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
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
That's a slightly different meaning, with a slightly different sentence construction. It would be Det finns inga möss in Swedish.
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.
That's interesting. I really do not think it should be accepted here, though obviously the intention of the phrase is the same.
Finns = exists? So the previous sentence about coffee could have been translated as "Yes, there exists coffee"?
"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.
Det finns bilar i parkering. There are cars in the carpark... finns is used more like there are
Must be the Royal Organisation for Denying the Existence of Nut-eating Things.
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."
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.
Shouldn't this be translated to 'There are no mice?' Why the 'exist' word? :/
- 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.
With all the deleted posts, I wonder who or what else doesn't exist. :-)
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.
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"?
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.
December 7th 2018: The audio sounds as if it is saying "möfs finns inte"
That would be "there are no mice", but please see above for why that isn't accepted.
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 :)
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.
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
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.