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  5. "De kommer om en kvart."

"De kommer om en kvart."

Translation:They are coming in fifteen minutes.

November 30, 2014



I love the way that learning Swedish is also making us 'native speakers' examine our own grammar!


I've learnt a lot about correct English grammar from learning Swedish. I think when you grow up speaking a language you never really have to examine it, you know it by ear.


And I believe that's a big advantage to learning a language later in life.


I think it's a big advantage to learning a second language early in life.


A native English speaker would definitely not say ' in a quarter of hour', the indefinite article is always used ' in a quarter of an hour'. This is like the Swedish 'om en kvart' where 'kvart' means 'quarter of an hour'


In Finnish we also say 'vartti' meaning the same as the Swedish 'kvart'. It's a lot shorter and easier way to express 'fifteen minutes' xD I think it's Swedish where it comes from.. And for anyone learning Finnish out there, this is only in the spoken language, 'puhekieli' (the written language being 'kirjakieli'). I don't know if it's slang so it might be used just in the area I'm from. Though I'm quite sure sure it will be understood in other parts of Finland too. :)


@HollyShort2 Have a lingot just because you said "[...] And for anyone learning Finnish out there [...]" – I wish someday Duolingo will have a Finnish course.


It's the same in Danish too. We use the word "kvarter".


_and in Swedish, ett kvarter (stress on -er) means 'a block', ('the smallest area surrounded by streets').


It actually means that too in Danish :-)


Norwegian: Kvarter (15 min.), kvartal ('the smallest area surrounded by streets"). :-)


In Swedish, ett kvartal is three months. Tricky area, this.


in bulgarian "kvartal" have the same meaning :)


reminds me of German 'Quartal' (three months)


Oh, and "kvartal" can be three monts as well (1/4 year)....


Kvart reminds me a lot of how quart-er sounds.


My answer was 'They are coming in a quarter' and it was accepted.


My answer was "They're coming in a quarter-hour", which was accepted and I agree with. I don't believe just "quarter" should be accepted, because the Swedish word always means a quarter of an hour and never means a quarter of other things. In English "quarter of an hour" or similar is used.


In the midwest USA, we often say "a quarter after", "a quarter till", and sometimes use "a quarter", but it is more rare. So it can be correct, just obviously not everywhere.


I'm familiar with the phrase "a quarter 'till". However, people don't say "They're coming in a quarter". (unless they mean a quarter of a year, which is usually in a financial context).


I’m a native English speaker and I would say ‘in a quarter of an hour’. Maybe there’s a difference here between English and American English


I cannot recall (in California here) ever offering to meet or do anything ... "in a quarter of an hour." I'd probably say, "in 15."

I Would say.. "in an hour and a quarter let's...."


Those English speakers who are more than a hundred years old, will remember the good old days, when they used "in a quarter of an hour" :) Even in Old South Africa, the old folks use that phrase.


I am not 100 yet, but still say "in a quarter of an hour". In Australia it is commonly used. ( Sticks tongue out)


Yes, I say it too and I am from Australia. I never say "in a quarter" or "a quarter till".


What a great wide spreading of students. We have a "half an hour" word полчаса in Russian but there is no "a quarter of an hour" word. Alright, I'm a little bit off topic here :D


Not at all. Fabulous!!! All these different ways help us appreciate this language we're learning. Excellent!

I offer a Lingot for your insighful comment. Spend it wisely ;-)


Yes, that was a commonly used phrase growing up in Minnesota. I have not lived there in years, so I do not know if it is still as common. I do not hear it here in Texas, though, except when people state how long it is before quitting!


My family (who all live in Minnesota) use 'in a quarter of an hour' and 'quarter after' and 'quarter till/to' all the time.


I suspect your family members are all quite punctual!! ;-)


I use 'in a quarter of an hour'. In fact I've just used it just now. I'm fourteen.


It's a very frequently used way to say amounts of time in the UK, dunno about elsewhere!


What? People use that phrase in England all the time.


Come on - I'm not more than hundred years old and I remember! To quote Monty Python, "I'm not dead yet!" People use it, they just may be a little older than you.


I reported a problem, but I'm still not sure if the report buttons are working properly.

Anyway, am I the only one who thinks the audio for "kvart" is wrong?


You're right, kvart is said wrong (the slow version gets it right though.)
I've added it to our list here and turned off the listen-and-type exercise, that's about what we can do at the moment.

