"Зачем она готовит?"

Translation:Why does she cook?

3 years ago

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lars200
Lars200
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I guess she's hungry...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CsabaSndor
CsabaSndor
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Why not "почему"? It was explicitly stated that "зачем" is not used only by a few... Is there a difference between the two then?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/p_genot
p_genot
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I'd also like to have a shot at this. (I am just a learner, so I am more than happy to be corrected by a native speaker.) I couldn't find much information on this in the reference grammar I have, but this is how I understand the difference between почему and зачем: You use зачем when you want to ask someone about his aim or purpose in doing something. (Accordingly, it is supposed that the action in question has been performed on a voluntary basis.) A straightforward example would be: "Зачем ты это делаешь?" ('What are you doing this for?' 'What is your purpose in doing this?') In contrast, почему can be used somewhat more widely, and requires a more factual answer. Think for instance of the questions asked in the natural sciences; they will all contain the word почему and not зачем, because things in the natural realm usually do not have aims of their own. (If you know German, it is helpful to think of зачем and почему as the translations of 'wozu/weshalb/weswegen' and 'warum/wieso', respectively.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NassreddineTaibi

That is with Dutch too, we have a strictly difference between: hoezo (wieso) and waarom (warum)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/celina.language
celina.language
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Interesting, because wieso and warum are the exactly same thing in German.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hubinou
Hubinou
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There is a subtle difference in French too although it is not stressed in the common language :

  • pour quoi : pour quoi prends-tu cet outil ? (for which purpose do you take this tool ?). Pour réparer le sèche-cheveux (to fix the hairdryer)
  • pourquoi : pourquoi prend tu cet outil ? (why do you take this tool ?). Parce que le sèche-cheveux est cassé (because the hairdryer is broken)
5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/raphael_astro

merci beaucoup, ça m'aide énormément, tu peux pas savoir

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kenauhasselaer

The conjunctions are even more to the point: 'parceque' = because (Dutch 'omdat', points to the past), and 'afin que' = so that (Dutch 'opdat', points to the future)

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CdRRq
CdRRq
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Oh là là, i didn't know one can write 'pour quoi' apart

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri-Isaenko

Exactly, thanks for your explanations.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/killerman64
killerman64
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this was very spot on, nice lengual referencing.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hakan510599

Wow it's exactly like "neden/niye" in Turkish

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri-Isaenko

Почему - это причина, т.е. дает ответ на вопрос "по какой причине". Зачем - это цель, т.е. ответ на вопрос "для достижения какой цели".
Почему ты ел ? Был голоден. Зачем ты ел? Чтобы восполнить запас энергии, утолить голод. ps: I'll try to explain it in english in next topic

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CsabaSndor
CsabaSndor
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Well, I didn't understand it, but certainly who knows Russian, will. Wait a minute. The one who knows Russian, doesn't need to know this...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri-Isaenko

I can read but not write, excuse me. I'll try. "Почему" - is a cause, "Зачем" - is an aim.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CsabaSndor
CsabaSndor
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Sorry, I don't see the difference. Could you give some examples where there is a difference?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuri-Isaenko

Почему ты ел ? Был голоден.

Why do you eat? Because I am angry.

Зачем ты ел? Чтобы восстановать запас энергии.

Why do you eat for? To restore the energy.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kdammers
kdammers
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I'm still working on this myself, but one common use of pochimu is the kids' Why? (In response to things like "Eat all of your kasha" or "Do pages 3~4 in the workbook for homework"). I here kids say this a lot.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexroseajr

From reading, I would summarise as: зачем = "For what purpose" почему = "For what reason" Motivation vs cause.

So, if the light turned off, you would use почему to determine for what reason the light went off (e.g. the power went out, someone hit the lightswitch, the bulb ran out). But if you knew your friend turned the light off, you would ask зачем, because you want to know his reasoning.

