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I wonder how these two synonyms are nuanced in each of the following four instances? I suppose some of them sound odd.

Case 1:

получать плату за работу

получать оплату за работу

Case 2:

получать плату работы

получать оплату работы

Case 3:

Держите X(что-то) в оплату работы.

Держите X(что-то) в плату работы.

Case 4:

Держите X(что-то) в оплату за работу.

Держите X(что-то) в плату за работу.

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Оплата stands for payment, the act of paying, like in оплата проезда, оплата услуг, so it's governed by question "Оплата чего?", noun + noun in Genitive.

Плата corresponds to the English noun "pay", the noun which is usually explained in dictionaries as "money given in return for work; salary or wages." It's governed by the question "плата за что?".

In colloquial speech those terms quite often are confused and mixed up just like English "payment" and "pay" do.

This is general information. Now, being back to the cases you've mentioned:

  1. "плата за работу" is correct.
  2. "получать плату за работу" is correct.
  3. "получать в качестве платы за работу" or "получать в качестве оплаты работы" are correct.
  4. "вот плата за работу".

I should mention though that all this cases sounds bit off for Russian speaker. One might say just вот деньги за работу, "получить расчёт за работу", "в счёт оплаты работы" etc.

UPD: I assume you are from Japan, so here are wiktionary articles on pay and payment in Japanese. Hope this is useful.

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  • Oh, thanks. You might find this funny, but this is actually the very first time I have read Wiki articles written in Japanese... I always use French or English as a base for learning Russian or other languages. Thinking in Japanese is nothing but a hindrance to me, so I usually don't touch Japanese-based dictionaries/articles/etc with a ten-foot pole. :D – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Mar 18 '18 at 18:39
  • @Alone-zee I do understand what you are talking about - in some cases our native tongue helps to grasp some concepts, in some cases it's better not to rely on it. – shabunc Mar 18 '18 at 18:40
  • Hi. How does "зарплата" compare with these two? – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Mar 19 '18 at 14:14
  • @Alone-zee "зарплата" is salary. – shabunc Mar 19 '18 at 14:15
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Those are not synonyms.

Оплата (the action of paying for something) is derived from a strictly transitive Russian verb оплачивать (что?) which is never used without a direct object (accusative case). The corresponding noun keeps tracks of that verb's transitiveness by keeping the dependent noun which must present (unless previously mentioned) in the genitive case (оплачивать что? -> оплата чего?):

Оплатить (оплачивать) труд, проезд, товар, услуги.

Оплата проезда, труда, товара, услуг.

Плата just refers to a sum of money due for something (за что-то):

Плата за проезд, заработная плата (плата за работу), арендная плата (плата за аренду).

As for your examples: 1) получать плату за работу (OK), 2) произвести оплату (чьей-то) работы, 3) возьмите X в счёт оплаты работы, 4) возьмите X в качестве платы за работу.

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