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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danig8

Hva som helst vs. Noe som helst

Today I got taught this by a native speaker:

These are correct: Hun kan gjøre hva som helst = She can do anything. Hun kan ikke gjøre noe som helst = She can't do anything.

But this is not: Hun kan ikke gjøre hva som helst.

But why? Does anybody have a good rule to explain when to use hva som helst vs noe som helst?

April 28, 2016

5 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maria.nils

Both sentences are possible, but they negate the positive sentence in different ways.

Hun kan ikke gjøre noe som helst = she can do nothing

Hun kan ikke gjøre hva som helst = it is limited what she can do


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nod84

Ευχαριστώ. Though, Ι find this grammar order a bit strange, I'll try to get used to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

Ikke and noe have a close relationship in the Norwegian language, similar to the words not and any in English. Often when I hear the word "ikke" used in Norwegian, I subconsciously anticipate some form of "noe" to be paired with it.

  • Jeg har ikke noe vann. I don't have any water.
  • Jeg har ikke noen brødre. I don't have any brothers.

Hva som helst basically means anything, but the "ikke" in the sentence comes with the "noe" like it's on a leash, much like how

  • "I want nothing" sounds perfectly natural in English, but
  • "I don't want nothing" sounds ungrammatical and confusing, even if it is fine in certain dialects.

Standard English, if there is such a thing, prefers that the "don't" transition the "nothing" into "anything", just like how the "ikke" changes the "hva" into a "noe". That's how my brain processes this. Perhaps a native speaker can be more concise?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danig8

Thanks, this helps. Is it possible to say the fourth combination:

Hun kan gjøre noe som helst.

or is that just wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 38

That wouldn't work alone, but it would work in a sentence:

"Før du kan gjøre noe (som helst), må du vaske hendene" = "Before you can do anything, you have to wash your hands".

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