How would I say "What contains the book?" To be used when I want to open a bunch of unnamed boxes and don't know which one has a book!
"Vad innehåller boken?" is asking of when ever the book contains a story, fact or other. "What is the book about?", "Vad handlar boken om?" is about what story, fact or something else it contains.
I don't think I'd ever use the sentence "What does the book contain?" "What is the book about?" would typically prompt the full response - genre and detail. If that's not true of Swedish, though, the response makes sense - now I just have to remember it! (And it's not WRONG in English - just odd.)
It could be one of those books where someone's cut a hole through the pages to make a box... ;)
I agree, both questions would lead to a similar response from me... It's not as if i would expect someone to go : "well, it contains paper, and letters, and an index and ..."
It would help to have alternate translations to English: Wiktionary: innehålla → encompass, enclose, contain innehålla → include, embody, contain, hold, admit, comprise
The Table of Contents page lists what the book contains.
However, the suggestion of a book hollowed out for a gun and given to a prisoner is a humorous impression from the translation, "What does the book contain?" Duo provides lessons that get us laughing!
"What is the book about?" can become part of what a book contains:
The book about Mesopotamia contains one chapter about the prehistory, a few chapters about the earliest civilizations, several more about the influence of various invaders, and then four chapters about the transition to the current state of this region.
How can we tell that this is not What contains the book? ?
How would we say that?
I do not mean to ask "Which one contains the book?" Like that other comment described.
You can't be totally sure, but it would be more idiomatic in Swedish to say Vad är det som innehåller boken? for the other meaning – using vad alone sounds a bit off for that meaning.
Vad innehåller boken? What does the book contain?
I dont think this is right sentence... It should be " What is book about?" Is correct
What is the book about? would be Vad handlar boken om? Also see my answer to frle10 on this page. Admittedly, Vad handlar boken om? would be a more common sentence.
The comments just made me kind of confused... So to clear this up, would you ever use this sentence and in which situations? What is the difference between: Vad innehåller boken? and Vad handlar boken om?
I could use it, I'd expect an answer like 'two chapters about X, a description of Y, some pictures of Z' and so on. It's like asking 'what things are there in the book', rather than 'what is the book about' (vad handlar boken om).
I think if I would wanna know that I would just say : "vad finns i den där boken ?" or something... like literally "what is there"...
My native language is Dutch and there we would ask what the "inhoud" (=contents) of a book is/are. To that question i would definitely reply with a description of the story or topic and ...
"Inhoud" is very much related to "Innehåller" (both Dutch and Swedish are Germanic languages) so I would expect this to translate to "What's the book about" first ! And then maybe to "what does the book contain" if you'd want to translate it very literally...
Well, I wouldn't ever use this sentence either, however Andy Dufrense probably said the same thing until he arrived at Shawshank Penitentiary. After many years of disregarding the sentence, he was asked...'hey Andy! whats does your book contain?' to which he replied.. 'a very useful rock hammer'... so learn it just in case :-)
Sure, but maybe it's also useful if you are discussing that one book has lots of pictures and large print while another contains many long boring chapters. These are things the book contains and is certainly not what the book is about.
I agree with you that it could be used as a factual statement when discussing. ie. 'the book contains...blah blah blah' However, I'm not so sure it would be used in the form of a question. It would just be a strange thing to ask.
This is such an awkward sentance in english. Is it awkward in swedish too or is this something someone would actually say?
In English you would say, simply, "What is the book?" .. all these other variations hint at the presence of bookmarks and photos and pressed flowers between the leaves
I don't think so. If you wanted a response like: "It has lots of information, especially in the last chapter, and a good bibliography" you would not ask "what is the book". You might ask "what is in the book."