Translation:Why are the things lying on the floor?
I feel like that's general. I use them interchangeably and get these questions wrong all the time.
I'm in agreement with Eronth, I use them interchangeably too and constantly get these questions wrong
"Why are there things on the floor?" wasn't accepted. What's wrong with this sentence?
That would be or Varför ligger (or finns) det saker på golvet? In this sentence, we're talking about some previously not known items, but the sentence with sakerna is talking about some specific saker which are previously known to the speaker and listener. One sentence is about the floor, the other about the things, so to speak.
Ha ! That's why the parquet we bought at ikea's was called "golv", it helps :D
Since the verb is 'ligger' why can the sentence not be translated as 'Why are the things located on the floor?'
- thing = sak
- item = föremål
- object = objekt
There's some overlap, but not enough to change the acceptable translations here. :)
We're talking about some specific items that are previously known to both speaker and listener, and the question is why these items are on the floor.
I agree with cheezwizard93 on this one, though there is nothing wrong with the suggested construction other than it doesn´t feel natural. Just ask my husband or millions of children lol). I do appreciate understanding the Swedish perspective, though, so thanks for for that.
If both you and I know what the things are, the most natural would be ´Why are those things on the floor?´or ´Why are there things on the floor?´Third choice for frequency or naturalness in English would be the construction with ´the things´.
It isn't a special Swedish perspective, but you're probably right that other sentences would be more common in real life. It's just that Duo's idea is to teach grammar patterns rather than "useful sentences".
Your sentences would be Varför ligger de där sakerna på golvet? and Varför ligger det saker på golvet?, respectively.
The distinction between ´grammar patterns´ and ´useful sentences´ is a very, very helpful insight. Not only is it what I need help with, it has made me less likely to focus on any slight English niggles and just get on with the Swedish. Big thanks for that.