"Рассчитывать", "подсчитывать", what is the difference ? I tried to distinguish them with their roots (раз- out in all directions and под- approach; coming "up to") but even then, they still both translate as "count"/"count on" to me.


Both verbs can be translated as "to count" or to "calculate", but "подсчитывать" is closer to count some finite amount of items - when, for instance, one is counting the number of shells, it's "подсчитать количество ракушек" and never "рассчитать". When it's about more complicated calculations, it's usually "рассчитывать"/"раcсчитать", like in "рассчитать, c какой скоростью нужно бросить камень" - "подсчитать" here will sound unnatural.

Also, only "рассчитывать" can be used in a meaning similar to "you can count on me" (ты можешь рассчитывать на меня").


"Рассчитывать" has two meanings. First is "to rely" or "will expect to" or "to expect" as "рассчитывать на что-то (на кого-то)". Second meaning is not about counting but about calculation. "Подсчитывать" mainly about very simple arithmetic.


"count on" (rely on) goes only for "рассчитывать". It also has other indirect meanings (e.g. "sack/fire smb", not widely used though).

Also "рассчитывать" means more work, more sophisticated work (more "calculate" than count"), and also planning / prediction.

Researches calculated the probability of... - Учёные рассчитали вероятность... (referring to a difficult task). Нужно рассчитать, сколько воды нужно взять - planning, if you go for a hike. Я всё рассчитал, мы выплатим кредит за два года - planning again.

"Подсчитать" is more day-to-day, simple work (counting), and also refers to results or current situation. Мы подсчитали наши расходы - the expences we already have Мы подсчитали голоса - it's a simple count. I cannot think of an example, where you cannot say "посчитали" instead of "подсчитали", although, "подсчёт голосов / очков" (counting votes / scores) are set expressions.

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