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  5. "Har de sovet i natt?"

"Har de sovet i natt?"

Translation:Have they been sleeping tonight?

December 22, 2015



tonight can´t be used in the english translation, shouldn't it be last night???


"Tonight" can be used in the past tense. "I have eaten so much tonight."


Yes, if it's still night. The next morning you would say "I ate so much last night."


This sentence does not make much sense. It implies that you are asking about the night that is still going on, and if they have slept/or are sleeping now? In what context would you even ask this?


I take it you're not a parent? :p

It's 10:30pm. I've just got home from work (not unusual with my hours). I hear my children, still clearly awake when they should be asleep. I ask my partner "Have they slept tonight?"

Alternatively: I own a company which has been robbed, despite having nighttime security guards. I ask the head of security, somewhat irate, "Where were they? Have they been sleeping tonight?"


You have a point there. Even so, I wouldn't put a sentence like that here, because without context it makes no sense(though I know this is not the only one here :D).


This does not make sense. Yes, "i natt" literally means "tonight" but we all know now that translating literally often does not work. It's not what they say in English. In English they'd say "last night" in this case. They most likely also would not use the present perfect. I get that these sentences are meant to teach the use of present perfect but it's the use of present perfect in Norwegian. In English they often use the simple past instead. Therefore "Did they sleep last night?" should be an accepted translation.


Unless it's still the same night that you're discussing.


True, I give you that. So the question is, if you give this sentence to a Norwegian native - would they assume you want to ask whether they have slept that same night? Or would they think you are inquiring about the night before? If the Norwegian sentence clearly makes a Norwegian think you are inquiring about the same night then it is true that "tonight" is the only option. If it could be understood either way, "last night" would need to be accepted. I am German, and we would phrase it the same way Norwegians do, but we are also aware that it could be understood either way and therefore would accept both translations.


I wasn't aware that it could be understood to mean the previous night. Will need a native speaker to answer that one, though given the similarities of Norwegian and German I can understand where you're coming from now. I wasn't aware of the phrase being ambiguous that way in German either, but I don't know much German.


I'm a language teacher, so I admit I can be a bit of a stickler ;-) So far, I could always see how the expected translations would work, even though I might have translated things differently. This one, however, I had to point out. Languages never get boring ;-)


How to say "at night" then?


Still not fixed, last night should at least be allowed (and imhop, tonight should be considered incorrect)


I natt is tonight, and is perfectly correct.


If you are sleeping "tonight" it means you have not yet woken and can't say anything.. (unless you talk in your sleep! Ha ha!)


Or if you've slept "tonight" it's still night when you wake up

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