"He cooks on his own."
Translation:Он готовит сам.
Why can I not say, "Он готовит один?" I've used this construction before for myself: Я живу одна. Is there a reason this wouldn't work?
Because один means "alone" (without anybody present), and сам means "by oneself" (without any help). Compare: I live alone ↔ I cook myself (≠ I cook alone).
Yeah, but "on his own" in English can mean "alone". There is ambiguity in the English example given by Duolingo.
A post further down says cam means without any input or assistance from anyone else. If true, and I imagine that it is, that is different from alone.
I can cook alone while getting instructions by phone. I can cook with a dozen people around but not getting input or assistance from anyone. According to the post, cam refers to the latter.... on his own.
No, it's also OK, but it sounds a bit more formal.
Can it be Он готовит один? In past I heard that odin can also be used as only one (alone)
Один means “without any company”. Сам means “without input from anybody else”.
No. This would sound as if «он» is some kind of machine, not a living person, so the English translation would require 'it', and not 'he'.
Because «Он приготовит сам» would mean "He will cook [something] on his own". Пригото́вить is an perfective verb, so it doesn't have a present tense. Also, it really doesn't sound well without an object.
Present tense does exist: "он приготавливает ужин сам". But this perfective verb shows an imperfective action. However, he will have perfected it soon
It’s a present tense of a different verb (приготовить vs. приготавливать). This verb also has a past tense (приготавливала ≠ приготовила) and different future tense (буду приготавливать ≠ приготовлю).
«Варит» is not a general kind for cooking, it would be understand to mean "He boils on his own".
Nope. First of all, "oneself" in Russian is сам себя, not just сам (=on one's own). Secondly, сам is accusative of inanimate objects, so it would be самого for a person. The entire phrase would probably be along the lines of "Он готови сам себя" and/or "самого себя" (a verification from a native speaker would be good, though).
a verification from a native speaker would be good, though
You're right, it would be «Он готовит сам себя» or «Он готовит себя самого» (I don't know why, but it feels a bit better with this word order; but «самого себя» is OK too).
So when I entered «Он готовит себя.» (and was marked as incorrect) does my faulty translation mean that : «He cooks himself.» ?
«Готовить» means not just 'cook' but also 'prepare', so «He prepares himself» is much more plausible translation for «Он готовит себя» than «He cooks himself». However, we'd normally express this with a reflexive verb (Он гото́вится 'He is preparing, he prepares'), not with «себя», so this still sounds somewhat unnatural.
I used "он сам готовит" instead of "он готовит сам", and I got it right anyway. But I wanted to ask: does this displacement change the meaning of the sentence at some degree or the level of formality?
Why not "Он сам готовит еду"? Does the verb "готовить" not require an object?
When it means "to cook" it doesn't. However adding the "еду" is not a mistake, it's just unnecessary.
When "готовить" means "to prepare" then yes, the object is reguired. In short, if you use it without an object, it becomes "to cook" rather than "to prepare" by default.
Thank you for making clear how to use the difference in meaning. Very helpful.