"What's this box for?"
Translation:Для чего эта коробка?
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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.
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.
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
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
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.
yes, i think you're right: http://dictionary.reverso.net/russian-english/%D0%B7%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BC
"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
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
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".