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Russian Verb пользоваться Vs использовать

I know that you use пользоваться in constructions such as пользоваться популярностью, успехом, etc. but is there any difference in saying for example пользоваться ручкой or использовать ручку? Thanks! (This is a great website by the way and it's greatly appreciated!)
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Answered by on

Hi John!

These two verbs are synonyms. However, if you use пользоваться it has a more general sense.

Использовать is more specific, so you probably have to explain why you are using your pen.

For example,

Я использовал ручку, чтобы записать маршрут. I used my pen to write the route down.

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