You would usually only ask зачем of a sentient creature, because only they have a purpose. However, you could use зачем to a non-sentient creature, e.g. if I made a machine that falls over every time you stand it up, or a program that deletes itself, you might ask зачем.

If you were asking about the behaviour of natural phenomena, you would use почему. I think that's all very easily understandable, but the real nuance is knowing when to ask a sentient being почему.

e.g. "Why are you at the bottom of this hill". If they're lying on the ground, probably почему- "because I fell" - they aren't there because they meant to get there. If they're digging at the bottom of the hill though you'd ask, "Зачем", because they're maybe an archeologist, or hiding something - they got there with purpose.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

If anyone is wondering, зачем is a compound work made from the preposition за, which in this case means ‘at’ or ‘while’, and чем, which means ‘with what’ (the instrumental form of что).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AugustineLim

Can the English be translated as "What is she cooking for?" Because зачем is defined commonly as "what for"? (Duolingo asked me - for thr first time - to translate the Russian into English...)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elsantodel90
elsantodel90
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That English sentence seems correct to me, but very uncommon as opposed to simply "why is she cooking".

These kinds of "what for" constructions are less common in English I think, and in many cases people would simply use "why" where Russian uses "зачем".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rumpelstil12

what is wrong with : "what is she preparing for" - which could also be for some test

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kundoo
Kundoo
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That would be "К чему она готовится?".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avernie
avernie
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does почему and зачем work as "porqué?" and "para qué?" in spanish?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WildanHabi4

Почему = what's the reason? Зачем = what is it for?

Is this correct?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mak_Poppy

@Kundoo Your explanation makes a lot of sense. But now I wonder if one or the other is used in a generic sense? For example, if I see a man running down the street, I do not know if he's running for a purpose (maybe he's late for work) or he's running because of something (a dog is chasing him). If I asked him why he was running, which would I use to cover both possibilities?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kundoo
Kundoo
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That depends on what you are really interested in. If you are assuming he has a purpose, and you want to know it, you'd ask "зачем?". "Почему?" is arguably more neutral and doesn't make assumptions, thus giving more freedom in an answer, but in some contexts it can imply a lack of agency in one's actions.

In the context of "why is he running?" both "почему?" and "зачем?" can be used, because the actions of a sentient being usually have both a reason and a purpose. "He is late for work" is a reason, "to get to the workplace in time" - is a purpose. "A dog is chasing him" is a reason, "to run away from the dog" is a purpose. So it really boils down to what you want to know.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Borka583168
Borka583168
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Почему и зачем - could be possible to differentiate depending on time and concrete reality. Почему-the answers are in real causes in real time

Зачем-answers are outside of "concrete" reality..

I am not sure..just thinking

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/keinemeinung
keinemeinung
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Почему is basically "What caused you to do this?"
Зачем is "What is your end goal?"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bill545771

Could "Зачем она готовит? " also mean "What is she preparing for?"? Or do you have to use the reflexive verb "готовится" for that?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/keinemeinung
keinemeinung
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Gotovit' is a transitive verb, so that would be that she's preparing something else. If you use the reflexive version then yeah it would mean she's preparing herself.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/richard547513
richard547513
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After reading all the comments I have come to the conclusion that зачем means why do/does and почему means why are/is

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kundoo
Kundoo
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It's more about intent vs. external force. For example: "Why do apples fall to the ground?" in Russian would be "Почему яблоки падают на землю?". We don't use "зачем" because that would imply that apples do that intentionally (and are probably sentient). On the other hand "Why is she here?" can be translated as "Зачем она здесь?" if we are wondering what is her purpose for being here. "Почему она здесь?" would be more about "how did it happen that she's here?", though admittedly the difference between these two is almost negligible.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/richard547513
richard547513
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спасибо

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SzymonRuci
SzymonRuci
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(if anyone speaks Polish)

зачем? - po co? почему? - dlaczego/czemu?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merymoon16
merymoon16
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Почему она готовит? And no зачем....is very confused...

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FergusAndr2

Why not "why is she cooking?"

2 months ago
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