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  5. "I do not really trust him."

"I do not really trust him."

Translation:Jag litar egentligen inte på honom.

November 29, 2014



"Jag litar verkligen inte på honom." was marked wrong. Reason: Because that means "I really do not trust him." Please explain why using "verkligen" instead of "egentligen" changes the meaning of the sentence in that way.


Both verkligen and egentligen often translate to really, but they have different meanings. verkligen can be used as an intensifier, like in Hon är verkligen lång = 'She is really tall'. (basically = 'she is very tall') egentligen cannot be used as an intensifier.

egentligen has a nuance of 'in fact', 'although you may have reason to think this is not so'. This is what it means in the sentence above. Somebody may believe that I trust him, but I don't.


So "egentligen" is more like "actually"?


Yes, I have come to that conclusion.


It took me until now to realise it's like the German "eigentlich", so I guess I should've known, haha.


Haha! Language is fun! I have realized more about my native Swedish language through other languages than I otherwise would have notised.


Thanks, that just made me realise it's like the Afrikaans "eintlik", which means "actually".


Verkligen is like the German "wirklich."


I know word order is a very complex topic but can someone shed some light on "inte + adverb"? It feels totally random to me, sometimes the adverb goes before "inte", sometimes it goes after, sometimes it doesn't matter...

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻


Just looking through this discussion and found your question. There is an answer to it here if you haven't already found an answer here since its been a while since you asked:


It is all in swedish so will test your learning lol But basically the answer is it is to do with the "weight" the word has in the sentence.

So in English, I dont trust him has the same meaning as I dont really trust him with really having the emphasis, so in this case the egentligen goes before the inte. Jag litar inte på honom isnt that different to jag litar egentligen inte på honom, the egentligen is adding the emphasis or weight in the sentence.

But if you have something where the inte completely changes the meaning, the inte will usually go first. I dont always feel good is different to I always feel good. So one would write Jag mår inte alltid bra as that is not the same as jag mår alltid bra. Probably crap examples but thats the one used in the link.

Does this make sense? This has been bugging me for a while. If you can read the link it covers other satsadverbials and where they go. For example they say fortfarande generally goes in front of the inte.


Why is "Jag litar inte verkligen på honom" wrong?


See my answer to JimNolt about why verkligen doesn't work here.
If we were to use verkligen, the word order in your sentence would still be wrong, it would have to be Jag litar verkligen inte på honom.


I understood really here as an intensifier and used this word order. Translation was still not accepted. Why?


really isn't really an intensifier in this English sentence; it's a modal adverb.
See what I did there?


Yes, underdstood. Thanks for the help! Got it also when reading the sentence a second time.


This level is literally killing me


But how do you know where Inte goes


This is a page with a very good description of Swedish word order. It's in Swedish, but you might understand it anyway.
I think sooner or later someone from our team will try to write a longer text about word order, but it really isn't very simple.


I wrote a bit about Swedish word order here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8970470


I was trying to figure this out and pored through Google for examples, and couldn't find explanations. It just seems that other adverbs are precede the clausal adverb "Inte", because Inte is more important. When Swedes speak, they mumble or quickly pass the adverb right after the verb (litar), and it's Inte that really changes the meaning of the sentence.

Can any Swedes explain this? Could you switch around the order of INTE and VERKLIGEN (different meaning from egentligen) to achieve different meanings? There is an example with Inte and Pronouns here: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2589849

This is so dense (grammar research by Finns), shows sentence breakdowns. i can't get past the 1st half page: www.ling.helsinki.fi/kielitiede/20scl/Engdahl.pdf


I agree with what King.ameki says above, you can't move inte in the sentence "Jag litar verkligen inte på honom".

There's a special rule about personal pronouns, they can go before inte. In sentences like the example from Wordreference, their example was like this:

Jag såg honom inte. I did not see him (stress on I... maybe others saw him)
Jag såg inte honom. I did not see him (stress on him... I saw others, but not him)

You can do this with pronouns, but not with other words. So, you can say Jag såg inte Sven, but you can't say Jag såg Sven inte.


Could someone explain the structure of this sentence?


The verb ”lita” (trust) must be constructed with the preposition ”på” in Swedish. We say ”to trust on someone”, just as you can say ”trust IN someone” in English. The word ”egentligen” means ”in fact, actually, really”. So it’s literally: ”I trust in fact not on him”.


Why is "faktiskt" not accepted as a translation of "really"?


Jag litar faktiskt inte på honom is 'I actually don't trust him' in English, so it doesn't mean quite the same thing.


I wish DL had grammar info, im just having to guess a lot of these sentences with adverbs


Me too. It isn't really explained how to construct sentences, and the explanations given in the comments tend to use technical language jargon which is outside my understanding. It comes down to guess work half the time. I'm going to look for videos on how to understand word placement and splitting verbs and prepostions and the like. It is really frustrating to not get it.


