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  5. "Möss finns inte."

"Möss finns inte."

Translation:Mice do not exist.

September 27, 2015

77 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samantha382278

But they do! I've seen them!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Uh-huh - in Bielefeld, I presume?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/exqeriment

I've seen mice! They are real! Duo, we have a problem.

he probably ate all of them. I mean, he is an owl and all, and owls eat mice


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

*wipes beak*


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rolf778527

I think he wants us to belief it so he can eat all of them by himself because no one else is looking for them anymore


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanine

And the cake is a lie.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/derliesl

Why is "there are no mice" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

That's a slightly different meaning, with a slightly different sentence construction. It would be Det finns inga möss in Swedish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshua77838

Why is it inga and not inte?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

They correspond to English "no" and "not". Just like you can't say "mice do no exist", you can't say möss existerar inga.

The base form of "no" in this context is ingen. Since "there are no mice" uses the plural form, it changes to inga accordingly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IgelkottenMili

inte någon = ingen, inga...? Är det rätt?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel
  • inte någon = ingen
  • inte något = inget
  • inte några = inga

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dominique_03

Could you explain 'the slightly different meaning' between 'There are no mice' and 'Mice do not exist'? Dependent on the context, both phrases can mean exactly the same, no? Cf. Dutch: 'Er zijn geen muizen' and 'Muizen bestaan niet'. The first sentence could have a more specific meaning, given a certain context. Same for German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bailey39

I would say that "There are no mice" could be taken to mean that there are no mice in a particular location, whereas "Mice do not exist" would be closer to "mice are imaginary like unicorns".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dominique_03

Exactly! But 'There are no mice' can also mean 'Mice do no exist', I think. All depends on the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

It's a technically possible but not very likely translation, and the course is not supposed to accept every technically correct translation. So you're right, but it's not a very good candidate to accept.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lesliedawne

I wrote there are no mice and it was accepted..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

That's interesting. I really do not think it should be accepted here, though obviously the intention of the phrase is the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Viivi334980

For me it wasn't


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ferretchere

I just got marked correct with that answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Thanks, I've removed that. It must have been added by mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DebbieWinters

Finns = exists? So the previous sentence about coffee could have been translated as "Yes, there exists coffee"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui

"Finns" is quite difficult to translate into English. It is somewhere in between "to be" and "to exist". Sometimes the correct translation will be one and other times it will be the other.

I would recommend exposing yourself to many sentences with "finns" and try to get a feeling for the word instead of trying to find a perfect English translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lee304564

Det finns bilar i parkering. There are cars in the carpark... finns is used more like there are


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rynsnsn

So this would be more along the lines of "There are no mice" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurenNoi

What is it that decides whether finns means "exists in reality" or the more general "is over there" sense? What made this sentence clear that mice simply dont exist, as opposed to there not being any (in some implied location), as in other examples with bread. Is it dependent on the noun (ie for mice finns = exists)? Is it because this sentence is negated? Did the conjugation of "inte" give it away?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

If it's in the "over there" sense, it will be more explicit. Much like English "mice don't exist" can't really mean "over there" unless you actually state so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cameron938347

...What if none of the mice exist...what if none of US exist....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlesSmi487682

Rodents of unusual size? I don't believe they exist...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aorsak

As a mouse breeder, this confuses me xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Perhaps you don't exist either? :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheMannzyzaur

Sorry aorsak. You're living a lie


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dillingera1

Who writes some of these phrases?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Must be the Royal Organisation for Denying the Existence of Nut-eating Things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ray.Kuryla

I think some people at DUOLINGO with a sense if humor. Also, I think, to give us students a laugh. In another language course, Portuguese, if I remember correctly, there's one: "The bear is drinking beer."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eileen813134

I used to live in Montana. there was a news article about a bear that drank some beer that was left out and then passed out. I'm dead serious. He even prefered one brand over the other.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bailey39

They have that one in German so it wouldn't surprise me if they also have it in other languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amun_Ra_

What would i eat then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Have you tried chipmunks?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-Alex_Film-Guy

In common usage, would the implication of this sentence be more localized?

That is, rather than essentially saying "Mice are a figment of your imagination," would this sentence communicate more along the lines of, "Not in my kitchen. I clean up after every meal. Here in this house, mice do not exist"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Unless very, very clear from context, this would be the "there are no mice in existence anywhere" sense. It doesn't take much to make it more localised, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GlennaJo

With all the deleted posts, I wonder who or what else doesn't exist. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

It's mostly "mice do exist" or terrible jokes... a little is fine but I try to keep things clutter-free to some extent if I can.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby588220

Not sure why, but I have a feeling that mice actually do exist


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bailey39

What?! You mean you've seen one of these mythical beasties? ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusanArsco

"There are no mice" should be correct!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Please refer to my above reply to derliesl.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CodrutSimionescu

