Translation:- Don't you have any pants? - Yes I do.
There are some discussions in this forum about alternative translations. I would like to point out that the best translation of the second part of the dialogue in this case is really as it says above, Yes I do. The word det in the second sentence does not refer to the pants. It is an empty word, more like the formal subject in phrases like Det regnar – It rains, it's a placeholder word that needs to be there, but doesn't really represent anything. (it's just not a subject here)
We use this construction a lot when answering questions.
- Har du stängt dörren? - Ja det har jag.
- Have you closed the door? - Yes I have.
- Har du sett henne? - Ja det har jag.
- Have you seen her? - Yes I have.
and in similar ways we use the construction det gör jag:
- Bor du i Stockholm? - Ja det gör jag.
- Do you live in Stockholm? - Yes I do.
- Talar hon svenska? - Ja det gör hon.
- Does she speak Swedish? - Yes she does.
- Har du en bror? - Ja det har jag.
- Do you have a brother? - Yes I do.
So you see, when there's a do you have in English, you repeat the do part in the answer, just as we repeat har in Har du stängt dörren? Ja det har jag. And if there isn't a har to repeat, we use gör instead. The second sentence does not mean "I have it/them/whatever". It means "I do".
NOTE TO EVERYONE: this comment is only about why the last part of the sentence is "det har jag". In this comment, I use simpler examples, not with a negated question, but with a normal question. With a negated question (don't you have …?), you cannot answer ja. You can only answer nej (if you don't have it) or jo (if you do have it).
Firstly, thank you so much for all of your excellent explanations... you have helped clear up so many of my misconceptions.
Secondly, why does jag come after det har? In the sentences I have seen so far the verb seems to come after the subject, e.g. Jag har, hon äter, etc. However, it seems to be completely the opposite here. Is there a grammar rule I am missing or is this simply an exception?
It's the V2 rule: the verb goes in second place in all sentences that are not questions or subclauses. Apparently ja is not included in the counting, so that the 'sentence' is Det har jag, and within that unit, the verb needs to go in the second place.
Wouldn't "det har jag" then translate to something like "it has I" or "that has I"?
Closest literal thing I could think of in English would be 'that I have'. det is just a placeholder, jag is the subject here.
"That I have" is a perfect translation of "det har jag". I was going to suggest it if you hadn't. And of course, "that I do" is the prefect translation for "det gör jag".
(really late question, but) Is this like the phrase "Det vet jag" or "Det vet han inte heller"? -for the response part
As for grammar rules, I think it's only when answering a question that the order is such. If it follows yes/no, that affects the order. There may be others which I haven't learned yet.
The order is slightly similar to that of old/middle/early modern English. The usage of "det" is very much like the middle/early modern English usage of "that" - for example: Speakest thou Swedish? Yes, that I do. Sometimes still used in the U.K. in formal settings or by the Gaelic peoples. An even more archaic rendering would be "þæt dō ic" - because English was influenced by the Nordic languages through Viking incursions into the North and East of the British Isles (not to mention the fact that it was already a West Germanic language related to Dutch).
I welcome corrections as I do not actually speak Old English (yet).
Old/Middle English is very intersting. I think they should make a course for it.
That would be really awesome if they did a course for old/middle english. it would help with a lot of reading for literature and i would find it very interesting, they really should look into it.
As with other highly inflected languages, in Old English the word order is not as rigidly fixed as in modern English, but that was already the way before the Viking invasion that commenced at the end of the 8th century. When most word endings were eventually dropped, Middle English and modern English relied instead on word order to resolve the meanings of sentences. Thus, subject-predicate became the predominant norm in indicative statements.
Even then, as JohnWycliffe points out, we haven't entirely abandoned starting a sentence with the object. Poets, in particular, took advantage of this construction whenever that suited their purpose. Here is one of my long-time favorite such instances, from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667):
Him the Almighty Power / Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky, / With hideous ruin and combustion, down / To bottomless perdition, there to dwell / In adamantine chains and penal fire, / Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms.
Starting the sentence with the object pronoun "him" makes immediately clear that it is not the subject. With our attention focused on the object (referring to Lucifer), it is all the more vivid to read what was done to him. The final pentameter of the sentence is a dependent clause that refers all the way back to the first word, and that works well because the object has been at the center of our attention all the while. Admittedly this construction gives the sentence a formal, antiquated flavor, even from 17th century's perspective, but that was very much the intention considering the subject matter.
Aside from verse, we encounter the object-first word order even in ordinary discourse today, as in John's example "That I do." The statement is immediately understood, and in the right context it sounds perfectly natural.
