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Thread: почему бы нет? Why add "бы "?

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    почему бы нет? Why add "бы "?

    So when asking "why not?" in Russian you say "почему бы нет?"... why do we add the "бы" ? In fact, I see the "бы" added in many places that I fail to understand why it was put when it seems redundant....can anyone explain to me?
    "Особенно упорно надо заниматься тем, кто ничего не знает." - Като Ломб

    "В один прекрасный день все ваши подспудные знания хлынут наружу. Ощущения при этом замечательные, уверяю вас." -Кто-то

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    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    although Почему бы нет? is not that uncommon, i'd say that the form Почему бы и нет? is more frequent and sounds more complete

    i'm afraid i can't give a logical explanation, but you may as well say А почему нет? or just Почему нет?

    i'd guess that since Почему бы (и) нет? expresses hypothetical possibility бы is used, because бы grammatically signifies potential mood

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    Thanks for the explanation.. cleared it up!

    When to use the word бы is always quite a mystery for me still, I hear it in a lot of sentences, phrases and word combinations that I find puzzling. But I won't harp on it, if I run into any I'll dive back in here to the cozy Russian sea drift that is masterrussian

    Spasiba...otchen
    "Особенно упорно надо заниматься тем, кто ничего не знает." - Като Ломб

    "В один прекрасный день все ваши подспудные знания хлынут наружу. Ощущения при этом замечательные, уверяю вас." -Кто-то

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    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valda View Post
    Thanks for the explanation.. cleared it up!

    When to use the word бы is always quite a mystery for me still, I hear it in a lot of sentences, phrases and word combinations that I find puzzling. But I won't harp on it, if I run into any I'll dive back in here to the cozy Russian sea drift that is masterrussian
    simplistically (or maybe even accurately) бы is just 'would'

    Quote Originally Posted by Valda View Post
    Spasiba...otchen
    Большое спасибо or Спасибо большое as in Big thanks

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Subjunctive and conditional moods rather than potential, I think.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Почтенный гражданин LXNDR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    Subjunctive and conditional moods rather than potential, I think.
    true, in English they differ, in Russian not too much as бы is used in both

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    I think it's just one of the possible ways of saying the same thing. For example, in English:

    Почему [нет]? => Why not?
    Почему бы и нет? => Why wouldn't you/me/it?

    And whilst English speakers would typically prefer the former, Russian speakers prefer the latter. I suspect that is because "нет" and "not" are used differently. In English "not" would serve an integral part of the negative sentence.

    - I do not want to go there.
    - Why not?

    - Я не хочу туда идти.
    - Почему?

  8. #8
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    Почему нет? = Why [it is] not [so]?

    Почему бы и нет? = Why not [to do so]?

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