Translation:We have slightly more than three weeks.
can anyone clarify what this means? the english solution is a little awkward/ambiguous. thanks!
We have slightly more than three weeks [to do X].
På oss basically means that we're dealing with some kind of deadline.
So, would Vi har drygt tre veckor på oss att göra det (We have slightly more than three weeks to do it) be correct in Swedish?
great - thank you! maybe "we have slightly more than three weeks left" would be a good alternative translation.
Yes and no. If you add left to the English sentence, we would add kvar att the end of the Swedish one. This one of those cases where you are going to lose some information in translation.
In this case, the comments section is a great complement to the sentence.
So, the translation is more inferred in Swedish, than in english, where it just plain out doesn't make sense?
The English makes perfect sense. "When do we have to get this done by?" "We have slightly more than three weeks." You could add something like "left" or "remaining" or "to complete the task" to the end of the sentence, but even without it, it's still implicit.
An interesting note is that some native speakers use the word "drygt" when what they really mean is "approximately". The true meaning is "slightly more than" and it can never be exactly as much as or less than.
I wouldn't say there is such a thing as a "true" meaning. Languages are not carved in stone.
Mostly no: ... på oss means that you have a deadline, but ... kvar just means that there's three weeks left of something
Sounds good to me. The default is "We have slightly more than three weeks", though.
Honestly, I'm not sure. I'd have been prepared to say it's not grammatical until you told me it is. :)
The problem is that I start second guessing myself. Now I don't know whether I'd actually ever say it or not - although I think it's fine grammatically. Is på oss necessary in the Swedish sentence? Anders91 says above that it implies some sort of deadline. Is that not true without it? If it is, then I would be inclined NOT to report it, because it certainly isn't necessary in English.
It's definitely mandatory. If you leave it out, the sentence is still grammatical but it makes less sense. I can see people leave it out colloquially, or if another phrase supercedes it.
We have got slightly more than three weeks. To me it emphasizes better the deadline part.
That absolutely works. We usually accept "got" everywhere in similar situations, but it was apparently missing here. I've added it.
I don't fully understand the use of "på oss" here, and can't find any sources about it. Is it another definition of "ha på sig" (to wear), or entirely separate from the verb? Is it valid with other subjects: "Jag har drygt tre veckor på mig"? Other comments suggest it has to do with deadlines, so I guess it always needs to follow a time expression.
Yes, exactly - it means "the amount of time you have prior to a deadline", basically. So it's like in the Queen song:
Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!
"We have approximately tree weeks on our hands." should be treated as a correct answer, since, even though "drygt" means slightly more than in most cases, it can still be used as "slightly less- or more than".
It's used to mean "approximately" by a minority of Swedes, but this minority is small enough that it's generally a bad idea to teach this meaning.
It's not a direct translation, but would We have just over three weeks left convey the same meaning?
Often, yes, though it does have the direct equivalent ... veckor kvar.
So how would you say "We have just over three weeks to ourselves" in Swedish?
A small percentage of the population does use it like that, but the overwhelming majority uses the traditional meaning of "slightly more than".