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  5. "Hvor plejer I at være?"

"Hvor plejer I at være?"

Translation:Where are you, usually?

October 27, 2014



I think its better translated as "where do you tend to be" or more literally, "where tend you to be" basically, to speak danish, think yoda meets shakespeare.


Should "Where do you use to be?" be accepted? I wrote that and lost a life. Perhaps it is correct, "use to" (present time) does not sound that good really but had worked better in past tence I suppose ("Where did you use to be?"). Hope some native English speaker can help me here.


"Where do you use to be?" doesn't make sense. "Where did you use to be?" is different from "Where are you, usually?". "Where did you use to be?" would indicate that the habit is in the past and not going to resume in the foreseeable future. You would ask this to new neighbors or a new coworker and they would tell you about their old address or job.

"Where are you, usually?" or the slightly less formal "Where are you usually at?" would be asked if you want to ask about an ongoing generality/habit/routine, one that might not be being followed at the time of the question.


Thank you so much. This is great, I am learning Danish and English at the same time.


Also, the phrase is usually, "used to be". It's a really odd formation that doesn't make a whole lot of sense grammatically. Also, I do see a lot of native English speakers make the same mistake, so don't worry.


that's a really weird sentence eh


I see it as "where do you care to be", which is a bit of an old-fashioned way of speaking in English, now.


Except that "Where do you care to be?" doesn't mean the same thing.


It does, but it's just not commonly used now. Maybe not at all in some places. To me, it roughly means "where are you usually". I just liked it as the grammar is exactly the same and it helps me get my head around the phrase. And plejer means care also, I think.


Plejer traces it's meaning back to (Middle) Low German to a word (plejen) meaning "to be responsible for"/"to be obliged to", and yes another meaning in Danish is to take care of a sick person but it doesn't share the other meanings of the English word "care" which would be at work in your construction. For those the Danish equivalents are omsorg (n. attention)/bekymring (n. worry)/ bekymre(v. worry).

I have been searching through Google books looking for an example of "Where do you care to be?" meaning something other than "Where do you want to be?" and I have not found it. I have been crawling through texts from the early 1800s to the 1960s and have not found an example, but I have also had to skip a bunch of legal examples. Could you please link to a source that uses "Where do you care to be?" to mean "Where are you, usually?" and not "Where do you want to be?"


The word does not just exist in Low German, but also in High German: "pflegen".

"Hvor plejer I at være?" = "Wo pflegt ihr zu sein?". Not very much used, but still possible.

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