It just so happens that I recently came upon the BBC documentary The Adventure of English (2002) on YouTube. (Episode 1 begins the narrative from the arrival in the 5th century of Germanic tribes that conquered the Celts. From the languages they brought with them emerged the language of Beowulf. The summary of the Vikings' influence on English grammar appears at about 35 minutes into the episode.) This program makes the assertion that the collision with Old Norse rather took English away from its Germanic roots, or that it helped to hurry-along its process of modernization. Old English and Old Norse both employed the practice of tacking-on articles and number- and gender- and case-indicators to the ends of words. There was already a tendency for word endings to lose their distinctness, and it is precisely because these two languages were so alike and yet different enough that this process was accelerated to the point that cases could no longer be distinguished by word endings, and prepositions needed to be inserted and word order took on a new importance.
this does not work. The answer I need to choose to pass this exercise is with "jo" not with "ja".
The comment you're answering is about the other part of the sentence, det har jag, which also needs explaining.
When you answer a negative question in Swedish (a question like don't you have …, you cannot answer with ja, you can only answer with either nej (if you don't have the thing) or jo (if you have the thing).
This is the first time I have actually seen this explained! Tack så mycket! Here, have a lingot!
But this isn't a negative question. It says "Har du inga byxor". What is negative about it that requires "Jo"??
as an aside to your note- jo and ja both mean yes; but ja is only 'correct' when the question has no negative conjugation? I do not remember learning about "jo" previously, so do you have any comments on the proper/formal use of jo? Thanks!
Jo is like German doch or French si. You could think of it as meaning "on the contrary" when responding to a negative question. To borrow from thorr18 at the bottom of this thread:
Jo is used to answer yes to a negative question. Ja is used to answer yes to other questions. Positive: "You are entertained??" Ja Neutral: "Are you entertained?" Ja Negative: "Are you not entertained?!" Jo Negative tag: "You are entertained, aren't you?" Jo
Thank you for the ja -vs- jo explanation. Up to this point, I had always viewed them as the exact same word - interchangeable by preference alone, so I had no idea why "ja" hadn't been acceptable. Your answer was exactly what I was wondering/looking for.
It's also like that in German, with the difference that people use these forms only when emphasizing the task:
Hast du die Tür zugemacht? - Ja das habe ich. But as I said, this construction is not often used.
This answered a couple of questions I had. This construction was confusing to me, but now it is starting to make sense. And I need to keep reminding myself of the V2 rule, which puts the verb in places that confuse me initially.
In slovakian language we have something similar we say something like this : Yes I did it instead of just saying : Yes I did. We say "it" always in these types of answers so I like to think that swedish does the same kind of thing. By the way slovakian language like swedish doesnt have the present continuous tense we just use present simple for everything. Just some random fun facts here :)
First of all, thank you, Arnauti, for you very helpful explanations here and elsewhere on the discussion forums. I would like to ask a follow-up question about this topic.
I see that the example question "Har du stängt dörren?" is in the past perfect tense. In spite of its appearance, the response "Ja det har jag" is too in the perfect tense, since "stängt dörren" is implied. We can thus understand that "Ja det gör jag" would not be a suitable reply due to its mismatch of tense with the question.
On the other hand, "Har du en bror?" is in the present tense, although the verb is also "har". In this consideration, would it also be possible to reply "Ja det gör jag", as in English where the reply could be either "Yes I have" or "Yes I do"?
To Har du stängt dörren?, you could answer Ja det har jag gjort, where gjort is a form of göra, and Stängde du dörren? can be answered as Ja, det gjorde jag, so yes, the tense has to agree, but you can still have the verb göra.
With Har du en bror?, you can't have göra in the answers, it just sounds odd, as if having a brother was some kind of action you could choose to perform or not perform.
Does that mean that 'Nej det har jag' is grammatically correct? I first came across this on a select the answer question with no clues, guessed 'nej' and it was marked as wrong.
To a negative question like 'don't you have …?', you can either answer nej, det har jag inte if you don't have it or jo det har jag if you do have it. So if you have the thing, like here, you need to choose jo.
"Do you have no pants" -- Added to my list of sentences I would never utter. Because it's almost nonsensical.
Yes, we have no bananas - we have no bananas today!
Why is a review lesson introducing new material? While I understand that Jo is different in this case I have never encountered this before.
Yeah it is really annoying. I've never encountered Jo until the review and it came with no explanation.
That always annoys me too. I'm trying hard to learn this, but when random idiosyncrasies of svenska are thrown into a lesson with no prior explanation... arg! It's like, here you go.... Wrong!!!
Why can this not be "DO you have ANY pants?" as opposed to "DON'T you have any"/"do you have NO"
Do you have any pants? is an open question, which in Swedish would be Har du några byxor?.
Don't you have any pants? is a negative question, one that assumes that the answer will be no. We need to have a negative question here, because what we're really trying to teach you is that you answer those questions with jo instead of ja. (if the answer is 'no', it is still nej)
Why do you answer with jo instead of ja, that makes no sense to me. In Dutch were you also have these negative questions the yes, ja also, doesn't change and neither would it in German.
