No, you cannot say "det år".
A straight translation of this sentence would be.
This year, it is the dog's year.
"Det" refers to "it" in the sentence above, but the word order has shifted since the sentence starts with a time indicator (i år). With English word order the sentence would be "I år, det är hundens år" (NOTE THAT THIS SENTENCE IS WRONG)
Swedish does not use the construction "of the", we rather use the genitive in all cases. So "hundens" means both "the dog's" and "of the dog".
Question 1: Can you comment on my line of reasoning below?
Det är hundens år i år. It is the dog's year this year.
In English it is also possible to say:
This year is the dog's year.
Since in Swedish the verb is in the second "slot" of any(?) statement, är must immediately follow i år:
I år är det hundens år. This year is it (det är, except with the word order switching thing) the dog's year.
A simpler example might be:
I eat today. Jag äter idag.
Today I eat. Idag äter jag.
2) Isn't the above sentence ambiguous? Couldn't it also mean Today is eating me?
1) You seem to have grasped this structure very well.All the Swedish sentences you write above are correct!
2) The above sentence is not ambiguous since "jag" only means "I", i.e. first person subjective, If you for some strange reason would like to express that "today is eating me", you would have to use the objective form, i.e. "mig".
So: I eat today - "Jag äter idag"
Today I eat - "Idag äter jag"
Today eats me - "Idag äter mig"
However, nobody would probably understand that last sentence since it really doesn't make sense.
It would make more sense if we exchange "today" with "dog":
Jag äter hunden - I eat the dog
Hunden äter jag - I eat the dog
Hunden äter mig - The dog eats me
Mig äter hunden - The dog eats me
No, the word orders have similarities, but they are not the same.
When putting a point in the beginning of a sentence the order changes. Some examples are: i dag, i går, i morgon, i år, på onsdag, i kväll, i förrgår morse etc
The sentence "I am here today" could then be translated in two ways; "Jag är här i dag" & "I dag är jag här"
Note that you could be marked wrong if you choose another word order than the shown since we want to force you to learn this rule. i.e. if the English sentence is "Today I am here" you should translate it to "i dag är jag här", but if the English sentence is "I am here today" you should write "Jag är här i dag".
Just go for the one closest to the given sentence :)
Just in case anybody else was wondering what the other Chinese zodiac years would be in Swedish...
De är apans år (Year of the Monkey), tuppens år (Rooster), grisens år (Pig), råttans år (Rat), oxens år (Ox), tigerns år (Tiger), kaninens år (Rabbit), drakens år (Dragon), ormens år (Snake), och hästens år (Horse).
Och i år är det fårets år! (Sheep)
I think because there can't be multiple definitives? You've got a definitive dog, so a definitive year would be awkward. Kind of like the difference between "the dog's year" and "the dog's the year" in English. That second "the" doesn't belong.
But I'm not the expert, so take my words with a grain of salt?
I bet you have, this has been mentioned in any number of comments here. To recap, the versions igår, idag, imorgon and some others are also perfectly correct, but the Language council (Språkrådet) recommends writing them all apart because not all expressions of this kind can be written together. i år is an example of this: it is not written together. Other examples that cannot be written together are i övermorgon ('the day after tomorrow') and i eftermiddag ('this afternoon').
About how i dag etc are treated in this course, also see this topic: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12941839
I was thinking that "morgon" could be more literally translated as "morrow". I noticed that when "i" is close to temporal stuff (please don't judge me for this monstrosity ) it gets translated as "to".
So: i dag ---> to day---> today i morgon---> to morrow---> tomorrow
It's probably too much of a stretch but i like to mess around when learning a language
Swedish is the more logical one of the two languages here. During is a better option to use than to, if you want to choose a single preposition.
i + period of time = during that period of time
- i dag = during the day
- i går = during the past day
- i förrgår = during the day before the past day
- i morgon = during the next day
- i övermorgon = during the day after the next day
- i år = during the year
- i fjol = during the past year
You still need to use på with the times of day and weekdays, but it’s a system that’s more logical than the English one. :)
I tried some variations of questions on the internet to see if I could find any that began with "I år", but no results. I've searched with the word "skottår" which means leap year, and found these:
"När är det skottår?" When is it leap year?
"Vilka år är det skottår?" Which years is it leap year?
"Är år 2100 ett skottår?" Is year 2100 a leap year?
Here also an affirmative excerpt:
"När det är skottår så är månaden februari ett dygn längre än under andra år."
When it is leap year, the month of february is a day longer than other years.