"Brukar du skriva brev?"

Translation:Do you usually write letters?

January 3, 2015

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[deactivated user]

    Could someone explain the structure of this sentence, and why it wouldn't be something like, "Skriver bruker du brev?"?


    If I understand well, you don't use "att" when there's a modal verb?


    Unlike English, in Spanish we have a perfect equivalent for "bruka", in case there's any Spanish-speaking person out there, I just realized "soler" means exactly the same as "bruka". ¡¡¡Vamos Argentina!!!! :)


    Same for Portuguese. The corresponding verb is "Costumar". e.g. "Você costuma escrever cartas?"


    Att ge exempel i spanska hjälp min svenska. Amé Buenos Aires.


    Is there really no word for "brukar" in English? In German I would say: "Pflegst du Briefe zu schreiben?" Maybe a little bit old-fashioned, but appropriate.


    We do have a verb for this, and it's pretty common: tend. I don't know why Duo doesn't accept it! I tend to write letters is a perfectly good and ordinary English sentence, and as far as I can make out it has the same meaning as jag brukar skriva brev - unless there's some subtlety to brukar that I'm missing.


    Are "tend to" and "usually" equal for you? Cause for me, usually is stronger than "tend to". and "Brukar" is closer to "usually".


    I've been trying to argue the difference between tend to - tendera, and usually do - bruka, but native English speakers tend to / usually have none of it. :)


    For me, \tendera and \brukar is definitely different in meaning


    I think also "to be wont/used to" translates "bruka", but they don't seem to agree with me.


    'to be wont to' is a close translation, but is archaic. 'to be used to' means something different.


    Yes we have...If you translate....Brukar...to a two word verb (usually do) it goes right


    You can read " man brukar" as "one has the habit of", as far as I understood.


    They have one, it's just that they don't use it in the present tense. But used to means brukade in past tense.


    Thank you! Long ago a teacher told me, that English is the language with the most words. But Swedish seem to bee the language with the most verbs. Fascinating.


    I know what they mean when they say English has a lot of words, but it depends on how you count. If you start counting all our compound nouns, Swedish could have a lot more words than English. :P


    I'm not sure where exactly we learned what a model verb is. It is hard when they don't even teach us sentence building in English class to grasp the terms here! I know my French sentence building, however. I don't get it. Brukar is this modal verb, but it is skriva you are changing, so does the list of "does not need att" mean that the verb itself (on the list) requires no att, or that words use with the words on the list require no att? I'm not sure I explained my question right. I'm having trouble asking it.


    We usually send people off to this topic, did you read it? https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7075383

    This is Infinitive 1 and the modal verbs aren't taught until a little later, which isn't optimal of course. So unless you're backtracking, you won't be able to access this yet: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sv/Verbs:-Modal

    There it says that

    Modality is what allows us to attach things such as belief, attitude, and obligation to statements. This means that words such as must, may, want, are all modal verbs.

    Then it goes on to compare things like I eat and I want to eat. If you're saying I eat, that's just a fact, but I want to eat is an attitude already, so that's what modal verbs are. – After verbs like this, you can't have att before another verb in the infinitive. So we say Jag måste läsa, but if you add att in between there, it'll just be wrong.

    But then there are many cases where both ways are possible. In point 3 in the post by Zzzzz... , you can add att if you want to.


    The post you linked didn't help clear up what I was wondering about: is the list of no-att words the words which when in use with another word then that other word doesn't need an att?


    Another way of putting it: An infinitive usually go together with 'att' (att gå, att åka, att äta). But if the infinitive is preceeded by a modal verb the 'att' is dropped: Jag måste gå, Jag ska åka, Jag vill äta (no 'att' is dividing the two verbs). Hope this helped you?!


    The comments below suggest that "Brukar du + infinitive?" should not be rendered as "Are you used to + infinitive?" So how about: "Is it usual for you to write letters?" Could this be an acceptable translation? I know my sentence starts looking passive, but I do like the idea that "brukar" could be translated as a verb phrase rather than as an adverb...


    Use tend! Do you tend to write letters? Duo doesn't seem to know this English verb, for some reason.


    I'm afraid working around the translation to make "brukar" a verb in English too will not work, as it will most likely yield a sentence that is a little too bulky.


    See above- 'tend to' is a pretty good translation of brukar


    "tend to" is tendera in Swedish, and they differ enough that they cannot be considered synonymous.


    I object and don't see why 'use to' is not a perfectly simple way of translating brukar without using the bulky form usually .. I use to be dead wrong about English sometimes, but this I verified ;-)


    English only uses that in the past: "I used to" but not "I use to". I don't know where you verified it, but it's not correct.


    Got it wrong again :-/ .. I'm 'used to' bringing up the most medieval suggestions in both English and Swedish I guess :-))

    • 30

    Can you say "Brukar du att skriva brev?"


    No. In these sentences you use the infinitive without "att" (to). That is: "Brukar du skriva brev?" is the only way.

    • 30

    OK. Tack. I have seen some examples in the course where (att) was optional. Also It is interesting to me that Danish requires use of (at) in many situations where Swedish seems not to need (att). This is one of these.


    Yes, it is tricky with all 'false friends' between Danish and Swedish.


    In Swedish, and I would think also in Danish, the "att"-marker should disappear before the main verb if it is preceded by a modal verb.

    "Jag vill skriva"

    It also vanishes if the verb is connected to the object.

    "Jag ser honom komma"

    Then we have a great deal of verbs with modality where it is accepted to drop the "att" but not compulsory.

    "Jag har slutat röka" - "Jag har slutat att röka"

    Danish comments please?

    • 30

    Yes the "at" is sometimes dropped in Danish too. I have translated your examples and you can see that the first works the same in Danish and Swedish but not the others.

    "Jeg vil skrive" (never "at" with vil)

    "Jeg ser at han kommer" sounds best to me "Jeg ser ham komme" I think is also OK

    "Jeg holdt op med at ryge" ("at" required I believe)

    I am not a native speaker, and don't know any rules to refer to here. I'm just writing based on what I have heard and what sounds correct, backed up with confirmatory google searching to see these are used often and not the alternatives.


    Yes, it seems like we have the same or very similar rules. The last sentence would be the same as in Danish, with the "at" if I would have chosen another verb like "slutar upp med att röka".

    PS. Danish and Swedish were (and still are say some) the same language before the Danish hatred of our king Gustav Vasa grew to big :)


    In Spanish, this is the same as "soler" quite difficult to explain as brukar


    For those who also happen to speak Spanish, think of the verb "brukar" as similar to the verb "soler". For instance, "Yo suelo comer zanahorias" is pretty close to "Jag brukar äta moroter". Also: "Brukar du skriva brev?" is also quite similar to "¿Sueles escribir cartas?"


    how do I know brew is a letter or letters ?


    "a letter" would be "ett brev". "Letters" would be just "brev". I know there are instances where you can omit the indefinite article if it's clear you're talking about just one of something (e.g. "en prinsessa med lång klänning" = a princees with a long dress, since it's unlikely she has multiple dresses on), but in this case there's enough ambiguity that you'd likely use "ett". Maybe a native speaker can verify this.


    Yes, and in this case, you can't have a habit writing only one letter. A habit is doing it over and over, so it is the plural meaning of 'brev'.

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