"My friend, whose dad is a lawyer, is in jail."
Translation:Min vän, vars pappa är advokat, sitter i fängelset.
Does vems work in place of vars in this sentence? Min vän, vems far är advokat, är i fängelse.
No, that only works as an interrogative pronoun, when you’re asking.
- Vems far är advokat? (Whose father is a lawyer?)
- Jag känner en man, vars far är advokat. (I know a man, whose father is a lawyer.)
Ah thanks very much. So essentially....
Vems and Vars both mean Whose
Vems is only used for questions.
Vars is only used in statements
Is that right?
Yes, or you can say that ”vars” is a relative pronoun that refers back to someone already mentioned, in this case ”en man”, whereas ”vems” is plain interrogative.
Ok got it! Thanks very much for all the excellent help you have been providing to everyone.
Sorry, I don’t understand the sentence. What would your English translation be?
"Whose pet is the cat whose son is my cat?" Ridiculous to phrase it like that, of course, but I wasn't trying to write realistically.
”Vems husdjur är katten vars son är min katt?” Yeah that would work, but the phrasing is equally ridiculous in Swedish, but grammatically it’s correct. Nice work!
Many locations or instutions use the definitive end article in swedish while the same word doesn't use a definitive article in english.
Here are some other examples from a grammar book.
Han har gått till arbetet. He has gone to work.
Olle går i skolan/kyrkan. Olle goes to school/church.
Lars åker till staden (stan). Lars is going to town.
Erik ligger på sjukhuset. Erik is in hospital.
There is several groups of words where the use of the definitive form doesn't match between swedish and english.
To add to this, Swedish tends to use the definite form when there is a specific thing. In this case, he is in prison, and even though we don't know which prison exactly, he can only be in one. Hence it's fängelset, because there's a specific prison he's in.
From the comment this one is in reply to: – One work place – One school/church – One town – One hospital It doesn't matter that we don't know which one specifically, just that there's a specific one in each case.
I don't agree entirely - I'd say han sitter i fängelse in the indefinite every time. Others that don't take the definite are bio and teater, for instance.
I'd say both are grammatically correct though the one ending on 't' is less used.
Slang expressions for mom and dad, derived from the words 'mor' and 'far' which are oldfashioned expressions for mom and dad. Like mother and father.
You should have commas in this sentence for readability's and clarity's sake.
Can someone clarify if it is possible to say "är" i fängelset? In retrospect, I assume that means you're maybe visiting or working there, while "sitter" would mean you are incarcerated. Is that correct?
That would be my assumption as well, yes - though you can use är to mean being incarcerated as well, it has to be clear from context.
Would using står instead of sitter be correct as well?
Min vän, vars pappa är advokat, står i fängelse.