"- Har du inga byxor? - Jo det har jag."
Translation:- Don't you have any pants? - Yes I do.
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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?
After thinking about it for a while, I came to the following conclusion:
The "det" in all of these sentences are the placeholder of the object, "gör/har/är" is the verb following the V2 rule, and "jag/du/..." is the subject. The construction is pretty much like English's "Yes, I do"; but while, in English, the object is omitted, in Swedish, there is an inversion.
This is just an educated guess, am I correct? And if so, is there any particular reason for the inversion(like being related to questions or something like that), or is it just because that's how people use it?
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).
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.
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).
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
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.
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 :)
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)
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.
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.)
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.)
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).
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?"
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.
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.
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!
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.
I'm so confused - I've never learnt jo before and it's just come up in my review skills. Is it like the equivalent of "si" in french? i.e responding the affirmative to negative question? Tu n'as pas un pantalon? - SI, j'en ai un. - Har du Inga byxor? - Jo det har jag
I read through all the comments but I'm still not sure...
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.
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 :)
Why is the English translation given as "don't you have..."? As a native (American) English speaker, the more natural wording would be "Do you have any...".
I am trying to understand if there will be a difference between the two introduced later, or if Duolingo is choosing the first construction for a specific purpose.
Works this concept also for the past tense (without har)? But then it would look strange to use har or gör and I would presume one repeats the verb from the question instead.
Have you been in Stockholm? - Yes, I have.
Var du i Stockholm? - jag det var jag.
Is that correct?
And how about the future?
Will you close the door? - Yes, I will.
What's this one in Swedish?
And this here?
Should we go to Stockholm? - Yes, we should.
What would be that in Swedish?
Please feel free to provide some more (even strange) examples, so I can get a better understanding of how the concept can be adapted to different scenarios.