I often see the word "чего" in places that don't make sense. For example, "Пётр снисходительно пожал плечами: чего, мол, морочить голову". Now, чего means "that" or "what", if I'm correct. But it also seems to have a lot of different uses, like in the sentence above. Could you please explain why "чего" was used in the above sentence and also provide some examples of "чего" in places that don't translate to "that" or "what"?

  • some examples of "чего" in places that don't translate to "that" or "what" "Чего" is a form of "что", so you rather ask if "что" could be different from both "that" and "what". And indeed it could. By the way, you can say "что" instead of "чего" in all these sentences.
    – Matt
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


It seems you are aware of the main and most frequent usage of чего meaning что (colloquial). That's not the case with your sentence.

Чего морочить голову?(What for, why)--Why should you worry about it?

Another frequent usage is an adverb meaning what for and why


Чего я туда пойду? Чего с ним разговаривать? (т. е. незачем).

Why,what's the reason

Чего остановились? Чего загрустил?

An idiom

• Чего там!-- неважно, не стоит обращать внимания(Don't pay any attention.It's not that important.

Не расстраивайся, чего там!

Mind you,we don't consider чего meaning что.

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