1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Jag har ingen häst."

"Jag har ingen häst."

Translation:I have no horse.

November 25, 2014



How does "Jag har ingen häst" compare to "Jag har inte en häst?"

The translation Duo gave me was "I do not have a horse"... would that be more like "Jag har inte en häst"? And "Jag har ingen häst" would be more like "I do not have any horses"?

Tack!! :)


Yes, I was also wondering if "I don't have any horse" should be correct here.


I think the thread below this goes a bit too far (not your fault of course, EduZamora1). After all, the recommended answer is I have no horse, we're not trying to make anyone say I don't have any horse, we just accept it as an answer. But felt I should point out here that ingen häst can NOT mean 'no horse meat' in Swedish. That would have to be inget hästkött.


in american english, you can only say "i don't have any horses". i think this may be different in other dialects?


Yeah, that's not entirely correct. "I don't have any horse" is correct English, whether it's British, American, Australian, or Canadian. It's simply not a common thing to say anymore. But think of it this way:

If you find yourself in a situation where you're being asked to suddenly claim a horse—say it's running around town causing issues and somehow you've been identified as its owner—you might then respond to the person asserting that the horse is yours "But I don't have any horse!"

Now, you could just as well have said "But I don't have a horse" or "But I don't own a/any horse", but that's really a matter of formality and preference.

Basically, "any" is a determiner that can refer to both singular and plural nouns.

Edit (4 months later): I probably shouldn't have tried to assert the others as wrong here. I took issue not with their aversion to the sentence, but to their suggestion the sentence not be accepted. As the report function should be used for 'incorrect or unnatural' sentence, and I do not consider "I don't have any horse" as either incorrect or unnatural, simply uncommon/rare usage.


i think that used to be the case but is archaic to the point of being dead nowadays

i asked 17 native english speakers and they were all like "that doesn't make sense, unless you're talking about horse meat"


Perhaps this is a dialectal thing, because i don't feel there's anything remotely odd about "I don't have any horse" as a native speaker.


Huh, forgot I had commented on this sentence.

@cayvie Yes, I agree it is quite the rare and formal sounding usage, but sentences should be removed based on correctness, not just on how common or uncommon it is. And because we don't have any context for this sentence, it could very well be referring to horse meat like the others here say would be the situation such a translation makes the most sense in. And as I stated in a different comment, it's most likely regional. I'm from Northern California, Central Valley. I actually hear the word 'any' used in this way every day (now that I think about it and recall conversations I've had with people). The first example that comes to mind is "any day of the week" which is not idiomatic and I would consider a common phrase.

@chaander All of this mention of horse meat makes me think the issue is deeper than just regional differences. Perhaps it's the intonation and placement of stress in the sentence? When I think of it, I can place the stress in one of three places: On "I", on "have", or on "horse". In the case of "horse" the only way the sentence doesn't refer to meat in that case (which is what I would default to) is possibly with a specific and peculiar intonation that would register to me as 'emphatic+slightly questioning without asking a question, so possibly rhetorical'. That one's hard to describe, really.

And overall I'd just like to mention that personally I'd never translate this sentence using "any". I'm much too comfortable with the idea of the 'negative article' from German and Dutch to not translate this as "I don't have a horse."

Sorry for such a long comment guys and hopefully this issue can go down as a non-issue from now on; everyone is right to a degree, you guys more so than I since the majority seems to favor your interpretation, so there really isn't any need for further debate. Good luck in your learning! :)



I agree, "I don't have any horse" implies, to me, that you don't have any horse meat available to eat.


I don't think this is accurate. "Any" should precede either a plural ("do you have any books?") or an uncountable or 'mass' noun ("do you have any water?"). Using it in front of a singular sounds wrong to my ear, except for a handful of idioms like "any idea" and "any day"


It's most likely regional for you then. Where I'm from it would be perfectly acceptable to say and still make sense, even grammatically (if you consider 'any' a determiner that need not necessarily precede a plural noun; for example "any person").

Also, I feel like it's used mostly in exclamations of incredulity, where you may be confused by the situation or something. If someone came up to me and said "Your horse has escaped and is causing problems in town" my response would be the given sentence to translate: "I don't have any horse," said with a tone of questioning and emphatic confusion.


My understanding is that "ingen" is "no" for an en-word, whereas inte is "not". I think Duolingo might be allowing both because "I have no horse" and "I do not have a horse" mean the same thing. But I note that in earlier lessons, it didn't allow us to answer similarly how it's allowing us to here, i.e. "i have no/i do not have" because of the different meanings of the individual words, i guess. Does that make sense?


I thought ingen/inget/inga were all used to negate nouns, whereas inte is used to negate verbs.


