"What's this box for?"
Translation:Для чего эта коробка?
"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.
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?...
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.
yes, i think you're right: http://dictionary.reverso.net/russian-english/%D0%B7%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BC
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.
"чего" is the genitive of что. "Для" requires genitive. So для чего is more or less literally "for what".