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How are these sentences different from each other? (The flight will take 6 hours) :

~Полёт / Перелёт займёт шесть часов

~Мы долетим за шесть часов

It takes around 3 hours to make borscht.

Чтобы приготовить борщ, нужно примерно три часа.

I erroneously assumed that I'd have to say za in the first sentence too. Thank you.

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In sentence 1 шесть часов is a direct object after transitive verb, so similarly to the English version with 'it will take us 6 hours', it doesn't take any preposition. Same with the last Russian sentence: "нужно (затратить - omitted)" reveals transitivity resulting in no preposition.

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Here, за is like English in. Like in, за presents only after the verb specifying the action.

  • We will do it in three hours. (Мы сделаем это за три часа.)
  • It will take three hours to do it. (Literally: Займёт три часа сделать это. Better: Это займёт три часа. )

  • One can cook borscht in three hours - борщ можно приготовить за три часа.

  • One can cook borscht in about three hours - борщ можно приготовить примерно за три часа (часа за три - the stress here should be on за).
  • It takes about three hours to cook borscht - чтобы приготовить борщ, нужно примерно три часа (около трёх часов, часа три); приготовление борща занимает около трёх часов.
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  • Sorry but your English examples with 'for' are wrong. -1 – tum_ Oct 16 '16 at 12:47
  • @A.Toumantsev - hope it is better now. – user31264 Oct 16 '16 at 12:52
  • I'd be interested in comments from English natives as my English is not perfect (although quite good). I would use 'within' here rather than 'in'... – tum_ Oct 16 '16 at 12:58
  • I'd be interested in HEARING ANY comments from ANY English natives OUT THERE, SINCE/as my English is not perfect BY ANY MEANS (although IT'S STILL quite good THOUGH). I would use 'within' here rather than / INSTEAD OF "in" – Штефан Oct 16 '16 at 14:37
  • I don't see why you changed what he wrote?You just made it longer and added no real value) – VCH250 Oct 18 '16 at 8:19

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