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In журналист писал на разные темы, why is разные темы in the accusative case?

Supposing The journalist wrote on various themes is a good translation, shouldn't the prepositional case follow на here?

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    Писал на разные темы is correct, and I'm not sure I understand why you think prepositional would be better here. – Nikolay Ershov Jan 8 '16 at 20:38
  • In this case, I would translate темы as "topics" rather than "themes". – Dima Jan 8 '16 at 22:03
  • Interesting question... "Журналист писал на бумаге" uses the prepositional case... Unfortunately, I can't give you any explanation other than "accusative is correct here". – Dima Jan 8 '16 at 22:05
  • Perhaps rephrasing "he covered various topics" will help. – V.V. Jan 9 '16 at 8:45
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A short answer is: preposition "на" when used in this meaning need a noun in the accusative case. In this sentence на seems to fit next meaning: indicating a purpose of a thing or an action sixth item in the link. (at least, on my opinion it's the closest meaning from the list). There are examples from the link:

Разрешение на проезд. разрешение чтобы проехать
Билет на самолёт. билет для того чтобы сесть на самолёт
Отдать ребёнка на воспитание. отдать для того чтобы воспитывали
Наряд на погрузку. наряд для того чтобы погружали
Просить на пропитание. просить чтобы пропитаться
Учиться на инженера. учиться для того чтобы стать инженером

From these examples, it's seen, that a noun always in the accusative case when на is used in this meaning (though I can't assert that there are no exceptions). писать на тему seems to fit this meaning because looked as purpose here, we can change it to писать чтобы раскрыть тему

Why it turned out in such using, is a question more to linguists.

UPD I have also found an article about conflicting between cases (including conflicting between accusative and prepositional cases) in Russian. But I'm not ready to translate it here.

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  • I will just add some words from the article. The same idea can be expressed using different prepositions. Prepositions require different cases. Писать про что‐то (accusative ), писать о чем-то (prepositional)."на тему" is just the same as "про что‐то ". – V.V. Jan 9 '16 at 18:19

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