tycktes eller verkade? (och andra frågor)

Good evening,

This one is driving my head in. 'Verkade' seems pretty straightforward, but I've come across 'tycktes' a lot. What's the difference between the two?


December 5, 2015


Verka (verkar, verkade, verkat) means "to seem, to appear". Tyckas (tycks, tycktes, tyckts) literally means "to be thought of, to be thought to be" but it's used to mean to "to seem". Tyckas is mostly used with another verb after it, such as vara or bli, and is more formal and more used in written language. It might also be more common regionally. Some examples:

  • Han verkar ledsen - He seems happy
  • Han tycks vara ledsen - He seems to be happy
  • Det verkar bli regn ikväll - It seems like it's going to rain tonight
  • Det tycks bli regn ikväll - same as above
  • Det verkar som att du är glad - It seems like you are happy.
  • Det tycks som att du är glad - same as above
December 6, 2015


December 6, 2015

What about 'skäl' and 'anledning'? Are these synonyms?


December 5, 2015

Yes, they are largely synonymous. Skäl tends to be used more for reasons in general, while "anledning(ar)" refers to specific reason(s). The expression "X har sina skäl" i.e. "X has their reasons" only uses "skäl", too.

December 6, 2015

God kväll,

Jag har passerat genom en annan konstig fras:

'Kära professor, nog kan väl en förnuftig person som ni kalla honom vid hans namn?'

Jag förstår inte meningen av 'nog kan väl' i det här frasen.

Good Evening,

I have passed by another strange phrase: (above)

I don't understand the meaning of ... in this phrase. 'Enough can well'? I'm intuitively inclined to read it as 'How can a...' but I don't know if that's the correct option.

Any help in regards to my question or correction of the Swedish text above would be appreciated. Thanks!

Edit: Ok, my trouble is really just with the 'nog'. In english the 'can well' makes perfect sense if place elsewhere on the phrase, such as in 'a sensible person such as yourself can well call him by his name'. But I still can't understand the 'nog'.

December 8, 2015

"Nog" doesn't mean "enough" here, and "väl" doesn't really mean "well". "Väl" signifies that you are somewhat unsure of your statement, and you would like some kind of agreement from the other person. It's kind of like "...right?" in English. "Nog" implies a higher degree of certainty of your statement, and is not asking for confirmation in the same way. The closest thing in English would be "(most) likely". By adding "nog" to "väl", you get the sense that the speaker is quite certain of the statement, but wants the listener to agree as well. In this way "nog ... väl" has a very similar meaning to "ju" or "väl ändå". I would translate the sentence as one of the following (parts corresponding to "nog ... väl" are highlighted):

  • "Surely a sensible person such as yourself can call him by his name?"
  • "Can't a sensible person such as yourself call him by his name?"
  • "A sensible person such as yourself can call him by his name, can't you?"
December 18, 2015

Yeah that's pretty darn odd (there being a nog and a väl together in one sentence), if you ask me but I am not Swedish. I can't make sense of it either.

December 9, 2015

Quite hard to translate literally into English but it's not that odd of an expression. I would translate 'nog' along with 'well' to 'surely', or the way you'd add 'right?' to a sentence in English.

Nog kan du väl kalla honom vid hans namn? - Surely you can call him by his name?

Nog ska vi väl ta ta en nubbe till maten? - We'll have a schnapps along with dinner, right?

December 15, 2015

My point was that väl is like a begging for agreement (e.g. right, wouldn't you say) and nog is... "probably" which is very similar to "väl" in a sense, as a begging for agreement implies that there is at least some degree of uncertainty.

That is why it seemed weird to me for a sentence to contain both.

December 15, 2015

Yeah it's a bit pleonastic but that's how we roll. Same thing with the word "visst" which is also similar, but could also be combined with "väl".

Visst kan ni väl kalla honom vid namn?

December 17, 2015
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