"What's this box for?"

Translation:Для чего эта коробка?

November 28, 2015

This discussion is locked.


The hover-over hints are pretty useless in this one going from English to Russian. Hovering over "What's" gives me nothing at all. "for" gives "для" but that's not enough to figure it out.

Getting it marked wrong and then trying to remember it for the next time through is frustrating and leads to a poor user-experience.

Can someone please fix this? I've reported these things but I have yet to see any of them fixed in the Russian course.


For sure. I don't know when you commented this (it's Oct 2019 now) but this problem isn't just with the cases you're describing either.

Duolingo's strategy of throwing people into it and having them construct sentences based on word matching without proper grammar education is a lesson in more frustration than Russian. Every time I have a grammar question, I have to look it up or check the comments section. The app does no explaining at all, and just provides raw definitions.


If you know Spanish that word translates to "para que es esta caja?" In Spanish it does appear the "что". Para=для . Que=что(чего in this case). Sometimes the Russian structure is quite similar to the Spanish one so sometimes i find things like this that makes my learning easy.


PERO porqué es чего aquí? es lo que no entendí :(


Для siempre se usa con genitivo. La mayoría de las preposiciones en ruso se usan con genitivo habitualmente, pero depende de cada caso. Чего es el genitivo de что, así que siempre es для чего, como siempre sería возле чего, без чего, etc, porque esas preoposiciones van siempre con genitivo. En cambio con "о" es "о чём", porque "о" se usa con preposicional y el preposicional de что es чём.


Muchas gracias para esta explicación


When I encounter something I think I won't remember, I take a screenshot


Same plus I sometimes comment just to get a reminder when others comment and refresh! Just like I did now


Well here's a little comment to help you refresh ;)


Like it.... I'm still trying old school and writing in a notebook. But maybe a onenote document might be better!


Indeed, it's annoying. On the web version, there are hints/lessons that are very useful, explaining things like cases and plurals. Unfortunately, this is not yet on the mobile version for the Russian course, mainly because the devs are busy with other priorities. Hope to see better hints later on


August 20, fixed. Hovering over "for" gives a translation of "для чего" for "what's... for".


Seriously, without grammar im lost, i don't even have a perfect grasp of english grammar. Looked up explanations of the 6 Russian grammar options and seriously, i need more explained examples to get the hang of which grammar rule applies so i can work out which word format changes. Not to mention just when i think its soryed, the exact same sentence gets a change of meaning, sligjt but still marked as wrong eg when i am far from home i think of him got chaned to, when i am far from home i think of it ... Sigh i need a coach

[deactivated user]

    Try Cruise "English Grammar for Students of Russian"


    зачем эта коробка? would зачем work in this context?


    "зачем" is for questions "for what purpose?" and "to what end?".
    The answer begins with "Чтобы ...".

    • ― Зачем тебе очки? Why do you need glasses?
    • ― Чтобы лучше видеть. To see better.


    I might be mistaken here, but from what mosfet07 said I believe "зачем" is for questions that have "why" and "Для чего" is for questions that have "what for". Thus, it'll be hard to write this same question using "why". As in "Why is this box". Again, apologies if what I just said is nonsense.


    I thought why would be "почему" and "Зачем" Would be literally translated "On what (purpose)". "Для чего" would be "for what". What I logically try to assume now is that "зачем" asks for someone's intention. So it is more of a thing for alive "things" who can do something with an intention. And "для чего" asks more generally for reasons, a bit like "why". But I cannot confirm that. Its just a feeling I got.


    I am sorry, but for me “for what” and “why” have exactly the same meaning. So I still don’t understand why зачем is wrong here. What is the rule ?


    But in this case, in English the word connotes a purpose too? "What is this box for?" can eminently mean, "What is the purpose of this box?" So the answer can be "In order for (чтобы) for us to catch the mouse"...


    I agree, but then, I'd rather write "Зачем нужна́ (is needed) эта коробка?". Without the "нужен" this sentence looks somehow incomplete to me. However, I can't find the appropriate rule.


