"The firemen wear red clothes."

Translation:Brandmännen har på sig röda kläder.

November 25, 2014

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Just to be pedantic: Swedish firemen don't wear red uniforms. As a native, I'm used to black or beige uniforms with retroflective tape and white helmets.


It's generally the same in the United States though the stereotype is red.


Why is it "har på sig" here, and not "har på de"??


It's like the difference between "have on themselves" and "have on they", if you'll excuse the weird English grammar. :)


Why not ‘brandmännerna’?


I believe because brandman works the same way as man: en brandman, brandmannen (singular) and brandmän, brandmännen (plural).


"wear" is one of those verbs in which the English present continuous versus simple present are very different things, and I can't help but wonder how Swedes would separate that they are WEARING red clothes, versus just wearing red clothes in general. e.g. "The Australian team wears green and gold." vs "And we're underway, if you've just tuned in, the Australian team are wearing their traditional green and gold, while Sweden are wearing the blue with yellow trim today."

If you used the simple "they wear" in that latter context, you'd confuse everyone. So how do you separate those in Swedish? (hålla på att ha på sig?)


I agree - "Firemen wear" would make sense but mean something different. "The firemen wear" should be accepted but certainly not a preferred solution. I'll fix that.

Swedish doesn't really make much of a difference here, though.


OK, it doesn't make a distinction, got it.

Does "Brandmännen hålla på att ha röda kläder på sig." work at all (in spoken Swedish) or is it, as I've heard you say, absurdly unidiomatic?


Ah, sorry, missted that question. Yeah, that doesn't work at all. The hålla på expression is for whatever you're actively or primarily doing, so it sounds really off to use for wearing clothes.

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