"Is this for you or for your wife?"
Translation:Это для вас или для вашей жены?
As polish is quite similar to russian I would give an explanation based on my language - we would translate this into: "To dla(для) was czy dla waszej żony?"("это для вас или для вашей жены?"). Let me tell you that "To dla was czy waszej żony"("это для вас или вашей жены") will be fully understandable in daily speech but not perfectly gramatically correct because "waszej żony"(вашей жены) means rather "your wife's" it's a statement of possesion. I hope y'all will understand this :P
Супруг is also in Bulgarian -- spelled съпруг, with ъ a pronounced vowel similar to the sound of 'у' or 'uh'. I was told by a Bulgarian language teacher that Жена means the woman of a man (as in a woman possessed by a man), rather than wife, for several Slavic languages, and implies cohabitation rather than marriage, and she proceeded to correct all instances of Жена in the textbook. I asked about this of a Russian, and the Russian denied it. Супруг and Супруга (Bulgarian Съпруга - sŭpruga) are indeed spouse (male) and spouse (female), but whether these are more polite and whether Жена has an extremely negative connotation, such that the teacher would feel compelled to correct the entire textbook may, depend on locale and regional culture, or generation of the speaker. She went so far as to point out that Жена can be used to speak about a prostitute. In any case, it is important when visiting a country to understand how such words as this may have colors of meaning that courses and textbooks may not teach.
Russian uses the possessive pronouns much less often than English does.
E.g. English people say 'to clean one's teeth', and Russians would never say this because you don’t usually clean anyone else's teeth. We also don't usually buy things for other people's wives (at least we don't call them wives if we do, we call them 'friends' or somethign), so you don’t really need a possessive pronoun here.
This sentence demonstrates why I'm learning at a snail's pace with this program...short of copying the hints (which is what I did) I wouldn't know what form of "you" or "your" (or "wife") follows "for". Even if I remembered what case is called for I'd have to go back to a previous lesson to dig the correct forms out of the Tips and Notes because there haven't been enough exercises to practice using the personal pronouns (or any other given set of rules) so that I know them by now, which I should.
I'm seriously considering going back to the beginning with a notebook and pencil and writing down the pertinent information in an organized format, so that I have it in front of me when I need it. But then I almost may as well go back to learning from a book.
for has several meanings in English and not all of them translate to the same word in Russian. The main meaning is " to the benefit of", which translates to для and is the one used here.
за seems to be used when "for" is part of a phrasal verb such as "thanks for", "be responsible for", "prepare for".
Это подарок для моего жены --> для as for (dedicated to) someone.
Пожалуйста купите картошки дла супа --> для as for something as an ingredient or tool for a job or for a purpose...
Я пишу за деньги --> за as for in the sense of return payment, favour etc. (I write for money, meaning it's what I do for a living.)