Why? in Russian
In this lesson, we will learn how to ask why? in Russian and practice it with examples.
There are two main ways to ask why? in Russian: заче́м and почему́.
– заче́м – means “for what purpose?”
– почему́ – means “for what reason?”
I.e. the first one focuses on the goals of the action and the last on its causes.
Заче́м? – Why? For what purpose?
Заче́м is made of two parts: за and чем, and can be literally translated as for what?.
– Заче́м тебе́ э́та су́мка?
Why do you need this bag for?
– Заче́м ты э́то сде́лал?
Why did you do it? (What are you trying to achieve?)
– Заче́м ты мне врёшь?
Why are you lying to me? (What are you trying to achieve?)
Почему? – Why? For what reason?
Почему is also made of two parts: по and чему, and can be literally translated as over what?.
– Почему́ ты э́то сде́лал?
Why did you do it? (What made you do that?)
– Почему́ ты мне врёшь?
Why are you lying to me? (What is the reason you are lying? What are you hiding?)
– Почему́ тебе́ гру́стно?
Why are you sad?
Practice the examples of this lesson with an audio file and come back for the next lesson to learn Russian with us!