PS: link to how it should sound: http://sv.forvo.com/search-sv/kvart/


The audio is still wrong, I reported it


Kvart sounds like Quart. A Quarter is 1/4. 1/4 of an hour is 15 minutes.


Yes, as in English a quart is called such because it is a fourth of a gallon.


from the Italian/Latin..quattro!! AND for extra points....

Quarantine derives from the Venetian word for 40 days, and was implemented back in the day to block ships from offloading crew who may be infected with the plague!! So, kinda timely. Venetians made incoming ships wait 40 days. If the crew was fine, they were allowed to land. Or.. they had died of the plague, and the quarantine protected Venetians from it.

Quite off topic but linguistic and timely.


Do people actually use this term? As in, is this a word people will use at least once a week or is this kind of word you find in textbooks?


En kvart, definitely. I use it a lot. Never say 'femton minuter'.


Is "De kommer i en kvart" correct?


No, i en kvart means 'for the duration of 15 minutes'.


Would you use that then if you were coming, but only planned to stay 15 minutes?


You could use it like that, yes.


How does "kvart" differ from "fjärdedel"

  • fjärdedel = a quarter as in one fourth of something
  • kvart = a quarter of an hour specifically


en kvart = 1. en fjärdedel 2. en fjärdedels timme

med hatten på trekvart = with the hat cocked over one eye


Aj, aj. Nu rättat, tack


can en kvart be used for more than just minutes, like "fifteen years" ?


No. En kvart is always 15 minutes. If you want to say quarter-century, you'll have to form the compound word kvartssekel.


how about en kvart tårta? Does it work?


Doesn't work, but en kvarts tårta is 1/4 cake.


Then it is "kvarts" with an s, meaning "quarter of".


This sentence in English could just as easily be 'They are coming in quarter of an hour' The indefinite article is more likely to be missed out than included.


I'm a native English speaker and I would never say "in quarter of an hour". We always say "a quarter" when referring to one-fourth of something.


Are you British, perhaps? In Texas, at least, we say "quarter hour". But "in a quarter of an hour" is also occasionally used.


My comment is referring to the article in front of 'quarter'. Do you say "They'll be here in quarter hour" or "They'll be in a quarter hour"? Because I would never say the first, but would say the second.

And I'm not British, actually born in Texas, too.


I'm in Austin and I usually just say fifteen minutes or try to round to 10 or 20. Don't hear quarter too much.


Yeah, but in Texas you also say veehickle, so… o.o


If talking about half of something, I wouldn't say 'a' before 'half'. For example, "in half an hour." If someone said, "in a half of an hour," I would understand what they meant, though. But if talking about a third or quarter, I would say the 'a'. For example, "in a quarter of an hour." If someone said, "in quarter of an hour," without the 'a', it wouldn't sound very natural to me.


Native English speaker (British) and 'they are coming in quarter of an hour' works in spoken English to me. Same as you would say 'they are coming in half an hour', you could also say 'they are coming in a half hour' but that would be a more clunky or possibly quirky way to phrase it.


I'm not a native English speaker but your sentence looks a little odd to me. If I'd use "quarter" I'd probably say something like "They come in a quarter of hour" or even shorter "They come in a quarter" (hour would be implict)- At least it sounds better to me.


I've never heard anyone say 'they're coming in a quarter' in the UK, but 'they're coming in 15' works in a casual way.


I'm a native English speaker and we'd say "they are coming in a quarter of an hour". We always say "a quarter" when referring to "one-fourth".

To note, I'm American. It's possible British English is different.


To English speakers in the UK or Australia / NZ a "quarter" in the sense of time is three months


As far as I know, we'd only use the indefinite article where there's a specific word for that time period (i.e. a day, a week, a fortnight...). Where it's a fraction of one of these, you drop the indefinite article. "In quarter of an hour", "in half a year".


I'm a native English speaker (British) and that sentence doesn't sound wrong just a little awkward to me although I can't think of many instances where someone would opt to say quarter of an hour over 15 minutes besides saying the time as quarter to 5. I don't know, maybe it's just me but I'm sure I've heard half an hour far more than I've heard quarter of an hour.


As another native British English speaker the use of quarter of an hour (without the article) is perfectly fine. If you told someone the bus was due in quarter of an hour you'd get no funny looks. Nor would you for saying ”in fifteen minutes” mind you.


It must be a British vs American English thing, because every person I've asked said it sounds funny without the 'a' before 'quarter'.


