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  5. "Var som helst"

"Var som helst"


December 5, 2014



can i say "vem som helst" or even "när som helst" to mean whoever and whenever?


Or 'Vad som helst' for anything?


Sounds like a perfect cover of Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann!


Yes, that's a good comparison!


You made my day :p


Why does the audio here pronounce "var SHom elst" but in the sentence it says "var SOM elst"? Is Som pronounciation SHOM or SOM?? Thanks! :)


This is because the words "var" and "som" sort of run together, and the r causes the s to become retroflex, which sounds a little like SH. This happens within words like "årstid", but also across word boundaries.


ok, thanks. Swedish pronounciation is really very difficult for me because it always change, depending on the words staying before or after, and some words are not pronounced at all. It's the first time I study a language with this kind of pronounciation. At the moment I'm studying Swedish only by Duolingo and Memrise and probably that's not enough, but for now pronounciation keeps on being very complicated for me. Anyway, thanks for your explanation! :)


There are some good videos about pronunciation that you can find from the sticky post under Swedish discussions: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5892805 (at the end of the post or search for Blehg).


In the variant spoken in Finland the pronounciation is much clearer.

[deactivated user]


    Does it become "Sh" sound in "Hon alskar sin barn", I am struggling to pick the correct sound. Tack snalla!


    Depending on your dialect, yes - or no. :)


    so it is: var som helst - anywhere, när som helst - anytime, vad som helst - anything, hur som helst - anyhow (is it the right word?), vem som helst - anyone


    I thought "var som helst" meant "at any time"? Am I thinking of a different phrase or do they are meaning different things?


    You're thinking of när som helst. :)


    Why are three words necessary to produce a one-word Swedish sentence?


    Actually it's possible to write as varsomhelst too (it won't work in dictation exercises though, because of a bug), but the spelling as three words is more common and considered more correct. This goes to show how arbitrary the idea of "one word" can be.

    Linguists say that some languages are "synthetic" and some are "analytic" – which basically means that some languages tend to make one word out of something where others tend to make several words out of it. This isn't an either/or category, it's more of a scale, but English is pretty "analytic" compared to most of the world's languages, and in general, more analytic than Swedish. For instance you say the book when we say boken. You say 'tin can', we say plåtburk. So as a general rule, if you translate a text between Swedish and English, you can expect to see a larger number of "words" in the English version. On the other hand, we have more particle verbs, like e.g. tycka om for 'like'. And some expressions, like var som helst can be made up of more words in Swedish than in English.

    So tl;dr: different languages carve up things differently :)


    Hey joel hinz, you can be an linguist. That is septupulinguist.


    "Wherever you like..." is what I say in English when my Swedish wife says Var som helst in Swedish.

    [deactivated user]

      Wherever has same meaning as anywhere


      Right, and "wherever" is accepted, but "where ever" is not, as we discussed above.


      Interesting--so why is it not "somewhere"? And what is "somewhere"?


      That would någonstans. Literally "someplace", whereas var som helst basically means "where-so-ever".


      Is this more like "to anywhere" or "at anywhere" or both?


      It's the "at" sense. Remember Swedish makes a difference between

      • var = locational where
      • vart = directional where

      And this is retained in longer expressions such as

      • var som helst = at any place
      • vart som helst = to any place
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