https://www.duolingo.com/TheBlockhead

How to remember question words in Swedish?

Hey, does anybody have any tips on remembering which words are which question words? I haven't thought of anything or any tips or tricks to help with this. If anybody can help it would be greatly appreciated. :D

March 17, 2018

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/garpike

'Vad', 'var', 'hur', 'varför' sound a lot like (and are cognates of) English 'what', 'where', 'how' and 'wherefore'. The older spelling of 'vem' is 'hvem' (as is still used in Danish and Norwegian), which looks a little more like 'who(m)' than the more recent phonetic spelling. Similarly 'hvilken' (etc.) looks more like 'which' with an 'h'.
'Vart' and 'varifrån' need little imagination to resemble 'wheret[o]' and 'wherefrom'.
'När' is a cognate of 'near', which is rather less obvious, and I'm not entirely sure exactly how it came to mean 'when', but I'd guess it started off as something more like Danish 'hvornår' ('how near'), and subsequently become shortened in speech. I might be entirely wrong about this, however.

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

Excellent summary!

I'd just like to add that när is likely derived from the much earlier hwen air, meaning "how early". The air part also got turned into a later adverb arla, though this is really oldfashioned today. It's a direct cognate of the English "early". :)

March 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBlockhead

Thank you so much!

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/E8KYO

I find the question words very easy, as an Irish person. Where the word isn’t quite similar to English, I’ve sometimes found my Irish comes in (surprisingly) handy! For example “när” = “nuair “ in Irish.. and lots of other examples. That’s the beauty of languages-they are all so interconnected ! Thanks for your summary-very interesting !

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexDiaconescu

Thanks

March 17, 2018
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