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In conversation, I wanted to express the idea of "not above doing anything to do ..." and said:

... Впрочем он, я смотрю, ничем не побрезгует ради достижения собственных целей, какое уж там вести себя самоотверженно!

I'm wondering if my phrasing matches well with the English expression in terms of register, for one thing, and the use of "побрезгать" might not have been a better choice?

What is a commonly used phrasing for this in Russian?

  • брезгать is either an old or dialectal form, but in the present and future tenses they're sound almost identically anyway... their synonym гнушаться may also be used taking into account its higher register – Баян Купи-ка Jan 1 '19 at 8:32
  • thank you for sharing – Баян Купи-ка Jun 2 '19 at 20:36
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Your translation is pretty good.
There are a number of similar expressions, such as "он может пойти на всё ради достижения собственных целей", but if we are talking about "not above doing anything to do ...", more or less literal option would be "он может опуститься до чего угодно ради достижения собственных целей", but I personally like the option you use more.

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Не "брезгать", а "брезговать". -уе- should have warned you. Like требует - требовать.

Ничем не побрезгует

Ничем не погнушается

Ничем не поступится

Ни перед чем не остановится

Что угодно сделает

Пойдет на всё

Родину (или мать) продаст

But not everything goes well with the second part of your sentence. That's why I like the variant you used, and for some others the second clause must be paraphrased.

  • The word "брезгать" sounds not very good to me too, but it's technically the correct word: ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/… – Ivan Olshansky Jan 1 '19 at 18:01
  • Nevertheless, we don't use it commonly. I'd say it is outdated. – Elena Jan 1 '19 at 18:03
  • Yes, I agree with you on that. "Брезговать" is better. – Ivan Olshansky Jan 1 '19 at 18:10
  • брезгать follows the same pattern as падать, делать – Баян Купи-ка Jan 1 '19 at 22:10
  • @БаянКупи-ка but it's not the Infinitive of "брезгует". According to wiki, it брезгать - брезгает. – Elena Jan 2 '19 at 7:23

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