I agree. as a UK citizen born and bred i would aleays put an a before quarter


As another Brit, I beg to differ... to me, saying the bus was due in quarter of an hour sounds like a regional or slang variation, and it's certainly not 'proper' English. It's similar to when people might say 'I'm going gym' rather than 'I'm going to the gym' - it's a very informal manner of speech.


Not something I do very often, but I agree with the Americans on this one—it most definitely does sound odd without the indefinite article. "When will you arrive?" "In a quarter of an hour or so." Of course, "a quarter of an hour" gets shortened in speech by most people I know to one of "kwor'RUH-vuh-now" or "kwor-TRIH-vuh-now" in general speech rather than what it should be, so… o.o


Yeah that's right, I couldn't think of a good context but yours is great. I'd still say that fifteen minutes is far more used though. Omitting the article from hour would definitely invalidate the sentence though.


So "om" can function as "if" or "in"? When is om different from i?


I believe the equivalents of "om" would be more like "if" and "about." Nothing is going to be an exact translation. Why(in english) do we say "IN half an hour" anyways? We aren't literally going inside some sort of time dimension where we go find someone called 'half-an-hour'. It's just the word we use. Om is one of the words Swedish uses for time, that's all.

And if I'm not mistaken, "om" is used the event is occurring after that amount of time has passed, and "på" is when its during until that time is over.

Jag gör det om en vecka - I will do that in a week

Jag gör det på en vecka - I will do that for a week

Please someone correct me if wrong.


I would rather translate "Jag gör det på en vecka" as "I will do that in a week" as well, but in the sense that "It will take me a week to do it". I would translate "I will do that for a week" in the sense you gave as "Jag gör det i en vecka." Which literally translates to "in a week".

Prepositions are confusing.



in a week = på en vecka, i en vecka is not Swedish


i en vecka is idiomatic Swedish. The examples sotnosen93 gave are all perfectly correct.



Jag gör det om en vecka = I will do it AFTER a week

Jag gör det på en vecka means that I need a week for this task, is that really for a week in English?


Why on earth does De always sounds like Dum?


The official spelling is "de" which is officially pronounced /dɔm/. Spellings don't change as fast as pronunciations. It happens constantly in language, not just Swedish.
Informally / colloquially, it often gets spelled "dom". In some dialects it is pronounced more like "de" /deː/ which matches the spelling, or in other dialects it sounds more like "dee" /diː/, but written word is more standardized and uniform across distance than spoken words are. (true for any language)


Just found someone else who explained it better than I. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7746672


Why not within?

Well they should accept within because this preposition is used whenever we refer to a particular period of time about to finish.


If they're coming "within" fifteen minutes, they're coming no later than after fifteen minutes. If they're coming "in" fifteen minutes, they're coming after approximately fifteen minutes. Swedish uses inom for the former, and om for the latter.


Does not "inom en kvart" mean "less than a quarter", less includes equal, and "om en kvart" after or exactly when a quarter has elapsed?


inom does mean less than or equal to a quarter, yes.

om is an approximation. Technically, it means after exactly a quarter, but nobody uses it like that - I mean, if you say in fifteen minutes and arrive after fourteen or seventeen, everyone will think that's perfectly normal. But it doesn't mean after at least fifteen minutes, no.


oh I thought that 'om' in Swedish meant both cases. Never mind, living and learning. Tack så mycket brow!


in einer Viertelstunde (German) :)


I never say "a quarter till" or "a quarter after" in Australia either, and I don't know anyone who does. We say "in a quarter of an hour". I'm not even 50 years old, let alone 100.


The default is "in fifteen minutes", luckily. :)


So kvart literally means fifteen minutes?


Yes, they use it only for a quarter-hour just like how English only uses quart for a quarter-gallon.


It does not only refer to a quarter-hour, but can also be used in certain specific constructions to mean a "quarter" (see more specific examples above -- although fjärdedel is more common), as well as a "fourth" (the interval in music).


OK, but three other mods have claimed it's always a quarter-hour. That includes in this thread so I'm not sure what examples you are referring to. There are some examples using kvarts instead of kvart and compound words with kvart embedded but every comment I've read in the past four years led me to believe kvart is always for hours. I guess it's just almost always for hours?


Would duo have accepted a number for this one?


15 in place of fifteen is accepted, yes.


I see people comment how it's good to learn your own (english) grammar and that they as native speakers develop their english mostly by ear and thus know little grammar. As for me, english is not my mother tongue and i can really say that of all the native english friends i have i know english grammar better than most of them. I guess this is how it works. In my country it's also pretty similar - few native people can write without mistakes.

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