In Dutch verkligen is werkelijk means actually egentligen is eigenlijk meabs as a matter of fact werkelijk is an intensifier eigenlijk is more a dry fact the same goes fir wirklich und eigenlich in German


In English, "I really do not trust him" and "I do not really trust him" mean different things - does swapping "inte" around in a sentence like this have the same effect? Or does the meaning depend on the verb used?


I don't really see how your two English sentences differ. I suppose you mean that in the first, you're just apologetically telling someone that you don't trust him, and in the second, you sort of trust him, but not fully? Nah... for me, the effect either of these sentences carries will still be that he is not going to get the job or task that we were considering him for.

[deactivated user]

    There's a difference, but it's a bit subtle - 'I do not really trust him' means that you don't trust the person fully, but it's not solid and decisive in explaining whether you trust the person partially or not. As for 'I really do not trust him,' that means would mean that you categorically don't trust that person to any degree.

    Hope that helps - I've got no idea on the Swedish front though I'm afraid!


    Yes, that's exactly what I meant. But it's really subtle and there is no rule about it (regarding whether the placement of the adverb in English affects the meaning of the phrase). You can make more of a difference just with your intonation.

    Since somebody voted this comment down, could you please cite your resources regarding the placement of adverbs in English and how this might affect meaning? I taught ESL for nearly 20 years, and although that was a while ago, I do believe I am fairly well versed in the mechanics of English grammar.


    The difference is more than subtle. "I really don't..." is a very strong emphasis, connected mainly to the opinion of the subject of the sentence, 'Jag', and will in Swedish need a stronger adverb, like 'verkligen'. While "I don't really trust..." is weaker, connected to 'trust', in Swedish expressed with the much weaker adverb 'egentligen', expressing doubt. --- EDIT: a clearifying note. This post of mine was in answer to Napkat, who used the word 'subtle' and stating that he has no Swedish insight (in this matter), I added my Swedish insight as a native speaker. I agree with Napkat that there is a difference in meaning, and I point out that this often is more accentuated in Swedish, since we use changed word order a lot more than English do, especially in written language. The use of intonation, pointed out by jairapetyan as more prevalent in English, can in Swedish be used orally, but even then word order changes are often a 'must'.


    I suppose it depends on how egotistical the speaker is. A person who says that the concept of "I" is stronger than that of "trust" interprets the world through an extremely subjective and egotistical affective filter. At any rate, your comment is not clear. I was speaking about Jannike's two English sentences, whereas you seem to be speaking about DL's Swedish sentence. I stated that the placement of the adjective in English does not affect the meaning as much as changing the intonation of one's voice (stressing different words). Could you provide a link to a study or discussion that will substantiate what you are trying to claim, once you have clarified yourself?


    Sorry my answer is late (work & family have their demands). See my attempt to clearify in the above post. Since I am a native Swede, the only reason for me to participate on DL's Swedish course, is for the joy of answering questions on how to express oneself in idiomatic Swedish. Here (many posts above) questions have been raised about the difference in meaning of the Swedish adverbs 'verkligen' and 'egentligen', which both can be translated into 'really', though they are not interchangeable in Swedish. Arnauti always has insightful comments. Above he has among other things a link to a university sight on Swedish word-order. A complicated chapter. Word order seems to be much more faithful to our Germanic origin in Swedish, than in English. The linguistic 'possibilities' are plentiful, Swedish have a powerful tool in word order. Sometimes confusing. Sometimes English is confusing too, e.g. that words like 'quite', or 'really' have different meanings in different positions. (But I wouldn't put a moral view (like egotism) on the linguistic 'possibilities' to stress the subject as well as other parts of a sentence).


    Thank you for sharing your knowledge as a native speaker. I always find your comments helpful.


    Some examples (nuance troubles): the adverb ‘egentligen+inte’ (helps to convey a hidden, kind of uncertain truth). Jag litar egentligen inte på honom. (I don’t really trust him) Hon tror att jag litar på honom, men egentligen gör jag det inte. (She thinks I trust him, but I don’t … really. ) Vi agerar som om vi litade på honom, hon gör det, men jag gör det inte egentligen. (/although/ We act like we trust him, she does, but I don’t … not really)

    the adverb ‘verkligen’, on the other hand, is an intensifier. Jag litar verkligen på honom, han skulle aldrig bedra mig (I really DO trust him. He would never betray me)

    Hon tror inte att jag litar på honom, men egentligen gör jag det. (She doesn’t think I trust him, but I do … really, actually) ‘Egentligen’ without ‘inte’ is still conveying a hidden truth.

    I just started wondering, if English has a comparable difference, in phrases like: “I really do”, “I actually do”, “I really don’t”, “I actually don’t” ?


