"Gaffeln ligger på tallriken."

Translation:The fork is on the plate.

December 1, 2014

This discussion is locked.


Is it wrong to say 'is located'? If so, it's not great as a hint.


The hints are shared between all instances of a written word. is located is a good translation for ligger when talking about larger geographical entities like countries, lakes etc, but not a good translation when talking about a fork.


Like so many English speakers, I get lay and lie mixed up and now I do it in Swedish. :-(


Is it correct to use verb 'vara' instead of 'ligga' here?


You could, but Swedish often uses the verbs ligga/sitta/stå when describing how an object is placed. If the object is low and long, like a fork, we prefer saying that it’s lying on the plate, whereas an upright book is standing in the bookshelf.


Lundgren, you are correct, it can apply to moveable objects, objection to the verb retracted. It still sounds strange though, to use a continuous tense if you are using the stative version of the verb.


No, actually, the paradigms are:

  • lie - lying - lay - lain
  • lay - laying - laid - laid

See here:

It’s a difference in transitivity.

  • I lay the fork on the table. (present transitive)
  • The fork lies/is lying on the table. (present intransitive)
  • Yesterday I laid the fork on the table. (past transitive)
  • Yesterday the fork lay on the table. (past intransitive)


Ah, got it. I guess I was taught when I was young that moveable things cannot lie, I see now that was an oversimplification to avoid some of the more common missuses. "The fork is lying on the table" still sounds weird, it is like "I am knowing who stole my copper wire." I think it has to do with lie being a stative verb in this context, with the continuous tense it seems like I have a dishonest fork.


Yeah, my American friend said she’d been taught the same thing. But I mean, in spoken language these usages merge anyway, but we try to keep them apart in the course and in the written language.

Also as you say, it’s stative so you probably wouldn’t use the present continuous as you said. That might have been a bad translation on my part, but we don’t differentiate the stative and continuous in Swedish anyway.


I wrote: The fork is lying on the plate. It was marked as wrong. And corrected to: The fork is on the plate. Is there something I'm not seeing in some slight or even large error here in meaning?


Kind of like in German: Die Gabel liegt auf dem Teller


that's how I remember it...


"Gaffeln ligger på tallriken." vs " Gaffeln är på tallriken." which one sounds more natural to swedish native speakers? I bet I can use them both, sometimes I get confused.


I honestly don't think either is better than the other. :)


I don't see anything wrong to say located for, a fork on a plate, in English


Please refer to Arnauti's above comment.


Would I be wrong if I said The fork is lying down on the plate


To me, that sounds as if the fork itself is doing the lying down.


What would the alternative be?


Its to do with it being an inanimate object I think, lying down implies it might sit up in a moment of it's own accord. It just sounds wrong.


Is there a word for "dishes?"

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