собун: soap

Баъди кор ва пеш аз таом дастро бо собун шустан зарур аст.
After work and before a meal it is necessary to wash your hands with soap.
Бо собун чӣ кор мекунанд? Бо собун дасту рӯй ва либос мешӯянд.
What do they do with soap? With soap they wash hands and face, and they wash clothes.

The second example sounds a bit strange in the translation because in English we would use the passive voice to ask and answer that question, that is, “What is soap used for? (or What does one do with soap?) Soap is used for washing ones hands and face, and for washing clothes.” In Tajik it is very common to use 3rd person plural when talking in general terms about how to do something, for example when telling a recipe.
Lesson suggestion: The second example is a good way to learn new verbs. Prepare a list of nouns. Sit with your language helper, turn on a recording device, and then substitute your nouns into that sentence. What do they do with potatoes? with paper? with an axe? with a cow? Most nouns will produce lots of verbs. Paper, for example, can be folded, torn, written on, drawn on, crumpled, made into a paper aeroplane, cut etc; cows can be raised, bred, pastured, slaughtered etc.

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