"Kniven är vid glaset."

Translation:The knife is by the glass.

November 19, 2014

This discussion is locked.


is it acceptable if i say "beside the glass"? is there really any difference between these two prepositions? thank you.


Swedish would prefer ”bredvid” for beside. Beside sort of means ”to the side of” whereas ”by” is just ”close to”, at least that’s what the Swedish equivalents imply.


that distinction doesn't really exist in English, my sense is that 'beside' is a bit more contemporary, 'by' a bit less so.


As a native speaker of American English, I make a distinction between "beside"and "by" similar to that which Lundgren8 is describing.

My sense is the following:

Beside and next to are practically the same. The refer to two things alongside each other: "I found the glove beside/next to the river" means the glove and the river were almost touching each other.

By and near are also practically the same, but are more general than beside/next to: "I found the glove by the river" means I found it in the general vicinity of the river -- maybe in the woods nearby.


Interesting, because I think of "by," "beside," and "next to" as basically synonyms, and "near" as distinct from them. I'm also an American English speaker, perhaps it's a regional dialect thing.


According to the discussion on this page, it seems that English native speakers have divided opinions about "by", some thinking it is "beside", some thinking it is "near/close to". Using such an ambiguous word in a language teaching course adds confusion for learners. If you mods think "by" is just "close to", why not just make the translation "The knife is close to the glass"? Thank you.


’Very close to’, ’immediately beside’

  • Röda stugor invid vattnet (’Red cottages just by the water’)
  • Alldeles invid väggen. (’Very close to the wall’)


How do you know vid should be translated as by, and not as on? (that's what I had..)


on would be .


But Duolingo showed on as one of the optional translations... will on be the translation for vid in exceptional cases then, or so?


The hints show many possible translations for a word, so not all words in the hints will work everywhere. For prepositions, there are so many different contexts. vid can be on for instance if you're talking about vid gränsen, that can be on the border.


Why isn't "knives are near the glass" accepted? Isn't "near" equal to "at" and "by" in this context? Or it's my bad English and there is some difference?


near in English = nära in Swedish. The difference in meaning between nära/near and vid/by is very subtle, but I think English and Swedish are extremely similar in this case. My Russian is pretty rusty and this is a complicated area anyway so I could be wrong, but my spontaneous feeling right now is that nära in this case would be близко к (which sounds a bit stupid about a glass, right?) or possibly влбизи, whereas vid is у, возле or possibly около. Bredvid and beside would be рядом с. I also think the Russian у covers several senses that are separated by the Swedish and English expressions in this case.

Anyway the main reason why near is not accepted is that by is a perfect translation of vid here.


Knives wouldn't work, because in this sentence knivan means the knife (singular). In my English, "by" means "next to", which is not the same as "near". For example, I live near the ocean, but I don't live by it. I can't speak for all dialects, but I can't imagine a context where "the knife is at the glass" would make any sense.


it seemed to me, it didn't accepted 'near', so I just can't understand why I can't say 'the knife is near the glass' here. Is the difference between 'by' and 'near' about, well.. some kind of 'direct touch' and just 'being in close area'? Or is it about Swedish 'vid', not about English 'by/near' difference? In Russian words возле and около and Ukrainian words біля and коло don't really have any difference.


I'm not sure about vid specifically, and I can't compare anything to Russian or Ukrainian, but "by" is more specific than "near". Although neither word implies "direct touching", "by" usually means "directly next to", whereas "near" means "close to, but not necessarily directly next to". If someone said "the knife is by the glass", I would expect to find the two objects lying side by side with nothing in the space between them.

Also,the word "near" often implies a larger scale, for example "I live near the city centre." "By", on the other hand, can be that same scale (the whole town), or it can be much smaller, like "the knife is by the glass." Presumably, the knife and the glass are on the same table or shelf.


I do not agree "by" is more specific than "near". That is not something I think most english-speakers would assume.


Near and by are similar and are often interchangable but I would say that using near in this sentance puts more emphasis on the actual distance to the glass and not just is relative proximity. For instance "Come by the shop" and "Come near the shop" are close but the first implys the speaker wants the listener to come to the shop wheras the second refers to just the general area around the shop.


Oh, thank you, it makes sense to me!


I can't see that this has been mention as yet so here goes. I put 'the knife is with the glass' which seemed like a reasonable approximation of the correct answer. Is there a reason this doesn't work that would be useful you know?


The knife is "at" the glass? Why it isn't good?


"The knive is by the glass" sounds awful to me. Apparently, I'm wrong since "by" is used like that here, however it reminds me of how as a student here in Germany I've always been told NOT to translate German "bei" (which seems to equal Swedish "vid") directly into English "by".


I think Swedish vid is often German bei, but in this case, you would almost certainly say neben dem Glas, so bei wouldn't be translated as 'by'.


I believe that neben would translate to beside or next to in English, and to bredvid -- not vid -- in Swedish.

To put the matter another way, the DL Swedish here is not saying that the knife is immediately next to the glass, but only that the knife is in the general vicinity of the glass.

So perhaps the German for the DL Swedish here would be bei or nah rather than neben?

(I think part of the difficulty of this exercise is that we each form a mental picture of the glass and the knife and their relation to each other. Then we want to say one thing rather than another. My mental picture when I hear the Swedish here is that the knife and the glass are in the general vicinity of each other, but not necessarily alongside each other.)


I wrote; The knife is near the glass, and it marked it as wrong


That's because it was wrong. See the discussion on this page.


is 'vid' a cognate for 'with' in English?


Would "the knife is next to the glass" be acceptable?


Beside = by in my book. Got it wrong..


My sense, as a native speaker of American English, is the following:

Beside and next to are practically the same. The refer to two things alongside each other: "I found the glove beside/next to the river" means the glove and the river were almost touching each other.

By and near are also practically the same, but are more general than beside/next to: "I found the glove by the river" means I found it in the general vicinity of the river -- maybe in the woods nearby.


Is "kniv" (and its other forms) pronounced with a "k" sound or "sh" sound?


"k" sound


I gave the correct answer though


"By" may be correct but is not used commonly in this context in all English speaking countries, nor in all parts of the UK. I would allow "right beside" or "next to". I work in Sweden as a translator and copy editor (from UK).


By the glass - beside the glass. Isn't that the same thing?


Your question has already been answered on this page. See the comment from Lundgren8.


Hei! On hauskaa opetella ruotsia.


What's wrong with "The knife is at the glass"? The word "at" was also in the hint.


I doubt a native speaker of English would say "The knife is AT the glass".

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