America: ihop makes people hungry, Sweden: ihop makes people just really wanna put together bookshelves!
can i say that "tillsammans" is used for people and "ihop" is used for stuff?
Not really, but ”ihop” is usually used as a particle with verbs and less commonly ”tillsammans”. Just like ”tycka om” means ”like”, the entire verb is ”sätta ihop”.
It's definitely a phrasal verb, at least. What actually constitutes a particle verb can be harder to tell, but I'd say that it is one, yes.
Sitta is to sit yourself. Sätta is to sit something else, which sounds dumb in english but since objects can sit in swedish it makes total sense. It's just like ligga/lägga and stå/ställa.
This exists/existed in English too - you sit (yourself) and set something else, but that distinction is in the process of disappearing. It is more persistent with "lie" and "lay" and it's completely obsolete in the standard language for "stand" (which had "stell"). Usually it's easier for us just to "put" things :)
I wouldn't say it is in the process of disappearing, set is still used for objects. However, (although it may be a regional thing) both sit and set can be used for people.. 'set yourself down'.
I don't mean over the course of the next few years, I mean over recent and future centuries. It is not common, at least where I live, to use the word "set" in this context. We would say "put" or "place", whereas in the standard language "lay" and "lie" are still commonly used as a pair, e.g. lay a blanket on the grass vs the blanket is lying on the grass. However, non-standard use of "lay" for the second example is common. You've kind of proved what I was trying to get at with your example though - "sit yourself down" and "set yourself down" are used without distinction, but sit is certainly more common where I am.
I completely disagree that it disappearing, but hey, we maybe from totally different countries.
Technically "bygger ihop" is "build together" and "sätter ihop" is assemble, but to some extend they can be used as synonyms. Sätter ihop is much more common, though.
So does the meaning of "sätta ihop" lean more towards the somewhat technical "to assemble", or the more casual "to put together"?
Can we use the phrase "set up" here? It even sounds a bit like the Swedish sätter ihop.
He "put together the papers" so why can't he "put together the bookcase?"