"After his wife had died, he never got happy again."

Translation:Efter att hans fru hade dött blev han aldrig glad igen.

January 4, 2015

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Why is the att necessary here?


'Efter att' marks the beginning of a subordinate clause, but I think it is safest just to learn it as a 'temporal' expression. -- Because if we compare it with "Before his wife died" = "Innan hans fru dog", we see that this expression takes no "att", here it would be wrong. Anyone with a good explanation?


I looked in Wiktionary and find that "efter" in Swedish can be Proposition while we know that "after" can be a Conjunction as well. Therefore when connecting a clause to the main clause, we don't need another conjunction in English but we need one in Swedish.

<h1>personal insight. feel free to correct me if anyone thinks differently</h1>


He never got happy sounds a little strange to me. Maybe something like He never became happy would be better here.


Not just maybe. For me, "get happy" isn't just clumsy English, it isn't English at all. Not to mention "after his wife had died"... A native speaker would say something like, "After his wife died he never found happiness again", or "Following his wife's death he was never happy again." The whole sentence should be junked.


I actually think this sentence has been deleted already, since I can't load it in the admin interface. However, Duolingo has a bug where supposedly deleted sentences will still show - we call them ghost or zombie sentences. Very annoying. This would be why we tend not to delete even the bad sentences, since a crappy one with proper explanations is at least better than a crappy one without proper explanations.


The Partridge Family would disagree.


I have always had serious problems with sin and hans, and no matter how many times it is explained, it is a stumbling block for me! In this instance, could someone explain why it is hans and not sin? Thanks!


It’s sin when it refers back to a person that has been mentioned earlier in the clause. The first thing introduced here is ’his wife’. We don’t know who ’he’ is. The word ’he’ isn’t even mentioned in that clause (i.e. the part before the comma). Therefore it can’t be sin. You could however say:

  • Efter att han förlorade sin fru[…] (After he lost his wife)

Because here the sin refers back to han.


And finally, the penny drops! Well done for being the first person to ever explain it in a way I understood!


I am embarrassed at how simple it sounds now I understand it!


Because of this, it can be useful to learn what is a main clause and what is a subordinate clause. The word att usually introduces a new clause, neutralising the sin-connection:

  • Han tycker om sin fru. (He likes his (own) wife)
  • Han tycker [att] hans fru är vacker. (He thinks [that] his wife is beautiful.)


Now when I think about it, it is identical in my native language (jego - swoja)


However, notice the following:
Utan sin fru blev han ledsen.

It is correct to use sin here, even though it appears before the word that it refers to, because here both are in the same clause.


So just to check, han tycker att sin fru är vacker is wrong? Because han tycker is its own clause, so hans should be used instead?


rami59, yes, your test sentence is wrong. han tycker is in one clause, and att X fru is in a different clause, so X must be hans and not sin.


Thank you, that is very useful - you have explained it so well!


If we switch clauses, can we use sin in that case?

Han blev aldrig glad igen efter att sin fru hade dött.


No, it should still be hans.

However you can use both hans/hennes and sin in the same sentence if one is reffering to subject and the other to another person.

Han tvättade sin bil = he washed his car (the car that belongs to him, the subject).

Han tvättade hans bil = he washed his car ("his" referring to another person than the subject as the owner of the car).

And so, it would be grammaticaly possible to say "han tvättade både sin bil och hans bil".


I wrote "efter hans fru hade dött, han blev aldrig glad igen". Why is wrong?


Swedish needs "att" together with "efter" when initiating a phrase telling us 'what happened after...', and also, when we initiate with this temporal phrase, the following main clause has to change the order between the subject and predicate verb, so we say "Efter ATT hans fru hade dött, BLEV han ..." etc


Shouldn't "Efter hans hustru hade dött, blev han aldrig glad igen." be right, too? Don't Swedes use the word hustru for wife? Or is it only used in situations when talking about "my wife". Since that's what the dictionary suggests at first choice when translating from English to Swedish.


It's OK, although it sounds a bit old fashioned (added it). Personally I'd never skip att in this sentence, just like friswing says. It is in fact accepted without att at the moment, but I think that is an error.


This is one of those sentences where the differences between Swedish and English structure is enough to catch me out - glad to say I got it right first try this time :D


Är så blev han fel?


No, that also works.


Can you use lycklig in place of glad?


Yes, this is a good example of where it works.


The amount of timed I had to repeat this to get it right...


Can we put a 'så' in the sentence? "Efter att hans fru hade dött så blev han aldrig glad igen".

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