"Han vill visa oss något."

Translation:He wants to show us something.

December 14, 2014

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When is något translated to something, and when to anything? In this sentence I thougt anything would be ok as well.


It's English that is odd – you use anything in questions and when negated, otherwise something.

  • Do you have anything?
  • I don't have anything.
  • I have something.


This may be a course in Swedish but I am perfectioning my English as well :) Tnx


That's often correct in English, Arnauti, but I wouldn't ever say the question/negation way is always the rule. A quick example would be the common question, 'Do you have something for me?' Or 'Do you have something in mind?'

'Anything' and 'something' are so often used interchangeably as pronouns, but not always, depending on situations like if the noun is finite or infinite in extent or amount, or on how polite you want to seem.

e.g. 'Do you have something/anything (for me) to eat?' 'No, sorry, I don't have anything.'

Just for those here also learning English, maybe a decent reference, since this is strange to explain in English:


I agree that it is English that is odd. :D


Yes, I agree that my rule was overly general. The explanation with how determinate/specific the thing is is much better. – The level of politeness follows from the fact that it's more polite to offer an unlimited range than a limited range, so that's just a contingent effect.

Thanks a lot for the link to this. I know many of our students aren't native speakers of English, so we sort of get the task of teaching English too, but our focus tends to be on Swedish grammar :)


You're welcome. You guys do a very good job with all of it!


Something is specific, anything is non-specific. So if he wants to show us something, there's a specific object/place/action he wants us to see. If he wants to show us anything, he doesn't care what we see as long as he's showing it to us, which is an unusual and unlikely situation.


Its very helpful learning English and Swedish at the same time. Thanks everyone.


Do we pronounce någon as nån and något as nåt?


Either way is fine.


"Visa oss, Michael here..." I heard it that way every time.

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