I was writing a paragraph, and a sentence within (and the previous sentence) is, in English:

(The first store sells mostly bulk produce.) The second store is (a) traditional (store), for the purchase of general household goods and foods.

to which I translated as,

Второй магазин традиционный (магазин), за покупкой общих домашних товаров и продуктов.

My tutor said it was better to say,

Второй магазин традиционный, там можно купить общие домашние товары и продукты.

or if I insisted on my English-sounding translation (which I don't),

Второй магазин традиционный, для покупки общих домашних товаров и продуктов. (of which after the nominalized verb I use plural genitive instead of accusative)

I understand there are 'ways' people say things, so I accept the "There one can buy" impersonal construction, but my question is, "why для покупки instead of за покупкой?".

I myself have used these resources for for in English;

but the problem is to translate the use of for even.... For example, the 2nd link's accepted answer would (to me) imply за, corroborated by point 3 in the first link.

However, point 2 of the first link validates my tutor's claim, as does the 2nd point in the accepted answer of the 2nd link.

  • 3
    I don't like the word "традиционный" here. It has a stronger connotation of "folk" or "old" than in English. Better to say "обычный" instead. We also don't use the word "general" in this sense ("общий") that much: it's better to drop it altogether in this sentence.
    – Zeus
    Aug 24, 2020 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


За покупкой” is a wrong choice to translate “for the purchase” in that sentence, “(store), for the purchase of general household goods and foods”.

За покупкой” is “за” + Instrumental case, which is quite different from your link to Difference between "за" (as in "за что-либо/кого-либо") and "для" which deals with за + Accusative case.

За покупкой” (“за” + Instrumental case) is about the aim, goal, usually used with verbs of motion (came to buy): “Он пришёл сюда за покупкой” – “He came here for a purchase / to buy something”. Here “за покупкой” is an adverbial modifier of purpose (Came here for what purpose? – To buy something).

In your sentence, “(store), “for the purchase of general household goods and foods”, “for the purchase of general household goods and foods” is an attribute (What kind of store? – A store for the purchase of general household goods and foods), so it cannot have за + Instr. after it; для + Genitive case (“for”) is used instead, as it was suggested to you: “магазин традиционный, для покупки общих домашних товаров”.

Other ways of translating that phrase, “(store), “for the purchase of general household goods and foods” include

• магазин, где продаются домашние товары (“store where household goods are sold”)

• магазин домашних товаров (“store of household goods”)

  • 1
    aaahhh pt 6 of the first link is "за" + instr, and with a verb of motion.... I can understand using genitive for attributes (e.g. as in writing out dates in full)... is anything attributive cast in genitive as a rule of thumb? The "adverbial modifier of purpose"...gramaren.ru/grammar/gt/the-types-of-adverbial-the-modifier ... oh, these are just adverbs.. thanks :)
    – nate
    Aug 22, 2020 at 0:23
  • 1
    Bare genitive (i.e. a noun phrase in the genitive case without a preposition) is the typical attribute thing (сестра моей женыmy wife's sister”). But there are lots of prepositions that need the Genitive case after them, not all of them mark true attributes, “для моей жены “for my wife”, “от моей жены “from my wife”, etc.
    – Yellow Sky
    Aug 22, 2020 at 0:56

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