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  5. "Для чего эта коробка?"

"Для чего эта коробка?"

Translation:What's this box for?

November 7, 2015

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnji83

There should be a translation here. I'm still having trouble with what this sentence means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rKaic

What is this box for?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rekty

So you don't use чём because для goes with the genitive case and not the prepositional? There is no gender stuff like чеё if the "what" is feminine or anything? It's always neutral?

Sorry if the question isn't clear, it's hard to understand how что works... :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peatsickle

Yeah, "для" governs the genitive case, hence the different declension. "Что" by itself is just neuter for the purposes of agreement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Norrius

Кто/что are declined only for case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rekty

There is no gender preoccupation in general then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Norrius

I don't know how other languages you speak do that, but in Russian and German, if you don't know what we are talking about, you don't specify its (unknown to you) gender. Tbh, I have no idea how that would even work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yoavtp

Some Semitic languages have that option: you can ask something like "who(f/m) did that?" and the answer can only be a certain gender. It's a way of narrowing down the set of possible answers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Norrius

That's super cool, can you share which languages? A cursory look into the grammars of Arabic and Hebrew didn't turn up gendered “who”s, but maybe I'm missing something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rekty

I don't know if my native languages worry about genders (I never thought of it) haha. I just thought you may do in Russian. I feel like so many things have genders for you, like такая being in the feminine when in english you don't specify any gender ("I am so happy" => so has no gender).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Norrius

Ah, okay :)

For grammatical purposes, the word «кто» is masculine and «что» is neuter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dudu-av

It is funny to learn another language because of it. In my native language (portuguese) there is no the neuter gender and all things is or male or female. So it's easier for us to learn russian, because the gender of the things is usually the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cherub721

That makes perfect sense! Good tip.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lmcmillan1108

Could you also ask this question with «зачем». If so would it be "Зачем эта коробка."


[deactivated user]

    yes, it is also correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CiggyTesla

    Why are there never the translations of such multiple choice questions?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kaydc1

    Sorry, why чего? Something about Genitive possessive? Any help appreciated, thanks.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DirgeNovak

    Чего is just что in the genitive. It's in genitive because it's preceded by для.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BjrnIversen

    for what this box?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Goukentatsu

    I think it translates: what is this box for


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Memoryy721

    I will give 5 lingots to whoever can help me with "Чего, чьё, and so on". I keep getting things incorrect. Is there a list that shows which word is used for male, female, and neutral counter parts?

    Thank you!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Norrius

    Keep your lingots :)

    «Кто» and «что» are “who” and “what” respectively and are declined only for case. «Чей» means “whose” and declines similar to certain adjectives (like лисий, for example). See the links for more details.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Memoryy721

    Okay thanks)) Is there any lists? I learned verb conjugations with lists, so it would be nice to study another list for this haha.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Norrius

    Well, Wiktionary should have declension charts for most words. I've also heard good things about this website.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marek382292

    Unfortunately, the links don't work. Nothing happens.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AugustodaR

    Looks like polish


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wyqtor
    • 2244

    Dlaczego! It means 'why' in Polish though!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gulpepper

    Is the "ego" actually pronounced ego?:(


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CathyFranc6

    No. "Его" is always pronounced, "ево" (ye-voh).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RandomCanadian12

    so like "por que" and "pourquoi"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    It's asking about the purpose of the box, e.g. did you buy it to do something with it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/diogogomez

    Why not это if the phrase is "this box is"? I thought we should use это when the verb to be is included


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nizzle1931

    это is used during general/neutral statements like when saying 'it/this is a book'. But if you are being more specific about and object, then это turns into an adjective. All adjectives have to agree with the case, gender and number of the object(s). In this case, box is feminine and so это becomes эта.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alan53366

    For what is this box is acceptable


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CathyFranc6

    ...Not in English, sorry. No one would naturally say, "For what is this box?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    Totally disagree with you. It's a little formal a stilted but not unheard of.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aleks575402

    Why is "what purpose is this box for" wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rune-skelley

    I messed up and used plural, but Duo's correction said, "What has this box for?" which is a weird thing to say. "What's" can sometimes mean "What has" instead of "What is" but not this time.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlejandroMolina9

    Is для чего a fixed expression???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kundoo

    I wouldn't call it a fixed expression, it's just the literal translation of "for what". "Для" means "for", and it requires the genitive case. "Чего" is the genitive case of "что" which means "what".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chrabia297

    Why is чьё wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chrabia297

    I didn't have the english translation, so I didn't know the meaning. I assumed this could mean "for whom is this box"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    That means whose


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    Presumably the difference between для чего and зачем is as elementary as the difference between для and за :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaKnic

    Technically, the correct english is "For what is this box?", but the majority of english speakers, myself included, will say and write "what is this box for?" I only use the technically correct version when writing something professional

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