Doch, in Deutsch würde es sich ändern. It would change in German, you wouldn't say "Ja", you would say "doch". I thought that was "toch" in Dutch.
I see, thanks.
In German the contradiction to a negative question ("you don't have pants, do you?") would be answered with "doch" (to mean "you are wrong, I do have them"), since "ja" would be ambiguous and could mean either "yes, you are right, I don't", or "yes, I do have them", which are two complete opposites.
It seems to be the same in Swedish.
There has to be a reason for this, if I understand the reason it is a lot easier for me to remember.
The reason is that normally ja means you agree with someone, but nej means you disagree. When someone asks you a negative question, you sort of agree and disagree at the same time, it's a different kind of 'yes' from when you answer a normal question. It's a kind of 'yes' that also carries a sense of contradiction in it.
I know what you mean about needing a reason. I say that to all my Swedish friends who try to help me with Swedish. This is in response to a negative question. See these examples:
Har du mat? - Ja, det har jag.* (Do you have food? - Yes, I do.)
Har du ingen mat? - Jo det har jag.* (Don't you have any food? - Yes, I do.)
Now that you explained that Arnauti it actually makes a whole lot more sense than it did before! Have a lingot!
In Dutch the answer to a negative question is "ja" or "ja.....wel": "Heb je geen broeken?" "Jawel, die heb ik."/"Ja, die heb ik wel." (or "Nee, ik heb er geen." when you've only skirts and dresses ;-) )
In Italian for instance, it is emphasised with the intonation of the voice, but in Swedish it is a total distinction!
'Jo' is interchangeble with 'ja'? Or is one more informal? Or are they the same but just alternative spellings?
Jo is used to answer yes to a negative question, like French si or German doch.
I haven't learned this yet, though I see from other threads this is a common issue? I only got this word/sentence after completing prepositions when I did a 'strengthen skills'.
Does this carry the meaning of "Yes I do have pants" or is it agreeing that I don't have them?
The "jo" part is disagreeing with the negative question, i guess it could be losely translated like "but of course" in english, but not quite so emphatic. So it is a bit like saying "but of course i do" (have pants). (The less emphatic bit is extrapolated from german "doch", not sure how much emphasis it carries in Swedish, would be nice if one of the native speakers could confirm.)
It sounds strange to me because the question is whether you have any (whatsoever), so how can these purely hypothetical pants suddenly be "them"? But I asked an American friend who said this sounded OK to them, so I'll add it.
Pants is plural in English--or at least the "s" ending tricks the brain into thinking it's plural. Thus, "Where are my pants?" "They are in the bedroom." sounds better than "it is in the bedroom."
Yes, but my problem was that they're replaced with a pronoun in the first place, since they weren't previously known. It's like talking about something in the definite form the first time you mention it. (to my Swedish ears)
Native English speaker here, I actually agree with you. I think "yes I have some" should be accepted before "yes, I have them", as like you said, the pants haven't been introduced yet.
I guess since pants are plural "some" doesn't really say anything about how many of them you have? That's the only thing that worries me with this phrase, except what I wrote in my long comment about short answers. I've added this answer now.
To further elaborate, if you'd said "Yes I do, they are in the kitchen", that would have sounded perfectly normal to me. Then I'd feel they were "properly introduced".
That's something we do quite often in American English, as far as I know. I definitely get what you're saying, though. I'm likely to go either way, for no reason whatsoever. ;)
Good to find out, these nuances are pretty hard to know about for non-native speakers. I'll just point out that you should probably not say this in Swedish. - Har du inga byxor? - Jo jag har dem. would at least make me go What?
Thanks for the info, I'll definitely curb that tendency when I start speaking Swedish. :)
In English we refer to them as 'pants' or 'a pair of pants' even if only speaking of one item of clothing because way back in Medieval days they used to be two different pieces of clothing that were worn together, one for each leg. So in English, pants is actually plural, but referring to a single item of clothing, that historically was an actual pair - two items of clothing worn together.
That means in English, no one would find it odd to reply to "Where are your pants (singular)" with "I can't find them!" It would rather sound odd to reply with "I can't find it."
So English treats pants as a plural word, even if it is a singular garment. This is true for underwear, panties, shorts, etc. All treated as plural words in English.
This gets even more convoluted when discussing something about the pants, like you might say "pant leg" in the singular, but "pants pocket" in the plural.
This was not my issue with the use of them, as I stated in my following comment.
Yes I have some sounds better than Yes I have them for a question like this. At least from my perspective of English you were right on Arnauti.
You do not use them to refer to undefined pants. It's simple to use the versatile "Yes, I do" because it can be used as the answer in every one of these examples:
"Do you have your pants?"Yes, I have them".
"Do you have the pants?"Yes, I have them".
"Do you have any pants?"Yes, I have pants".
