"She is not drinking beer, but coffee."
Translation:Hon dricker inte öl utan kaffe.
Ahh yes,i just love the song,i've listened to it at least 50 times in a week haha :D The music is what actually made me want to learn Swedish,Sabaton to be precise.I just find that songs are a good way to learn the vocabulary better,much like i did with English.
However,i'm having trouble finding some good music to listen. Thanks for reply
Hi! My name is Lucy, and I agree with you, music and songs are the best way to learn a language. I actually started learning Swedish because of Måns Zelmerlöw. If you don't have any music to listen to, you could try him...? :) And there are lots of interviews in Swedish to practise with... :) Trust me, I know! :)
You're right in that it might well get quite ambiguous. In written Swedish, the comma makes it clear what you mean. And in spoken language, I think the stress would be a little bit different in the respective uses, although I can't really say how or why. And if nothing else works, there's always context in actual usage of Swedish.
"Utan" has two meanings. One is without which you point out here, and the other is a conjunction when you want to point out that someone/something, contrary to what one might think, does/is something completely different.
This is what we see here. Contrary to what you might believe, she is not drinking beer, but coffee.
In English, "but" fills this function, but in Swedish we use the word "utan". "Men" would be completely wrong here since that word doesn't have that function.
This is a good example to show that word-for-word translation doesn't work.
So utan is used in sentences where there is a "not this but that" construction if I understand correctly? So like "echter" in dutch. Or I guess "but actually"in english (closest I can think of atm or maybe however. Can't find a good match. Etymologically echter and the german word "aber" are related. But I think "aber" is used as a general "but" ("maar" in dutch, which sort of seems related to "men" or french "mais").
Context can usually make things clearer. but you could have the instance: I don't drink coffee/tea without milk, or drinking milk instead of coffee/tea. That would make an ambiguous sentence I would think.
"Hon dricker inte kaffe utan mjölk."