"De slår ihjäl honom."

Translation:They are beating him to death.

January 4, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Interesting fact: ihjäl has the same root as "hell". So, he is being beaten "to hell". Good way to remember this word.


I was just wondering about that! Interesting.

[deactivated user]

    By the way, what does "vete" derive from in the word "hellvete"? In modern Swedish 'vete' means 'corn', doesn't it?


    It's "helvete", the "-vete" part of which comes from "veti", the Old Norse word for "punishment", according to Wiktionary. The word literally means "Hel's punishment", Hel being the ruler of the death realm in Norse mythology, Niefelheim. So the word does not originally refer to the Christian hell, though the English word seems to be related, I'd guess because of the Viking attacks on England.

    The word "vete" is, once again according to Wiktionary, derived from the Old Norse hveiti, which comes from the Proto-Germanic word for "white", so I'm pretty sure there's no relation. Also, "vete" means "wheat", not "corn". "Corn" is "majs".

    [deactivated user]

      Tack så mycket! I really appreciate your explanation. Just a little detail regarding "corn". This word also means "wheat" in England. For example, in Shakespeare's King Lear Act IV, scene IV: "Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow / In our sustaining corn. A century send forth".


      Does the word ihjäl combine with other verbs depending on the action? For example, if they were kicking him, as opposed to beating, would it be de sparkar ihjäl honom?


      Yes, it works like that. Another example could be Han åt ihjäl sig 'He ate himself to death'.


      Spaceballs reference? :D


      File under "phrases I hope never to use as a tourist"...


      Is the word order important here (could it be "De slår honom ihjäl"?)


      The word order is important. The word ihjäl goes after the verb it belongs to, although an adverb could fit in between the two or after ihjäl.


      do you mean the object, honom?


      No, he means that you can't fit a noun or a pronoun inbetween the verb slå and ihjäl, since slå ihjäl is a phrasal verb.


      I think if you were getting beaten to death you wouldn't care too much about correct grammar!


      "They were killing me with their bad grammar!"


      I hate it when bad things happen to good sentences.


      Best answer of the day by far. Have here 5 lingots, you made my day, hahahahaha


      Um - this is Swedish politics?


      Maybe it's from Gutalagen. :)


      So your laws have changed over the past 500 years? Now there's a civilised society!


      Is 'they are killing him' an inappropriate translation? The dictionary says 'slå ihjäl' more generally means 'döda genom att använda våld', and I am sure I've seen it used in various contexts, not necessarily involving beating.


      Yes, that should be accepted.


      I have also seen the phrase "till döds" used for "to death". Are these interchangeable?


      It does mean that, but they're not interchangeable – till döds would sound like really bad Swedish here, slå ihjäl is the set combination with slå.

      till döds is used a lot with abstract nouns, like Kärlek till döds 'love to the death'. It can also be used with verbs, especially when death would not be a necessary consequence of that verb, for instance blev misshandlad till döds 'was beaten to death' (can't think of a better verb for misshandla atm)

      ihjäl is a particle that only works together with verbs. If you use it in perifrastic passive forms, it should go at the start of the verb: blev ihjälslagen.


      Did the voice bot change?


      Some users get a new voice so that HQ can decide whether it's worth switching.

      Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.