Care to explain what's the deal with these earrings, why such a fuss?

I wanted to express this idea in Russian. How are these two expressions nuanced here? I wonder if "что там с ..." implies that there will surely be some story to be told about it.

Не объяснишь, что это за серьги, отчего шум?

Не объяснишь, что там с этими серьгами, отчего шум?

  • что за is a spit and image of the German was für eine, the 2nd sentence better conveys the meaning of the English one Apr 24, 2018 at 7:09
  • i'd say "что там с..." conveys annoyed disdain. Some snobbism perhaps. Perhaps i'd interpret it as "что такого в этих серьгах?", "что особенного в этих серьгах?", "what is so special about those earrings?" in neutral context.
    – Arioch
    Apr 24, 2018 at 9:21

2 Answers 2


что это за серьги, отчего шум?

Here is asked about the earrings. What are they, where are they from, whom they belong to etc. The asking person doesn't know anything about these earrings and is interested what is so special about them.

что там с этими серьгами, отчего шум?

Here is asked what is going on with these earrings. The asking person do know which earrings are meant and is interested now why there's so much fuss and agitation about them.


Не объяснишь, что там с этими серьгами, отчего шум?

This sentence is better. Что там с means "what's the matter with", whereas you can use the first sentence, but the meaning is more general "what kind of earrings are they?". Отчего expresses a general reason из‐за чего is more about details.

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