    I see. Hmm, it's difficult to translate a language precisely into another, isn't it?...


    How is "What is this box for?" NOT a question of "For what purpose is this box"? Suppose the answer is "To pack my books into"? Зачем seems to me to be totally valid here.


    What for = зачем. Для чего = зачем. Why not? "Зачем эта коробка"


    Isn't Зачем эта коробка? also correct?


    Same question. I tried зачем это коробка. Refused.


    What does чево stand for?


    "чего" is the genitive of что. "Для" requires genitive. So для чего is more or less literally "for what".


    "For what" seems like it should be an instrumental case


    That said, the quite similar "зачем" (literally something like "behind what" / "after what" / "following what" ) uses an instrumental form.


    I think instrumental corresponds more with "by what means / with what". For example:

    Чем ты ешь суши? Я его ем палочками.

    С чем пирожки? Они с сыром.


    Technically yes but для requires the genitive whatever happens


    Could someone at least explain when to use each case? That is what confuses me.


    I am struggling with для чего, зачем, and почему. Is there a good way to help me remember when to use each one? Спасибо.


    "почему" is used for "why", while "для чего" and "зачем" are both used for "for what". For example, if you want to ask someone "Why aren't you at school?", you would use "почему" because you want a reason. Now, let's say your kid asks you for money, and you want to know for what he wants it, you would use "зачем".

    "для чего" is literally "what for". "для" = "For" and "чего" = "what" ("чего" is the genitive version of "что"). Now, the difference between "для чего" and "зачем" is apparently minimal, and they are interchangeable according to this discussion https://russian.stackexchange.com/questions/11700/uses-for-%D0%B4%D0%BB%D1%8F-%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%B3%D0%BE-and-%D0%B7%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BC-and-uses-for-%D0%B7%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BC-and-%D0%BF%D0%BE%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BC%D1%83


    Can't believe I had to scroll this far to get a sensible answer. Thank you


    This app is free and has been very helpful to me, despite the imperfections. And it's also free.
    We all get discouraged at times, but just stick to it everyday. I keep improving. And my friends and I are both noticing.


    Для чего этот ящик?
    should be accepted also


    Still not accepted 20 Feb 22


    So we use для чего because we imply that the "what for" is about what goes in the box, genitive? Зачем would be more about an action, reason?


    Yes, basically для чего means "for what", and in this case, you want to know what use will the box have.

    Зачем is for "what do you intend to accomplish in doing this ? / What is the intended result of the situation being like it is ?", like this short video explains https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt95NVWuKa8&ab_channel=BeFluentinRussian


    Is the order эта коробка для чего wrong?


    Best I can tell the question words go at the beginning of the sentence.
    Для чего are the question words.


    You told me to use the word "какой". And in the answer, you tell me a different word "чего" Why?


    "чего" is a conjugation of что. "Для чего" would be "for what" which means purpose, while "какой" is for "what is"


    "что" is not a verb and is not conjugated. "чего" is a declension of "что"


    чего зачем чём почему я запуталсяа?! ;D


    Why для чего? and why not для чём?


    чём is prepositional, and для is used with the genitive, so you have to use чего with для.

    A more interesting question is why для чего and not (в | на | о) чём.

    в / на with instrumental are used to indicate "location of something", and so do not fit here, those would mean "in what is this box / on what is this box".

    "о чём" is for topic / theme, like english "about". so "о чём эта коробка" would mean "about what is this box".


    The most interesting question is why для чего and not зачем (which is like using instrumental, за чем). Those have been asked before, and indeed those carry very similar meanings.


    Why is it чего and not что?


    Чего is the genitive case of что (для requires genitive)


    I don't want to cheat, but i agree with what the others are saying. These examples are killing me! I keep getting them wrong and not understanding why. I don't want to keep trying to memorize them just to get them right.


    what does чего mean here?


    what is accusative thats all


    Why the f is it этА now?


    "This is" = "это"

    "This" = "это", "эта", or "этот" depending on the gender (in this case, "коробка" is feminine, soy you must use "эта")


    Well, you will know soon. now get into it!

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