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What is the difference between (почему?) And (зачем?) ?

For learning: Russian
Base language: English
Category: Language


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    "почему" is the question of reason:
    - Почему ты купил лекарство?(WHY did you buy medicine?)
    - Потому что моя мама больна.(Because my mom is sick.)
    "зачем" is the question of goal:
    - Зачем ты купил лекарство?(FOR WHAT did you buy medicine?)
    - За тем, чтобы моя мама выздоровела.(For my mom gets recovered after sickness)

    I'd say there is no difference between generaly and you can use bith of them as synonyms. But зачем could be used for expression wonder or discontent. Compere these:
    — почему ты выбросил хлеб (neutral question, asking person wants to know the reason) — потому что он испортился.
    — зачем ты выбросил хлеб? (more indignation, that could mean that asking person had some purpose on the bread) Ты что, не знал, что я хотел сделать из него гренки.

    ADD to the previous answer:

    With inanimate being you more often use ПОЧЕМУ.

    ЗАЧЕМ is for purpose
    ПОЧЕМУ is for reason (mostly in the past - reasons that led to some result)

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