Translation:The birds eat all the strawberries.
It belongs to the verb. Äta upp is to eat till out of something.
Jag äter upp min mat = I eat my food (i.e. till my meal is all eaten up.)
Jag äter min mat = I eat my food (i.e. i'm currently preoccupied with eating my food.)
Is 'alla' strictly necessary here? Would it be understood the same without it?
Perhaps not strictly necessary, but it's idiomatic and part of the translation.
Is finish a better translation for äter upp in this context? Jag äter upp min mat. I finish my food. Jag äter upp alla mat. I finish all the food.
I think it's to stress that ALL of the strawberries are gone because of these damn birds ;) If it were about bird food that you intentionally gave to them I think you wouldn't use alla. (but I'm not Swedish... so not an expert on this :P)
Is there that big of a difference between äta and äta upp? Like in English we could say "He eats all of his food" or "He eats up/finishes all of his food" and neither would be particularly different.
Of course, there would be a difference between "He eats his food" and "He eats up/finishes his food" (albeit not a large difference), but in english I feel like "eats all" means almost the same thing as "eats up all/finishes all". Is it this same with "äta upp alla" and "äta alla"?
We use the same construction in English. "Mary eats up all the ice cream, so I never get any."
Good point, although I think a closer analogue in English is the phrase "gobbles up". We would be far more likely to say "Mary gobbles up all the ice cream" than "Mary gobbles all the ice cream."
With eats, although you can add up, it doesn't feel like it's required. ("Mary eats all the ice cream, so I never get any" would work equally well, at least to my ear.) I suspect that is partly because if we just say "eats" in English, it would not be equally likely to be understood as meaning "is eating".
[Turned out that this comment was not accurate enough. I feel guilty about the lingots and the upvotes it has received. Please downvote the heck out of me.]
This is unfortunately not quite true. You can use either the definite or the indefinite after alla, depending on the situation. If you'd use the definite in English, I would prefer the definite in Swedish - and if you'd use the indefinite in English, I would prefer the indefinite in Swedish. There are definitely situations where one is much better than the other, or the only correct one.
Here "alla" is followed by a noun in the indefinite plural, and apparently translates to "all the". But I could've sworn I've come across this particular sentence on Duo: "Hon har alla väskorna" (She has all the bags), where the noun is in the definite form. So why the difference, could anyone explain?
I am confused about when to use indefinite plural and definite plural after "alla". In this example, we use jordgubbar, i.e. the indefinite plural.
But in another example ( Älgarna äter upp alla äpplena i trädgården) we use the definite plural for "alla äpplena". Is there a rule or logic to these differences?
This is another phrasing that's similar in English Yorkshire dialect, we use "eat up" (even in South Yorkshire sounding like 'ate upp') and sup up to mean eat and drink until finished, respectively.
It seems the emphasis here, as in Yorkshire, would be that you're stressing the absolute totality of the situation.
In fact the phrase makes it into the Yorkshire anthem, "On Ilkley Moor baht 'at" but here it's the ducks that ate up the worms... http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/o/onilkleymoorbahtat.shtml
why not jorgubbarna, It is so hard to learn the things that do not make sense.
Can the position of the particle move as it can in English?
For example, is this grammatically correct Swedish?
Fåglarna äter alla jordgubbar upp.
In English, both:
The birds eat up all the strawberries.
The birds eat all the strawberries up.
It can't move to the end, no. Basically particles can't move at all unless larger units of the sentence move too. Like, you can say both hon har på sig skor and hon har skor på sig ('she is wearing shoes'), but then it's really skor that has moved.