"Why do you not teach Swedish?"

Translation:Varför undervisar du inte i svenska?

December 5, 2014

This discussion is locked.


Can anyone explain why 'i' is used??


It's the preposition used with the verb undervisa to refer to what's being taught.


So how do I ask if someone is teaching in swedish?


Use instead. :)


Ah ok I see, thank you :)


Saying it without the "i" is just as correct and actually sounds better (comment written by a native swede)


Is there a difference in the various types of teach: "lar" vs "undervisar"?


”Undervisa” is sort of the action of being a teacher and having it as a profession. ”Lära” is more just the general act of teaching and it can also mean learn. ”Lära” can also be combined with ”ut” to mean ”teach”.

  • Jag lär mig svenska. (I learn Swedish; lit. I learn myself Swedish)
  • Jag lär honom svenska. (I teach him Swedish; lit. I learn him Swedish)
  • Jag undervisar i svenska. (I teach Swedish, I am a Swedish teacher by profession.)
  • Jag lär ut svenska. (I teach Swedish; which typically suggests that I am a teacher as well.)


If "jag lär mig svenska" means "I learn Swedish" how can one say "I teach myself Swedish"?


You could keep it as jag lär mig svenska or add jag lär mig själv svenska for emphasis.


aha, and so undervisar is another phrasal verb: teach subjectX = undervisar i X?


It’s not a phrasal verb, but it’s used with the preposition i as you rightly say.


So to say I teach [subject] you need to say Jag undervisar [i + subject], just since i is the preposition that undervisar takes?


Yes, that’s correct.


So you use the i to express this thought; how many I say "I teach in Swedish"? Ex. I was taught maths in French.


Then you would say Jag undervisar på svenska.


Jag är glad att jag hittade den här kommentaren, tack för kunskapen!


Would "Varför lär inte du ut svenska" be correct in this case?


Yes, that works too. That would mean 'Why don't YOU teach Swedish'; Varför lär du inte ut svenska is the neutral word order.


It says that "Varför lär inte du ut svenska?" is the correct translation in the correct translations box.


The system will try to give you the closest translation to your wrong answer.


Why can't it be "varför lär du inte i svenska?" I do not understand why "varför undervisar du inte i svenska" is acceptable, but you must replace the 'i' with 'ut' (a word I have never been taught) when using 'lär'.


Those are different verbs.
lära sig is a reflexive verb, meaning 'to learn'. Jag lär mig svenska 'I am learning Swedish'
lära is a verb that needs to have 2 objects: Jag lär honom engelska 'I teach him English'
lära ut is a particle verb (stress on ut) which means 'teach' and must have one object: Jag lär ut svenska 'I teach Swedish'.
undervisa also means 'teach', but it's constructed with a preposition for the thing you teach, and no preposition for the person you teach: Jag undervisar honom i svenska 'I teach him Swedish' – with this verb you don't need to mention the person/people taught, since the focus is on the teaching itself.


So the focus with lära is on who is being taught while the focus with undervisa is what is being taught?

ie: Han lär mig svenska is kind of like I am learning swedish from him (where the focus is on the person learning), and Han undervisar mig i svenska is like saying He is teaching Swedish to me (where the focus is on what's being taught)?

Or does undervisa always denote some kind of professional teaching status?


Jag deltar i en kurs i svenska = I am attending a course on Swedish/a Swedish course vs. jag deltar i en kurs på svenska = I am attending a course in Swedish?


i endorse to Urukagina. For a better user experience,Duolingo needs to have some exercises before this example with the different verbs posted by Arnauti, who is obviously doing a great job explaining us, like a few other guys. my2sents


If "why don't you teach swedish" is "Varför undervisar du inte i svenska"

Then how would you ask a person "Why don't you teach in swedish?" As to say, you're giving your lectures in english now, why not in swedish? Because I thought that would be the meaning of "i svenska"


På svenska means you are teaching in the Swedish language. I svenska means you are teaching it as a course.


Ugh! I always forget to use the "i" in a sentence like this.


I tried Varför lär du ut svenska inte which was wrong but the suggested answer threw in the word ej which I have never seen before. What is this?


ej is not taught in the course; it's a more formal way to say inte. The machinery tries to match whatever you input to the closest accepted answer, so you can get shown things that aren't taught, only accepted.

I'd recommend never using ej, you don't really need to, but it's good to know what it means. Also, it's become slightly more frequent the last few years because of Twitter, so you may come across it.


It also saves some space. I see on buses "ej i trafik". Maybe they don't have enough space for "inte" on their display. :)


Ok thanks. So where can you put inte/ej in a sentence like this? I saw it was different from the recommended translation.


It doesn't change word order, you can have it wherever you have inte.


Someone please explain the word order of this i can't get my head around it

  1. Why don't you teach Swedish?
  2. Why do you not teach Swedish?
  3. Why teach you not Swedish?
  4. Varför undervisar du inte i svenska.

Note that 4 is the same word order as 3. The trick is to get from 2 to 3 by unraveling the English "do" construction.


i know that varför is why in swedish. This litteraly means 'for what', but what do you say when you want to ask in front of what something is. Can you also use varför then or is there another word for that?


I don't quite understand your question. But perhaps these sentences are what you are looking for:
1. Vad är det?
2. Vilken X är det?
3. Vilket Y är det?
4. Vilket är det?


No, I mean when you ask the question: 'In front of what is the chair?' 'The chair is in front of the table'. When you translate this question in Swedish, you could say 'varför', but I don't think this is correct, because they already use 'varför' as why.


"in front of" is framför, so: framför vad står stolen?

But I'm not entirely sure that's what you're actually asking. Also, varför literally means "wherefor", not "for what".


I think the question is related to Dutch 'waarvoor'. It can mean for what purpose in a sentence like 'waarvoor dient dat' = 'for what purpose is that' . However using the parts of the words seperately, meaning changes into a question about place (a.o.) . 'Waar staat de stoel voor' = 'in front of what is the chair standing'. I guess to Dutch people varför is a bit of a false friend.


Oh, thank you. That makes sense.


Why 'varför du undervisar inte i svenska' wrong?


Basic word order in Swedish is subject - verb. In questions, you use verb - question. And if you have a question word such as "why", "how", "who", etc., you put that first.

Hence: du undervisar -> undervisar du? -> varför undervisar du?


Because I keep getting the darn question wrong... :-P

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