"Frukten ligger på tallriken."

Translation:The fruit is on the plate.

December 5, 2014

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One of the translations for "ligger" is "is situated" so why wasn't "The fruit is situated on the plate." accepted? It is basically a verbatim translation of the words and it makes sense.


yeah, I tried that and it didn't work. Gonna report it as a valid translation


Yes, technically one could say "The fruit is situated on the plate". But that is a preposterous sentence in English that no one would actually say 99% of the time. So I don't fault DL for not accepting it.

If you were in a restaurant in an English-speaking country, and you said, "the fruit is situated on the plate", you would be understood, but I guarantee you that you would be instantly marked as a foreigner.

But what is your motivation for urging/lobbying DL to change their answer? Why not accept the fact that the most idiomatic English here would be "is on the plate", followed (at some distance!) by "is sitting/is lying on the plate"?


I would expect "The fruit is sitting on the plate" to be more idiomatic than "The fruit is lying on the plate."


If you were describing how the fruit is placed or the arrangement of the plate, it makes sense to use "situated." E.g. "The fruit is situated on the plate precariously," or "The fruit is situated on the plate between the oysters and the wilted leeks." It probably should be accepted here, but it's not the best translation.


Isn't situated more like something that is built in and not just on top?


Wait. Two "to be" verbs? That's...terrifying. How does it work? Any help would be appreciated.


We use the verbs ”to stand” and ”to lie” and sometimes ”to sit” where English uses ”be” in the sense of ”be situated”. So you can say:

  • Var ligger postkontoret? (Where is [=lies] the post office?)
  • Det ligger på Storgatan. (It is [=lies] on the Main Street.)
  • Var är boken? (Where is the book?)
  • Den står i bokhyllan. (It is [=stands] in the bookshelf)


Would it be incorrect to say "Frukten ar pa tallriken"

Or in the examples you listed, could one also say "Var ar postkontoret?". Would that sound weird to native speakers?


It’s not wrong to use är, but it’s more idiomatic Swedish to use one of the ’positional verbs’, at least in certain contexts. You will hear native speakers use är as well, but it’s good to learn these verbs.


Yes, I've seen on here "maten är på tallriken" and both "äpplet är under björnen" and "äpplet ligger under björnen" But we do the same in English. My phone is on the table. My phone is sitting on the table. My phone is under the table. My phone is lying under the table. (Lay and lie are two of the most confusing verbs for the U.S.) I can lie down on top of someone. or, I can lie to someone.


This is exactly like Dutch from my experience.


Yes, Dutch and German (and the other Scandinavian languages) use very similar systems.


Does this mean in swedisch you use the same verb when you talk about someone lying on a bed for example?


Do you also you 'sitta' for things which are 'satt'?


It can be used, but ”sitta” more often translates to ”fit” in these contexts. ”Kläderna sitter dåligt.” (The clothes sit badly = they don’t fit)


Tack för hjälpen.


Why is two verbs for the english verb "to be" terrifying? We, Portuguese speakers, live really well with ser and estar... I'm sure Spanish speakers live well too :D


We do! And we don't notice how hard it is for foreigners to learn until one asks us (or at least it happened for me)


I've been wondering for a while how could I differentiate these two verbs for foreigners, the difference is subtle yet apparent...


Hmm... I wouldn't really say that there are two verbs for "to be" in Swedish, at least not two of them that as convincingly mean "to be" as the "ser" and "estar" verbs in Spanish (I see some people were discussing that correlation above)! But I may be mistaken... anyway, here are my thoughts: the verb ligga looks pretty much like the English verb to lie (as in "to be lying down") and the German verb liegen, and those, as far as I can tell, do not mean "to be". Nevertheless, they can in certain situations imply that something is somewhere, for example if you say "The fruit is lying on the plate", it seems fair enough to conclude that it is, indeed, on the plate. Is it not so in Swedish as well? Lundgren8's post seems to be in accordance with these thoughts... Somebody help to unconfuse me, please!


Right, it's not like ser and estar in Spanish. ligger does mean 'lies, is lying', but the thing is that we use position verbs like that a lot more often than you do in English. So while saying 'the fruit is lying on the plate' is acceptable in English, it's not the most natural way of saying it. In Swedish though, it is. We use different position verbs for different objects, depending on their shape and intrinsic orientation. Tall objects and objects that have an important top/down dimension tend to stå. Glaset står på bordet 'the glass is [standing] on the table' but gaffeln ligger på bordet 'the fork is [lying] on the table'.


Tack, I feel successfully unconfused now :)


the difference between "ligger" vs "Det finns" ?


Ligger means “is located” whereas Det Finns means “There is” or “There exists”.


The suggested words where "is", "is situated" etc., but it reminded me of the german "liegen", so I tried "the fruit lies on the plate" and it worked. :D


is "ligger" related to "linger" in English, or any likeness here is purely coincidental?


While this is coincidence, it does have to do with the word "lie", as on, to lie on a table. Cognate with German "liegen".


I know it's not technically correct, but would people understand you if you said "Frukten är på tallriken"?


Sure they'd understand. It's not really incorrect outright, just not idiomatic. Swedish prefers to specify with words like "ligga", "hänga", "stå", etc.


I tried to translate as "The fruit sits on the plate" and it didn't accept it.


Would "Frukten är på tallriken" work?


Ligger is like the Spanish (and Portuguese) verb: está. (right?)


I'm not sure but, seeing the explanation above, it should have less use cases.

The verb estar can be used for physical state ( I'm here = eu estou aqui / yo estoy aquí ) and as a replacement for verb to be in a non-permanent state ( I'm tired = eu estou cansado / yo estoy cansado ).

From what i've seen, both ligger and står (lie and stand) are representing physical states only, not the second case - please, correct me if I'm wrong... I'm only learning Swedish too :)

PS I'm Brazilian, but I hope my post is still helpful for your Spanish comparison.

[deactivated user]

    Not really, it's closer to "ficar". That is, to stay, to remain, to stand, to lay/lie, or to be on something (physically or not).

    Like, a more literal translation from Swedish to English of:

    "Frukten ligger på tallriken." would be:

    "The fruit lies on the plate."

    Or in Portuguese:

    "A fruta fica no prato."


    The fruit is in the plate


    You can say "in a bowl," but not "in a plate." (Well, I guess if you have a plate with gemstones embedded into the porcelain, then the gemstones are technically in the plate. But not fruit.)

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