    Oh, okay -- thank you friswing. We had a misunderstanding. I was speaking about the English translation. Napkat (above) was as well. Someday perhaps I will be able to appreciate your explanations - at this time my level of Swedish is very elementary. I am sure there are many users who can already appreciate the insight you have provided above. Thanks again. :)


    You're welcome! I suppose subtle nuances between languages are very hard to overcome, but will never stop interest and intrigue me. (Sorry, there is not reply button to hit on your post this far down... )


    I'm with friswing on this one - I think any native speaker will hear the difference between "I really don't trust him" and "I don't really trust him." The first, as friswing says, means I don't trust him at all and the second is a bit more wishy-washy. Is there a formal rule about this? I don't know, but native speakers of a language can hear differences like this without being able to cite chapter and verse.

    (That there is this difference makes me think that there might be a better English translation of the Swedish sentence here - if "egentligen" means something like '"in fact" instead of being an intensifier, then I don't think "I don't really trust him" is a good translation, because I don't think an English speaker would interpret "I don't really trust him" as "I don't, as a matter of fact, trust him" but as "I don't quite trust him fully." "Actually" might be better: "Actually, I don't trust him.")


    Thanks for your comment! Interesting to know that 'actually' have this 'nuance' I am looking for.


    To jairapetyan -

    Agreed, following these threads does get confusing! I think what I was responding to was Jannike's original suggestion that "I don't really trust him" and "I really don't trust him" differ. You replied by saying " I don't really see how your two English sentences differ" and, in effect, "if you think they do find a place where it says so in a grammar book." Then friswing and I (along with some others) jumped in with "yes, the [English sentences] do differ and it's not even all that subtle."

    FWIW, I have become interested recently in the phenomenon of things which just aren't 'done' in a particular language even though it's impossible to find an explicit rule which would prevent them. For instance, I heard part of an interview with a linguist who pointed out that the constructions "afraid boy" and "explain me (something)" are just never heard on the part of competent English speakers even though both should be allowable by the grammar of English. ( We can say "frightened boy" or "scared boy" but "afraid boy"? No. We can say both "give me the book" and "give the book to me" but we cannot say "explain me the theory" - we must instead say "explain the theory to me"). I'm sure there are similar examples in Swedish though I couldn't tell you what they are. Part of the need for all the practice is that one just has to learn to do some things and not do others, with many mistakes along the way!


    I actually took the English sentence to mean that said person thinks that I trust them, but I don't really trust him.


    Hmmm, are you guys seeing me as disagreeing? I'm not. Napkat disagreed with me, and friswing was talking about Swedish, while we were talking about English.

    Again, someone is commenting, and again, I find myself whispering the two versions and asking myself what the difference is, and agreeing that "I really don't trust him" is more categorical. Then I read my older comments and all I had said that must be sparking controversy is that (imo) a speaker could make more difference with their intonation - word and sentence stress, rhythm and pitch of diction - that would clarify their intention. I'm feeling a bit down right now. Too tired to analyze what I did wrong. Must not be writing well.


    I wrote "jag litar riktigt inte på honom" and it wasn't accepted. Does it have a different meaning?


    No, just wrong word order, you need to have inte right after the verb here.



    is it because "egentligen inte" is idiomatic?


    inte riktigt is the idiomatic way of saying not quite, so you can't change the internal order of that. Also, there's a difference in what they modify. egentligen modifies the entire sentence. This is a complicated area so there's more to learn about how different adverbs work.


    I wrote "Jag litar inte riktig pa honom" and it was marked wrong. It said I need to have used riktigt. Why? It's an adverb here not an adjective. Why does it have to be neutral?


    Adverbs are usually formed by adding -t (riktigt, vackert) to the adjective base. As adverbs, there's no concept of neuter or common forms.


    I wrote "Jag litar inte homom." Why this goes wrong?!


    because that would be the translation of "I do not trust him", rather than the translation of "I do not really trust him". This use of really adds meaning to the sentence, as does the corresponding use of egentligen.
    It's like using actually, as in "I do not actually trust him."


    I still can't wrap my head around the myriad uses of "på". What's its significance in this sentence? I would have thought "jag litar egentligen inte honom" was sufficient. So why is på needed?


    In this case, it's just that it goes with the verb: litar always requires .


    TTS seems to pronounce "egentligen" with both soft "g"s, but my dictionary says that the second one should be hard. Same as in verkligen. Is there a reason why sometimes "g" is hard before "e"?


    I'm a Swede, and I hear the second 'g' not as soft, but since it is unstressed it is not really hard either, it's passing very fast. I was thinking about another example, and that is the verb 'ligga', which in the present tense is 'ligger', and there the 'g' is hard. I suppose we keep the sound from the infinitive, the -er is just the tense-ending. Swedish is not that regular when it comes to 'soft' and 'hard'. Sometimes it is different in different dialects.

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