Ahh that makes sense, which makes inget = no for ett words. Tack så mycket! :)


If you ever decide to dabble around in German or Dutch, they have something similar as well. In German it's "kein" and in Dutch it's "geen".

Basically, the way you want to translate these is as 'no' or as 'not a' because the words for English 'not' (nicht/niet) can be used in many different ways that can change the meaning of the sentence slightly, but that would be difficult for an English speaker to distinguish. Unfortunately, it has been quite some time since I've done German or Dutch on here and cannot produce proper examples to demonstrate this to you.


I would think the former would imply something like, sometimes I have horses but right now I don't, while the latter means I don't ever really have horses.


I'm not sure if this question has been replied somewhere else by a native Swedish moderator, but here it is: What is the exact difference between inte and ingen?


The same as in "I don't have a horse" and "I have no horse". Negating the verb or the noun.


So "inte" is like "niet" and "ingen" is like "geen" in Dutch?


Yes! Although Swedish can use the construction "inte en" where "niet een" in Dutch would become geen.


How do you say "I do not have any horses ? " because that's what I thought this sentence meant


Jag har inga hästar.


Would this also translate correctly as "I have no horses"?


Yup. (It's even closer to that since you can also say Jag har inte några hästar for 'I don't have any horses')


so this is an example from the 'tips and notes' in which inte negates the noun and inga etc. negate the verb?

I was reading all of these comments and just got confused- i don't understand where the word 'any' translated out of the swedish sentence... can you please explain that some more?


"inte" negates the verb and "ingen/inget/inga" negates the noun; "not" versus "no" = "not any".


The "any" is the "inga", though it's more akin to "not any". You wouldn't use "inga" for "do you have any horses?", for example.


That (I don´t have any horses´) also sounds most natural to me, an American English speaker. Also ´I don´t have a horse´ seems good, and better than ´I don´t have any horse´. However since we´re learining Swedish here, it might be the wrong hair to split. Oh! I just tried ´I haven´t any horse´, and that was accepted. That is a good English way to say it.


”Det där” would be ”that” in that context. ”Att” is a conjunction as in ”I think that he’s coming”.


Ahh yes, I had that realization a little later in the day. I just forgot where I had put the comment. Tack så mycket :)


Yet I do have a kingdom.


Is 'jag har ingen häst ' another equivalent of 'jag har inte någon häst ' ? ingen- no, någon- any, inte någon -no (acc. to google translate)


I don't think that would be a completely unheard-of sentence, depending on what tone you say it in, but I can say that it sounds more colloquial than "Jag har ingen häst" to me.


True as hell and Im very sad about not having a horse but I guess if everything works out in the end, then I'll have a horse.


I get it since it is an en word, but when can I use Inga?


With the plural. Jag har inga hästar 'I have no horses'


Why not inga?


That's the plural form.

Edit: Not really a definite, thanks to AmbassadorTigger for pointing that out below.


Minor nitpick, but does it really make sense to talk about a definite form of ingen?


No, you're right. It doesn't really, especially since it's a pronoun. Thanks, I'll edit that out.


Is the pronunciation here correct?


Isnt it Jag har inte häst?


No, you need an article to attach to the "häst", at least if it's unconjugated.


In English, this is sorta unnatural. "I do not have a horse" is how I'd say that, but do the swedes have a way to say that?


Well I mean, they would probably say this sentence. I'm a native Swede and "I do not have a horse" was my first instinctual translation to this sentence. But if you mean you want a literal translation that would be "Jag har inte en häst".


Is this natural in Swedish? Most English speakers might say "I have no horses" following this sentence structure.


Both this and "Jag har inga hästar" ("I have no horses") sound natural in Swedish. I think it would mostly depend on context which would be more appropriate.


I put "I haven't got a horse", and it was corrected to "I haven't got any horse" - that correction is NOT normal English!


I do not have horse


That's not grammatical English.


When do I have to use ingen and when inget?


Ingen is used for en-words, inget is used for ett-words, and inga is used for plural.


I haven't any horse is also correct. I don't understand the error


It's not idiomatic to express it like that.


but "i haven't GOT any horse" is right! I don't see any difference with my phrase.


But that's another construction which is rather normal.


Ok, what's the difference between I haven't and I haven't got? if you consider right the first one, you must consider right also the second. Otherwise we might consider they are both wrong.

Anyway, i don't want to be polemical. I needed only an explication.


No, we don't have to accept both or none. It's normal and common to say "I haven't got any..." but it's not as natural nor common to say "I haven't any" in some kind of standard English. The inclusion of "got" does make a difference and I'm afraid it's just the way English works.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.