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I've only ever heard this verb in its perfective form раздобыть, yet the dictionary lists раздобывать as its imperfective. However is it ever used? The only context I could possibly imagine is something like: Здесь долго раздобывают такие вещи на черном рынке. Is that possible?

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    goo.gl/PGl9dT – Quassnoi Jul 26 '16 at 18:10
  • "[На то,] чтобы раздобыть это на чёрном рынке, уйдёт вечность" would be fine. This word is rather archaic and changing its form sounds strange. – polkovnikov.ph Aug 1 '16 at 17:59
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Раздобыть means to get something rare by chance, as opposed to добыть/добывать - by making proper efforts.

Вы не поверите, сегодня я раздобыл для своей коллекции [картину] Айвазовского.

Раздобыть even carries a hidden meaning 'for once' (by strange coincidence, it reminds the expression "как-то раз добыл"). It could explain why the imperfective form раздобывать (meaning some person gets lucky with something all the time) is almost never used and even if used properly (about smth. happening not too often and each time for once) might sound strange (as in your example). Here's my attempt:

Порой ему везло, и он раздобывал для музея что-нибудь удивительное и неожиданное.

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  • Thank you for your excellent answer. So the meaning of раздобыть is essentially: to finally manage to get one's hands on something, if I'm not mistaken. Now I understand perfect the aspectual dynamics at play here. Thanks again :) – CocoPop Jul 28 '16 at 11:21
  • I would translate you example as: Sometimes he would hit the jackpot and score something remarkable and rare for the museum. Does this sound correct? – CocoPop Jul 28 '16 at 11:28
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    Yes, your translation is correct. – Alex_ander Jul 28 '16 at 11:36
  • Alexander you have a great way of explaining things and your English is excellent. I look forward to your future answers to my questions! :) – CocoPop Jul 28 '16 at 11:46
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However is it ever used?

Though this verb is a "legal" one, I can't think of any good reason to use it.

Здесь долго раздобывают такие вещи на черном рынке. Is that possible?

Not sure why you say "долго" - it seems to have no sense in this context. I'd rather say: "Здесь можно раздобыть такие вещи только на черном рынке" or something like that. So instead of "раздобывать", I believe, one may always say either "добывать" or "можно раздобыть" etc.

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  • Thank you for your response. What I was trying to render in Russian (obviously not very successfully:) is that "It takes a long time to get a hold of those things on the black market." – CocoPop Jul 26 '16 at 14:47
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    @CocoPop it’s possible, though is not very “euphonic”: «дворовый пёс прожил всю жизнь, раздобывая пищу». “It takes a long time to get a hold of those things on the black market” could be translated as «Такие вещи [долго] раздобываются [даже] на черном рынке». «Даже» stays to make an expression even stronger here. – Aleksei Matiushkin Jul 26 '16 at 14:51
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    @mudasobwa «дворовый пёс прожил всю жизнь, раздобывая пищу» Again, though it's possible but sounds much worse than just "добывая". – Matt Jul 26 '16 at 15:28
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    In my opinion, there is a minor connotation added in «раздобывая»: «добывая пищу» roughly means “working for a food,” while «раздобывая» is closer to “searching for a food.” Plus it’s possible to «добывать пищу» in one single place, while «раздобывать» is more about running around and searching for it. – Aleksei Matiushkin Jul 26 '16 at 15:59
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    @CocoPop: такие вещи на чёрном рынке не сразу раздобудешь – Quassnoi Jul 26 '16 at 23:01
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Your sentence is gramatically correct, but the word "раздобывать" is of informal style, consider using other words if not speaking informally.

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  • Thank you, Dmitriy, for your insights. I'm not so much concerned with formality as I am with grammar and syntax. In my opinion, when studying the usage of a language, the informal register is as valid as the formal, if not more, for it reflects the way people express themselves when they're themselves and not putting on airs. – CocoPop Jul 26 '16 at 18:29

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