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  5. "Зачем он так много читает?"

"Зачем он так много читает?"

Translation:What does he read that much for?

December 9, 2015



"What does he read so much for?" is very informal and stilted. IMO, a more natural translation would be "Why does he read so much?"


Your translation is more natural English by far. So many of these discussions over translations into English are arguments about how literal or colloquial a translation should be, and they are tiresome. The problem arises, I think, because so many of the course developers are not native English speakers. The purpose of the course is not to teach English, after all.


I agree; but, on the other hand, when a more natural translation is pointed out by native speakers, it does need to be added as soon as possible. "Why does he read so much?" is, hands down, a better translation, as you say.


An even more casual but more common spoken way of putting this sentence is, "How come he reads so much?"


Worse than that, it is just plain bad English grammar. The only correct usage of What for is similar to "What is that tool for?"


One thing that can be said for the current version is that it emphasizes the meaning of зачем, since it's subtly different that почему.


What is the difference between зачем and почему?


We ask Зачем? when we want to know the cause of what is happening. And we ask Почему? to know the purpose of it.

(My native language is russian, so I'm sorry if I make mistakes in English :) )


Previously someone answered the opposite, and with зачем, the answer was what does he read that much FOR? what does he do that for, for what purpose? So Im still confused. Purpose: he has a test on it tomorrow. Cause: he just loves to read, or his mother told him, if he doesn't he is grounded.


Наоборот, it works reversly, inversly. Зачем serves for the description purposes, targets, goals or aims; почему asks about the causes for none-anima things and the reasons for humans and the others entities with intelligence and free will.


"Зачем?" is more like "what for?", but can also be translated to "why?"

"Почему?" is "why?"


Hold up. I think the explanations of KrICEtON and JanisaChatte are somewhat contradictory. According to KrICEtON " Почему" is used to inquire the purpose of something i.e. "what for" while for JanisaChatte it's "Зачем". Which one is it then?


Yeah, I think KrICEtON mixed up cause and purpose.


"What is he reading so much for?" was marked wrong, in favor of "What does he read so much for?".

Is present continuous not acceptable here?


Потому что он хочет говорить по-русскииииии!!!


I don't understand why my answer "For what does he read so much?" is wrong.


I don't think that's grammatically correct in English. The correct should be "What does he read so much for?"


I admit that it may sound stilted, but I assure you that it is grammatical. We don't have to end English sentences with prepositions. "What" is the object of the preposition "for."


But ending a sentence in a preposition like that isn't good form. It's clumsy. As pointed out above, "why does he read so much" is much better.


There is no difference in meaning between "What does he read so much for?" and "For what does he read so much?" It may help you to see my point if you recognize that the word "reason" or "purpose" is implied in both English sentences.


Of course there's no difference in meaning between them, but the second one doesn't really sound right (it might be technically correct, but it just sounds weird to me)


Which is the function of "так" in this sentence? Is it an expression, saying "так много" instead of just "много"?


I am pretty sure the phrase «так много» is like "so much" whereas «много» alone would be more like "much" or "a lot".

Зачем он так много читает? = Why does he read so much?

Зачем он много читает? = Why does he read a lot?

Similar sentences but different meanings. (I hope a native Russian speaker will correct if I am wrong.)


"... this much for?" is rejected, in favor of "that much for?". Is there a different Russian expression that properly translates to "What does he read THIS much for?" ?


This sentence doesn't make sense in English


What for is horrible English grammar. Always use Why. i.e. Why does he read so much?


Почему не Why?


Translation could be "Why does he read that much?" Or "so much?"

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