"I have a button in my pocket."

Translation:Jag har en knapp i fickan.

December 18, 2014

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I put "Jag har en knapp i min ficka." and it was marked correct.. But it is telling me that "I have a button in the pocket." is also correct... Why x'D


The normal way of saying this in Swedish is Jag har en knapp i fickan. It's not wrong per se to say Jag har en knapp i min ficka, but it's not the idiomatic way of saying it. We prefer definite forms in many cases where English uses possessive pronouns instead.


I guess that makes sense to a degree, but it's just so odd because "the pocket" could refer to like, any pocket. But I'm going to guess if I say I have something most people would assume it's my "noun" in the "place" anyways, is that what you mean? Sorry x'D


Yes, like, if you say in Swedish Jag borstar tänderna ('I am brushing my teeth') we feel that it's quite unnecessary to point out that it's my teeth I'm brushing, since that's the most obvious case. If I'm brushing somebody else's teeth, I'll point that out instead. – The definite form here means that we are speaking about an object that can to some extent be taken for granted ('you know which one I mean').


Alright that makes much more sense now. Tack ;u;


Read more about this in connection with body parts here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6094128


What an answer, tack så mycket


Since you're the one with the button, then we can safely assume that "the pocket" is your pocket, and not someone else's pocket. If you mean another pocket, then that would be surprising, and we expect you to say so.

It's the same in other languages. In French, we say "I wash myself the hands" to mean "I wash my hands". If I'm washing myself, then whose hands would I wash except mine? :)


So in french do they say: Je me laves mes mains? or Je me laves les mains?


"Je me lave les mains."


And German, "ich wasche mir die Hände", right? I learned that both French and German use reflexive verb forms for washing, brushing, etc., ones own body parts. It sounds rather formal to the American English ear. I do find it curious that this similar construction exists in a Latin-based language and a German-based language.


Yes it is quite curious. Dutch follows English in this case though, so it certainly isn't a constant within Germanic languages. You should say, Ik was mijn handen, if you were to say Ik was de handen then someone would wonder, "whose hands are you washing??".


One would be washing their kids kids hands except their own :D


What do I have in my pocket? -Bilbo Baggins (Vad har jag i min ficka?)


Yes, can someone tell me if ficka is correct, or only fickan? and why?


Jag har en knapp i fickan is best, Jag har en knapp i min ficka is acceptable.


Would you really say a button (en knapp) or just button (knapp)?


You need the indefinite article both in Swedish and English. In both languages, we rarely use the singular without an article, and if we do, it's for more general or abstract things or for instance mass nouns. For typical objects (concrete, countable things) we basically never use them without an article in the singular in either language.


Thank you very much for the clarification.


I think that "jag har en knapp in min ficka " means i have a button in the pocket


"in my pocket", specifically, but yes. :)

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