The government just wants you to believe they are real.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Littlebit24601

My mice dont exist?! What have i been feeding the last year and a half?! O.o


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MurozondXa

Can I use this to say that the mice ceased to exist, like that it died?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

That depends - if you mean that you can say it because mice ceased to exist, then yeah, sure. But it doesn't mean e.g. "mice are ceasing to exist". It just refers to that there are no mice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheLinguist55

Shouldn't this be translated to 'There are no mice?' Why the 'exist' word? :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel
  • There are no mice = Det finns inga möss
  • Mice don't exist = Möss finns inte

They're different constructions in both languages, so we make the same distinction between them even though Swedish uses the same verb for both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chiara2824

Why isn't "there is no mice" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

That would be "there are no mice", but please see above for why that isn't accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arq.ccarrizosa

There are not mice. Is not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Not really, that's not a way people would phrase it in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mesvensson

Have to agree with all the many people saying "there are no mice" should be accepted. It absolutely should. It would sound like you'd be emphasising the "möss" but "finns" absolutely could have the meaning "there are" in that sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/belliavesha

The tips have said that all the verbs in present end with an R, no exception. Och det finns "finns". An exception?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, the tips say that

With very few exceptions, it always ends with the letter -r

Deponent verbs, i.e. ones that look like the passive but are active, don't end in an r in the present tense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bryce.gleeson

can someone exsplain the use of finns for me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

It means to exist, or to be in that sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SunnySundquist

Jag ser döda möss!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robin246344

My cat could tell you otherwise!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robin246344

Come to NYC, I'll prove that wrong and then some hahaha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPap7

I first wrote "there are no mice" which was taken wrong. So I asked my girlfriend who's from Sweden and she said that the sentence is incomplete. It need a specification of space or time. Something like "Möss finns inte i mitt hus" or "Möss finns inte längre". As it is, she says, it is bad Swedish. To say "mice don't exist" you'd have to say "Det finns inga möss". She is an experienced translator so I trust her more than Duolingo :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

That's not quite right. You know how English, somewhat simplified, can phrase this in two ways, using either "no" or "not", with a slight difference in meaning:

  • There are no mice
  • Mice do not exist

Swedish does the same thing:

  • Det finns inga möss
  • Möss finns inte

These correspond to the English sentences perfectly, and are just as grammatical, even though the grammar for the second is more like "Mice exist not" if that had been idiomatic English.

But there's no reason to specify space or time: the sentences are complete and valid just as they are - much like in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPap7

Swedish girlfriend responding now :) Well, the distinction between the two ways of saying it is valid as you describe. However, we do not say ”Möss finns inte”, it is not idiomatic. To use this construction we need a determined noun, ”bestämd form” in Swedish. So, we can say ”Mössen finns inte” when we are talking about specific mice that we are looking for but do not find, for example. But from the moment you say the noun in the generic form, in this case ”möss”, it presupposes that it exists. So we have to introduce it with ”Det finns inga” to show that we want to mention something that does not exist.

I can just think of one possible situation when ”Möss finns inte” could be used and that it if someone asks someone for example if they have different things in their country. ”Finns det lejon (i ditt land)?” ”Ja.” ”Finns det hästar?” ”Ja.” ”Finns det möss?” ”(Nej,) möss finns (det) inte.” So in this case "möss" is placed first in the sentence to emphasize that we have a lot of different animals, but mice, we do not have. And in this case, we would translate it with ”There are no mice”, not with ”Mice do not exist”. It is very difficult to describe the very small difference between these two phrases expressing almost the same thing, but in short, a Swedish person would not use ”Möss finns inte” if wanting to say that mice do not exist. It just sounds strange and incomplete to us. Having said that, it does not mean that we would not understand it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

I'm also Swedish - I just reply in English since many learners have expressed that they prefer I do.

I honestly really don't get why you'd think this. I mean, of course the phrase requires context, but it's not hard to construct a context where it's perfectly grammatical and natural.

  • Vi har pratat om det här. Möss finns inte!
  • Ankor finns inte. Möss finns inte. Hästar finns inte. Vilka djur finns egentligen?

It also functions as a mass noun even if later referred to in the definite. Hence, both of these work:

  • Möss finns inte, även om de tror att de gör det.
  • Mössen finns inte, även om de tror att de gör det.

Personally, I find the top one much better, for basically the same reason that "mice don't exist" is better than "the mice don't exist" in English in general.

I respect if this sounds unnatural to you, but it's not an uncommon construction in Swedish at all, and I really doubt that most natives would find it odd. As a sanity check, I asked five different natives about it, and everybody thought it was perfectly natural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonnyTopside

What kind of sentence is this???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bailey39

One that sticks in your head. The creators like to inject some humour into the course, and seemingly silly sentences, with their examples of grammar and syntax that will be useful later, will stick in your head better than staid ones.

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