"Vad håller polisen på med?"

Translation:What are the police doing?

December 20, 2014

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[deactivated user]

    Lundgren8, your replies are always so clear and helpful. You're a great addition to the Swedish learning community. Thanks, and keep up the great work.


    Agreed; and there isn't really an opportunity to say this on every reply, but I've been very impressed by and grateful for the help given here by the mods, and by the larger community of native speakers. I really appreciate it.


    I don't understand why this sentence is written like that, shouldn't it be "vad håller polisen på att göra?"


    ”Hålla på” is a vague verb meaning roughly to be occupied with something, and it’s usually created with the preposition med. Often we use this verb to show an extended action, like the English -ing-forms, since we lack the distinction:

    • Jag höll på (med) att baka, när hon kom hem. (I was baking, when she came home.)

    It’s also often used on its own in sentences like these:

    • Vad håller du på med? (What are you up to?)

    ”Hålla på” can therefore mean ”to do” on its own, and you don’t need to complement it with ”göra”. Your sentence is also grammatically correct however.


    What's the difference between "Jag bakade" and "Jag höll på (med) att baka"?


    If it's possible to change it, it would be great if the Tips section for this lesson had something about "hålla på med".


    I am really glad that the swedish course has sentences like this because it's really hard to figure out what an idiom like this means otherwise.


    De lägger advokatens son på fängelset! (Only a few people will understand what I refer to)


    Unless I'm deeply mistaken, you're referring to one of the previous sentences on the Swedish course?


    Yep. Daniele is referring to "Min vän, vars pappa är advokat, sitter i fängelset". But I disagree with Daniele that only a few people will understand. I bet lots of people understand.

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