"What are you thinking about?"

Translation:Vad tänker du på?

November 20, 2014

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differences tycker om/tanker pa? -- sorry about umlauts and amstrongs


Swedish has three translations for ”think”: tycka, tänka and tro, and the difference between them is often a challenge for learners. But that also means that there are many explanations online. These are sort of the core meanings:

tro = believe:

  • ”Jag tror på Gud.” (I believe in God).

  • ”Jag tror (att) han kommer klockan tre.” (I think he will come at three o’clock.)

tycka = have an opinion:

  • ”Jag tycker (att) du är söt.” (I think you’re cute.)

  • ”Jag tycker (att) du ska skaffa ett jobb.” (I think you should get a job.)

tänka = think about, imagine, use one’s brain, have mental images in your head:

  • ”Jag tänker på min mormor ibland.” = I sometimes think of my grandmother.

  • ”Jag kan svara om jag får tänka lite först.” = I can answer if I’m allowed to think about it first.

In addition to these, the particle verb tycka om (always with om and the stress on that word) means ”to like”, and tänka can also mean ”to intend” and is used when you talk about planned events that are going to happen in the future.

  • Jag tycker om päron. (I like pears.)

  • Jag tänker åka till Spanien i sommar. (I’m going to Spain this summer.)


For those, who also learn German: att tro = glauben, att tycka = meinen, att tänka = denken.


Ah, so att tycka is like the Danish at synes? Cool cool.


What about 'ansa'?


Well, ansa can mean 'groom' if you're talking about your beard for instance. I'll take a leap and guess that you're thinking of anse. For that verb, 'consider' is in many cases a good translations, when it's grammatically possible, purely semantically. If you say Vad anser du?, a good translation would be 'What is your opinion?'


I've always had so much difficulty with when to use tycker and tror, and that's the simplest and clearest explanation i've ever got. tack sa mycket


tack så mycket


Thank you very much, really very good explanation with example sentences. It helped much.


I know it is probably wayyyy too late, but I found a great video explaining it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7BEWUw9aCo&t=343s

hope it helps someone.


Why ni and nor dig?


The subject forms are du and ni.
dig and er are object forms.

So we say Jag ser dig and Jag ser er 'I see you'
but Du ser mig and Ni ser mig for 'You see me'

In English, they're all the same, but if you try we instead, you wouldn't say What are us thinking about for the same reason.


In other words, they're not the same in English, either!


What's the difference between tänker and tänka?


Tänker is in the present tense and tänka is in the infinitive.


Would it be correct to say "vad funderar du på" in this case?


It's close, but not exactly the same. With "tänker", the question is about what is in a persons mind at that very moment. With "funderar", it's implied that the person being asked is more actively contemplating or trying to figure out something, or considering which of a number of options to go for.


Yeah, I agree. It's more in the "What are you pondering?" sense.

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