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"What's this box for?"

Translation:Для чего эта коробка?

November 28, 2015



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.


The Web app has lessons.


Still garbage hints as of Feb 2020


I have to agree with what everyone else is saying on here. I use the mobile app because I hardly ever use the laptop for anything anymore now that all I need is on my phone. So having to get the laptop out for this course should be totally unnecessary when the mobile app has hints / lessons / tips (and stories) in German/French/Spanish. Why can't they put whatever is on the web version in Russian on the app?? (The issues are still the same now in may 2020 when I'm writing this comment)


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.


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


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


This is how children learn a language and that is one of the best ways to gain fluency...just man up, it will be okay...no participation trophies in DuoLingo


You don't need to be so rude about it. Stop projecting your fragile masculinity onto us.


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


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


I know right what's up with that man.


Penguins do a good Russian grammar book with exercises and answers at the end. Just work your way through it.


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.


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"


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


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.


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


Technically yes but для requires the genitive whatever happens


Isn't Зачем эта коробка? also correct?


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


Для чего этот ящик?
should be accepted also


Какой is the hint... Really??


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"


чего зачем чём почему я запуталсяа?! ;D


Holy shit I first thought this would be a sentence xD


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.


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.


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.


Why is "Какой для эта коробка?" wrong?

[deactivated user]

    Какой is used when asking what something is, e.g какой пароль от WiFi?


    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")


    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


    Why is it чего and not что?


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


    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


    Just think of this in proper English. You aren't supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. "What's this box for?" is understood colloquially, but ending with "for" is technically incorrect English. "For what is this box?" is grammatically correct. I try to just flip where I place "for" in my head and go from there.

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