozhdestvensy. Please, note that this video is entirely in Russian, but in slow Russian so you can understand it if you turn on Russian subtitles. There is also a transcript of this lesson in English, useful tasks and a song based on this poem available on my page.

It's also very important to know how to pronounce Russian words correctly as not every Russian letter is pronounced the same way as it's written. There are certain Russian pronunciation rules that are really easy to learn.


Hello! My name is Mila and I am a founder of Hack Your Russian language platform. You can find me here:

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