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What is the difference between "использоваться" and "употреблять"?

When do we use the first one and when the latter?

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исполЬзоваться is a reflexive verb, which means it doesn't have a direct object (is intransitive) and denotes an action being experienced by the subject

инструментsubject используетсяpredicate в работе - a tool is (being) used in the works

употреблять is an active verb which can have an object (is transitive) and denotes an action being performed by the subject

яsubject употребляюpredicate много чеснокаdir.object - i consume a lot of garlic

The use cases of the verb исполЬзовать are identical to those of the the verb to use, and of the verb исполЬзоватьСЯ - to those of its past participle to be used.

Употреблять is mainly utilized to denote consumption (food, liquids, medicines, substances), usage of objects for specific purpose and/or accomplishment of a certain objective evident from the context or explicitly introduced with prepositions для, c целью, as well as usage of words/language/vocabulary (as in в общении с дамами я мат не употребляю)

This article in the Wiktionary has a pretty exhaustive in my opinion set of use case examples for the verb употреблять

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  • +1. A very good answer covering it all. The only addition that can be made is describing the existence of the verb "употребляться". "Использовать(ся)" and "употреблять(ся)" are practically two pairs of synonyms.
    – Yellow Sky
    Dec 21 '17 at 1:20
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To give you a feel of the difference in usage.

There is an intended diminutive in:

Каждый человек необходимо приносит пользу, будучи употреблен на своем месте. https://www.inpearls.ru/665418

It has the touch of consumerism towards people, which was probably the intended pun.


Background: Козьма Прутков is a collective pseudonym that coined satire and also abstruse and humorous aphorisms. The actual idea of the saying is apparently from Sun Tsu, the correct wording is:

Каждый человек приносит пользу, когда занимается своим делом.

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