"Do you have some pants?"Yes, I have some".
Or, when in doubt, just answer "Yes". :)
Maybe Duo should offer an English-for-English-speaker's course. I don't mean that as a joke or derision, but rather I think it might be helpful for people to go into the other courses already knowing the meaning of words like genitive and maybe the IPA! Sorry, I'm sure there are better forums to post that thought.
I would never negate a negative question with the word "yes", in English. The answer should be " no, I do ".
"Don't you have any pants? - No, I do." does not sound right. You might say No I don't but not if you DO have pants.
Well, in American English I don't really hear someone say "Don't you have any pants?" we say "You don't have any pants?" or some other derivative. "Don't you have any pants?" sounds foreign. I agree with mike-burns, but I also might say "Yes, I do" to "You don't have any pants."
More likely would probably be "Do you not have any pants?"
With the right tonal inflection, "No, I do!" would be believable coming from American English speakers (at least from some parts of the US). (The connotation would be something like "No, you're wrong! Where would you get that idea?!")
And I agree with GSmithUF that "You don't have any pants?" would be more likely (and accept the same responses).
I am a bit confused here. So one could or could not use "jo det gör jag" as an answer here?
The rule is that with modal verbs (like ska or kan) or auxiliary verbs (like har), the first verb is repeated. With other verbs, we use gör instead.
Kan du läsa? Ja det kan jag 'Can you read? Yes I can'
Ska du läsa? Nej det ska jag inte 'Will you read? No I won't'
Har du inte läst? Jo det har jag. 'Haven't you read? Yes I have'
Läser du? Ja det gör jag. 'Are you reading? Yes I am'
so my answer was: "do you have no pants? i have them" and was marked as wrong. the suggested correct answer was: "Do you have no pants? Yes I have them." can someone please explain how important "yes" is? and does its absence change the meaning? cause to me it sounds the same ... thank you!
The learning point of this sentence is the word "jo", which is a contradiction of the negative question. Since this is the important word in this sentence, it is kind-of important to translate it.
All I did was not put the little "-" symbols because this was one of those "listen and type" things, and it said I got it wrong...
I get the reason for the use of ja and jo. I think we actually do have several "types" of yes' in english, its just that we are using inflection. If someone were to say to me , "do you not have any pants?" I could either answer ( in english) "no i don't" with very little inflection. Or i could use "Yes! I have them" ( with lots of inflection and emphasis on that instance of yes. if I were to use yes here with no inflection, it would sound strange. ) the funny thing is, answering this question with "no i have them" i would most likely be nodding my head yes while saying no i have them.
How would one answer "No I don't" to this question? Nej det har jag - I assume? If so then from the drop down menu I had 3 answers to pick from, Ja, Jo and Nej. I know when to use Ja or Jo but I wanted to see if "Nej det har jag" would be correct to answer the question "Har du inga byxor?" but it wasn't correct apparently.
Nej det har jag inte but it's not a correct translation of this sentence so it wouldn't be accepted.
So does he/she has that damn pants or not when the reply is "jo det har jag"? You don't have it, right? - No, I have it.
Its easy to do a literal translation to English. Just imagine how Yoda would say it.
I think you guys can think of "jo" as saying "on the contrary"... But I'm not sure about this. I'm not fluent English speaker :D
might be more a comment regarding english. But I was wondering if instead of the suggested "yes I do" you could say "yes I have (them)" It feels much more natural to me. (especially in a contradicting sentence like this, "I HAVE" seems to put a bit of extra emphasis)
(if you can't say it like that, I guess it's the dutch influence. Cause you can have pants, you don't DO your pants haha. "Heb je geen broek" - "ja(wel) die heb ik (wel)" similar to the swedish construction)
Curious for the answer, thnx :)
In English, you don't do your pants, as you say, but you can easily say "Yes, I do have pants".
I try to say like "Don't you have pants? Yes, I don't" but duo marks it wrong and corrects me like I should have written "Don't you have any pants? Yes, I do" why so?
In this exercise, the speaker does have pants.
They answered with Jo because it was a negative question (with don't instead of do) and they are contradicting that negative. Maybe that's why Jo sounds like a combination of yes and no :)
Details in other comments.
That's how it works in English. The "yes" or "no" simply affirms or denies having pants. You would reply the same way regardless whether the question is phrased as positive or negative. To say "Yes, I don't" is like saying yes and no at the same time.
What is the purpose of the "-"'s? Dialogues? Then how to write it in nonlinear form? More like, how you see it in novels.
"Don't you have any pants," asked he. "Yes I do."
Something like that, now how to write that in Swedish? (you could remove the "asked he")
Sure, but that's a little redundant to say pants again and the exercise doesn't have that redundancy in it.
But then an English listener would think you meant "Yes, I have [done something]" Instead of the intended "Yes, I do [have something]".