"That is bad!"

Translation:Det var illa!

December 14, 2014

21 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boltushka

Is not 'var' for past tense, not present?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

This is a pretty strange phenomenon that happens a lot in the spoken language. It's called "modifierande preteritum", and it's sort of a more polite and careful way to say things.
I found a short text about it here. (in Swedish)

Edit: that page won't let you link directly. To see the discussion you need to search for "var" and then choose Varför säger vi ofta Det här var gott och inte Det här är gott?

Edit 2: I want to add that both options are approved answers, in both directions, because this sentence may have a real past tense meaning too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhlouise

If you were to say "är" instead of "var" would that come across as rude, then? Just out of interest. I worry I won't remember things like this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

It's not rude per se, just a little more direct. Of course tone is always important when pointing out that something is bad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PLLumsdaine

Just as a heads-up: the link in your comment doesn’t quite work — it redirects just to the search page of the Institutet för språk och folkminnen. I guess this answer to “Varför säger vi ofta Det här var gott och inte Det här är gott?” there is where the link should go?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Segwyne

As of 4 July 2019, "Din sökning varför säger vi ofta det här var gott och inte det här är gott gav ingen träff". :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

Is using the past tense more or less the same as saying "that's not good" instead of "that is bad", a euphemism?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ziggidy

Does 'dålig' not count_


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rwhodges

I just tried det var dåligt and it was accepted. I'm not sure whether det var illa is more idiomatic or if the two are about equivalent... but Google gives 155,000 hits for "det var dåligt" and 52,000 for "det var illa", so I assume it's at least as valid a translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

Both work. There's some slight difference in meaning, but it's very small – Det var illa is probably more about how something turned out, as in talking about a whole situation. Like, 'pity it turned out that way'. Whereas the other one is more general and can refer to ett nouns too. Hur var mötet? Det var dåligt. 'What was the meeting like? It was bad' – you could not have said illa in that case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarloGamag1

That is bad is now! why is the past var used? is that a Swedish mood? I saw Arnauti answer and my Swedish wife told me to accept it even if it really makes no sense. It was good for some jokes about Swedes! keep up your wonderful work! Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/havjermunaas

why not 'den är dålig'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardWalsh901

why is "det är dålig" not accepted? I've read the thread but it's still not clear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

If you meant a specific object in English, you would have said that one. If you just say 'that', you're probably talking about something more general. Not "that apple", but "the whole set of circumstances we were just discussing", if you see what I mean.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaglarmigsvenska

I heard that 'illa' is more like a worse version of 'dålig' is that true?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VelocityKnight

What about 'Det är obra'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClarkJensen21

what about "Hemsk"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

hemsk means horrible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rusty401767

I got it right but i thought var=was


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseeV64

Yes, var is "was". Using the past tense in Swedish is a polite way to express your opinion. See the first question and Arnauti's answer.

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