"They are our cooks' knives."

Translation:Det är våra kockars knivar.

December 31, 2014

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Kyrkosch

Why "det är" and not "de är"?

December 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Det is a formal subject not actually referring to the knives. Compare it to French il y a, which stays il regardless of gender or number.

March 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/fmendezgnu

Why is not referring to the knives, i cant read any other significate of the frase

May 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Det in Swedish here refers to 'the thing I'm about to talk about', which is why it doesn't change with gender and number.

May 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nightskymama

Sooo complicated. My poor brain. Haha

June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jdeitzler

I answered with 'De' and even though I got it right, it suggested I should've use 'Det' instead. Doesn't 'de' translate to 'they' when the subject is plural?

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

de is definitely not allowed, so it shouldn't have been marked correct.

Swedish has a very, very strong tendency to default to the neuter det är when beginning a sentence. The tendency is so strong that most natives will use it even when the subject is already grammatically known.

December 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SheilaMorris

I used 'De' and got it wrong....

July 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt630291

I also gut wrong with "de"

December 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/dszymcza

Okay, but then the english sentence is not correct. "They" clearly refers to the knives, or? This or That might convey the idea better (or "these" maybe?)

January 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

It is correct, since it is the idiomatic translation. English uses these/those/this/that with regards to number, while Swedish (and German, for example) does not necessitate that.

January 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LelandSun

Well, Zmrzlina, you are talking about demonstrative pronouns, but dszymcza is pointing out that the given sentence in English does not use a demonstrative but an ordinary (personal) pronoun. In English, we are referring to items that are already under discussion. Doesn't Swedish make such a distinction as well? John210530 and Martin18022 have also raised this issue, but so far have not received any further clarification.

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Snommelp

Takk for forklaring, jeg var også nysgjerrig.

I suppose it's really just an extension of the logic for why one would say "det är min hund," for example. You could say "den," but it doesn't seem that anyone ever does.

September 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

If you use "den", it sounds odd. Unless you're referring to some en-noun that's already introduced, Swedish defaults to "det".

September 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/UshQMPcx

I don't think the same thing ! It is wrote "they are" and not "there are". In French : "they are" means "ils sont" and "there are" means "il y a". So I have write "de är" too. But you're right, in this example, "they are" is used like "there are" but the correct translation in french will be "ce sont" and not "il y a" :)

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom98033

The explanation that 'det' is a formal subject not referring to the knives themselves seems a bit contrived. And really begs the question...why would a formal subject be used? Sometimes a formal subject makes sense such as in the phrase "it is raining" or "det regnar" where a 'real' subject seems to be lacking... clearly not the case here. Just an arbitrary Swedish oddity I suppose.

December 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Richard160051

To my understanding, "de" means "they" as in people. In this case the subject is "knives" which are inanimate objects". The confusion for English speakers is we use "they" for both forms of "multiples" and have learned "de" to mean "they" thus far. Natural speaks, correct me if I am wrong.

March 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

No, I'm afraid that's not true. We use de for plurals regardless. The thing here is that det är serves to introduce subjects no matter what number or grammatical gender.

March 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cameron307284

I still don't understand why it is det not de

August 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Riverendell

From what I understand, "Det är" technically means neither "It is" or "They are" in English, but acts as a pointer to the actual subject, in this case "knivar". I guess kind of how "those" and "they are" aren't really the same thing, maybe "those" would've been more appropriate in the English sentence. If the sentence was changed to "They are sharp", then "De" would be used, as it's the subject in this case. De is not a plural form of det. (more knowledgeable Swedish pals please correct me)

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jwbards

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but here goes anyway.

If I happen to come across some sharp things - knives, thorns, whatever - I would say "Det är vassa!". If I'm in my kitchen, putting away the cooks' knives, talking to ... someone ... I might say "Det är våra kockars knivar. De är vassa."

Stämmer det?

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/InzanityNo

Det är means " it is", not "they are"

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/paparazzo90

"Det" doesn't even appear as an option... Why is "det" the only correct one?

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

I think it's already been explained in this thread, but I've tried to improve the hint for this specific sentence. All hints appear everywhere so it can be a bit tricky to get them right without creating confusion in other places.

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DiedertKop

Still don't really get it. Since English and Swedish are not my native language, I don't understand what all the grammatical terms. But, I learned here on Duolinge that "Det är" means "It is" and not "They are". Could someone explain why this differs between to two?

February 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/John210530

Surely 'De' is still a correct solution. If it were: 'Whose are the knives? They are the cook's knives.', then 'det' would be correct, but if it were 'What are those long pointy things? They are the cook's knives.', then it would be 'de'.

November 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NatalieBoa3

This det/de thing is confusing. I still don't see the logic of it being det.

February 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Martin18022

I get why it needs to be "det" instead of "de", but I do think the English sentence is a bit misleading. I'm not a native English speaker, but I think the sentence sounds like it follows another sentence which "they" refers back to (in which case, if I'm not mistaken, Swedish could also use "de"). "These are" would probably be clearer and sounds more like a sentence you'd say out of the blue.

March 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Minerva418

Why "våra" instead of just "vår"?

April 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Because the cooks are plural. vår kocks knivar = the knives of our cook. våra kockars knivar = the knives of our cooks.

April 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Minerva418

Oh,okay XD Tack :P

May 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/paparazzo90

Why is it "kockars" and not "kockens"?

July 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Kockars = cooks' (plural, indefinite, possessive)

Kockens = the cooks (singular, definite, possessive)

July 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/paparazzo90

Thanks !

July 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/paparazzo90

kockars, kockens, which one is correct?

July 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jwbards

See above.

Kockars = cooks' (plural, indefinite, possessive)

Kockens = the cook's (singular, definite, possessive)

July 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hardrockhamster

why is cockars here pronounced as cockarSH?

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Martin18022

I believe the letter combination "rs" is always pronounced "rsh".

May 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Re.wine.d

I'm just taking a stab in the dark, no pun intended. I think the reason they use 'det' and not 'de' is because they are referring to objects and not human beings.

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/YoungGrasshopper

I can't quite figure out why it's "Det är" and inte "Det finns", I put finns and got it wrong - might just be having a silly minute but an explanation would be awesome! Thanks in advance :)

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SheilaMorris

"Det finns" would be "There are our cook's knives", not "They are...."

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/YoungGrasshopper

Of course! Thank you!

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaherBittar

Which sentence is correct: They're our cook's knives? Or It's our cook's knives?

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

The former is grammatically correct, but not a translation: you need cooks' (plural) rather than cook's (singular).

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KasparJohannes

I have absolutely no problem with the Swedish translation. However, the English sentence seems to be a bit weird as a stand-alone sentence with no context; in this case, I would expect "Those" instead of "They".

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

We do accept "those" as well, but Duolingo uses the default translation to construct the reverse "translate into Swedish exercise". Hence, with "those" being e.g. de där, if we use "those" for the default, you'll never get asked to translate into the very idiomatic det är. It's a very annoying dilemma that has consequences all over the course.

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Chrissplashh248

Can someone provide a different example using "det är" in this context as opposed "de" im confused about this rule.

April 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

Well, you know how English can sometimes say "it is" at the start of a sentence even though you're not talking about an "it"? For instance: "Congratulations! It's a girl!"

Swedish does this extremely much. We would pretty much only say de är if the subject was already explicit, for instance from the previous sentence - and sometimes not then, either.

April 16, 2019
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