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"Ваня, зачем ты разобрал фотоаппарат?"

Translation:Vanya, why did you take apart the camera?

December 15, 2015



"The photo camera" is not a thing people say in English under any ordinary circumstances. Just "the camera."


Can someone explain why it's correct to use "зачем" here and not "почему"?

  • 1178

зачем asks about purpose, intention, future, while почему asks about cause, past reason. The answer to the question above would be e.g. to repair it, to see how it works. If you asked почему, you'll get an answer like because it stopped working, because mom asked me to do it etc.

Of course the difference in meaning could be quite big or barely noticeable, depending on the specific question/context.


зачем can be more literally translated as "for what", so "Vanya, you took apart the camera for what?"


It means "what for."


Is разобрать used exclusively when you take something apart carefully, in order to fix it, or it can also be used when say a kid destroys something by taking it apart? Now that I'm thinking about it I'm not even sure how it's used in English, since I'm not a native speaker...


Разобрать is used when you take something apart. But the Russian sentence suggest that taking apart a camera was a bad idea and they won't be able to put it back together.


What's wrong with "dismantle"?


Why not?
Vanya why did you disassemble the camera?
I reported.


I was wondering the same thing. I found this. http://www.yearlyglot.com/when-and-how-to-use-zachem-and-pochemu/ I understand that zachem is a little more emotionally involved as in for what purpose did you break this cup. I stand to be corrected by anyone as i am a novice myself, just some shared info.

  • 1801

Is it a mistake to use what for instead of why? I usually translate why as почему, and what for as зачем, для чего.


Exactly the kind of question we asked our son during his childhood years!


Конечно, чтобы посмотреть, как это работает.


"зачем ты разобрал фотоаппарат?" can translate as "why did you take the camera apart" as well as "why did you take apart the camera". In fact, the first version is more natural English.


Most assuredly 'the camera' sounds to a Brit completely out of place at the end of the sentence


I think this sentence would be better understood is they'd have used the word "shatter" the camera?


No, the Russian sentence doesn't imply "shatter". "Разобрать" is about carefully disassembling, not about breaking.


Now what do you suppose " why'd" represents? HUH?


I really hate you guys sometimes.


So why does it have to be "the camera" and not "a camera?"


Can they explain the normal verb already, without the preposition ? It should be a great thing for all this lesson


I don’t understand what you mean. Prepositions have no effect on verbs.


I think he means the prefix разо in разобрал. Using the phrase "take apart" in English also implies that this is a compound verb in Russian! So I had a look at Wiktionary and it appears разобрать is indeed formed the same way! :-o разо "apart/ asunder" + брать "to take". Good to know! :-)


Yes, Russian verbs with prefixes can be most closely compared to English multi-part verbs.


I remember taking apart a fairly fancy mirror lens camera when I was like 3 or 4 years old.


Vanya, why did you do it after all?

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