"She is not drinking beer, but coffee."

Translation:Hon dricker inte öl utan kaffe.

December 20, 2014



Is it more common to use "utan" instead of "men" in this sentence formulation?

December 20, 2014


When you have a negation in the main clause, you switch men for utan, so it’s caused by the inte.

December 20, 2014


Doesn't utan also mean without ? Ex. Som en sjö utan vatten ,is that correct ?

July 19, 2015

  • 11

That is correct! It sound like you've listened to "När jag blundar" :) Great song!

July 19, 2015


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

July 19, 2015


I wish I could give you all my lingots for saying Sabaton are your motivation, that's the exact same reason that I'm doing the course!

March 27, 2016


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! :)

September 9, 2016


diggiloo diggiley - herreys

December 8, 2016


I started because I wanted to understand In Flames posts in swedish! Personally Sabaton is not my kind of music but that inspiration is great, have a Lingot for it! :D

June 5, 2018


I recommend "Magnum Bonum". They're a Swedish rock band that was popular in the 80s

November 17, 2018


What does "När jag blundar" actually mean? :) P.S. I love Eurovision too!

December 9, 2016


When I close my eyes

December 20, 2017


So in a way, it almost means 'instead'?

May 8, 2015


You could think of it as ’but rather’.

May 9, 2015


Then would I be right to liken this to "sino" in Spanish?

July 7, 2015


My Spanish is not very good, but I think it’s the same yes.

July 7, 2015


Ella no bebe/toma cerveza, sino que (bebe/toma) café. I, as an Argentinian, wouldn't drop the part between brackets, but I guess most people may (including Argentinians). Now to the question, the "utan" does translate into "sino que" in Spanish.

September 28, 2015


Would "Hon dricker öl men inte kaffe" be right then for the negation is not in the main clause?

April 11, 2019


It's difficult for me not to read this as "She doesn't drink beer without coffee". If I wanted to say "I don't eat fish without salt", would I say: "Jag äter inte fisk utan salt" or does that mean "I don't eat fish, but salt"?

June 29, 2015


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.

June 29, 2015


That's exactly how I read it too!

October 8, 2015


I understand words having multiple meanings but that's a tough one. It's practically the exact opposite of its other meaning.

May 14, 2015


Is the usage of "utan" here equivalent to German "sondern"?

July 28, 2015



July 28, 2015


But is it still okay to use 'men' since duo accepted my answer

May 9, 2015


why" men kaffe" is wrong? confused! utan means without right?

October 7, 2015

  • 11

"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.

October 7, 2015


What's the deal with dropping the comma? Are commas less used in Swedish than English?

November 19, 2015


Definitely. We only use commas when it's necessary for clarity these days – this has changed a lot in the last 50 years or so. Adding a comma here in Swedish wouldn't be wrong per se, but we wouldn't normally do it. It looks much better without it to me.

November 19, 2015


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."

April 16, 2018


Would saying "Hon dricker inte öl, utan hon dricker kaffe" work as well?

June 21, 2015


Yes, that's a correct sentence, but not an accepted answer since it adds a bit too much (you could have said She's not drinking beer but she is drinking coffee in English if this was what you wanted to say).

June 21, 2015


So would it be like "She is not drinking beer, but rather coffee?'

June 7, 2016


Are men and utan switchable? If not, when do I use them?

August 10, 2016


why is it öl and not ölja? what is the difference? (I hope I didn't mix it)

August 19, 2017


So 'utan' is more like 'but rather', and 'men' is more like the generic 'but'?

October 18, 2017


It accepted "men" in place of "utan". I did think about using utan here though...

March 7, 2018


This is very unclear to me. Is she drinking beer without coffee??

March 29, 2019


Utan komma betyder meningen att she does not drink beer without coffee. Kommat gör att det blir mellan öl och kaffe, men utan gör så hon bara dricker öl när hon dricker kaffe.

March 30, 2019


what is the difference between utan and men? i take swedish classes at university, and they haven't explained that yet.

January 11, 2016


The utan that means but always occurs together with a negation: inte X utan Y 'not X but Y'
men is the regular but.

January 11, 2016
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