How to say ‘WHY’, ‘WHAT FOR’ and ‘BECAUSE’ in Russian

Hello and Привет!

This blog is for Russian learners. Today I want you to learn how to say ‘why’, ‘what for’ and ‘because’ in Russian because they are really commonly used in Russia. I’ll give you some examples, hopefully showing you the differences between WHY and WHAT FOR. So the words in question are:

  1. pachiMOO – why? In Russian, it looks this way: почему
  2. pataMOOshta – because —-потому что
  3. zaCHYEM – what for? —–зачем

Let’s start with this song. It’s called “ЗАЧЕМ?” This is a frequent question in Russian. People tend to wonder what the point of something is. Sometimes it’s not there business but it’s like a habit. It means something like: I wonder why…/Is or was there any point in …?

Here are some examples from the song so you can sing along.

Зачем, зачем, зачем ты сказал мне, что меня любишь?  Why did you tell me you love me?
Зачем, зачем, зачем обещал мне, что не забудешь? Why did you promise me you won’t forget me?
Зачем, зачем, зачем разбивал мне ты моё сердце? Why did you keep breaking my heart?
Зачем, зачем, зачем? Я же просто хотела согреться. Why? I simply wanted to warm up.

So how about PachiMOO? It means WHY and more like: Why didn’t you do something? Here are some examples:

-Почему ты ещё не спишь? Why aren’t you in bed yet?
-Потому что у меня завтра экзамен. Because I’ve an exam tomorrow.

From the example above you can see that to answer pachiMOO question, you need to say: pataMOOshta. It’s quite easy to remember as there is a MOO bit in both words.


Anna Large

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