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  5. "One should not steal."

"One should not steal."

Translation:Man ska inte stjäla.

January 1, 2015



What is the difference in tone or meaning between, borde and ska? Also is bör acceptable here? Wiktionary says that borde is more polite and less strong than bör and is more of a suggestion that the subject is free to ignore. Also that ska contains the meaning of forbidding something. Does this sound right?

If I've understood correctly, the following usage would be appropriate.

  • Man borde inte stjäla, men jag ska ändå.
  • Nej, du ska inte själa! Man bör inte stjäla.

Where the first ska is used in the sense will/shall.

Is this right?


In the sentence Man borde inte stjäla, men jag ska ändå., you need to insert something, I'd say: Man borde inte stjäla, men jag ska göra det ändå. Other than that, it works.

Wiktionary is right about borde. It's often like ought to.

ska usually carries the notion of somebody wanting something to happen or not. In the ten commandments, the Christian god tells people Du ska inte … as literal commands.
But ska can also refer to somebody else's intentions. Hon ska åka till Kina can mean that she told you about her intention to go to China. In sentences like that, that would be the most likely interpretation.
To confuse things, there is also a 'predictive' use of ska, meaning 'it's supposed to', 'I've been told that': Det ska tydligen regna i morgon 'Apparently it's going to rain tomorrow'.
There's much more to say about this subject, this is just a start.

  • 1555

Is there a way to tell when "ska" means "should" and when it is being used to indicate future tense?


Why translating it to ´Man will not steal´ is not accepted?


The Swedish man doesn't mean man as in (male) person here, but rather the general person that English calls "one" or "you".

Edit: Although that said, this is a "translate into Swedish" exercise and your sentence is in English. :)


I meant more why it is not accepted 'One will not steal' but only 'One should not steal' Also on this occasion: how different (if correct) is 'Man borde inte stjäla'


"One will not steal" would be Man kommer inte att stjäla.

The standard phrase is Man ska inte stjäla, but obviously going from "should" we do accept borde as well. They differ quite a lot, actually, as in the following exaggerations:

  • Man ska inte stjäla = One is not supposed to steal
  • Man borde inte stjäla = It is a bad idea for one to steal


Why isn't: "Du skall inte stjäla" allowed, if "Man" is allowed as a synonym for "one" here then "du" should be as well, they're both equally right/wrong.


"one" can be "you" in the sense of the general you, but Swedish doesn't really use du like that, so it doesn't work the other way.


I'm pretty sure it does since I'm native. If you go to church and the priest tells you in his recitation of the 10 commandments: "Du skall inte stjäla." he isn't really referring to you in the sense of only you but the general you.


I'm a native speaker as well. Those aren't really a general you - Swedish doesn't use du in the same way English does here.


Right, well I guess I have been misinterpreting those "du'" for years then, that's always how I understood it. You live you learn.


It's admittedly a bit of a grey area but we have to draw the line somewhere and that's the general recommendation. Please don't think I'm trying to teach you your native language - I'm just answering as it relates to learners taking the course. :)

[deactivated user]

    Would "får" be completely wrong here?


    får means "may", so I guess it depends on your interpretation of the phrase. But strictly speaking, it's incorrect, and I think accepting it would teach a meaning of får that it normally doesn't have.

    [deactivated user]

      Great... looks like I have made completely wrong assumptions towards "få". I thought it was like German "dürfen". Thank you


      Well, it is like dürfen in the sense of permission. But dürfen translates to "may". The word "should" means sollen.

      [deactivated user]

        Maybe I have a problem with the English sentence... "Jag ville komma, men jag fick inte." "Får jag gå på toa?" Is this a correct usage of "få"?


        Yes, those are perfect. :)


        få has so many and varied English variations! i continue to be confused. I have seen a number of få (verb) in which the få part is not translated.

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