det is not tied to helg here, it is a placeholder pronoun much like it in it is raining.
The reason we say helg and not helgen is that helg is used in a general sense. So while you'd say Tomorrow is the weekend in English, we say I morgon är det helg in Swedish. helg is something general, a state of affairs, we are not thinking of it as some definite, previously known thing.
I'm still confused. So we use helg in the general meaning of the word ... Like "my vacation is in that weekend" or "I love to sleep more in the weekend" - specific and general ... in one you use Helg and another Helgen ? Two questions ago it said helgen, I can't remember the exercise, but can you help me understand ?
So, it seems that although we native speakers of English, can refer to a specific part of ANY week as "the weekend," even if it is not a particular, definite weekend (ex. the weekend I have been waiting for), in Swedish you would use the definite form only for the latter. In English, we can similarly refer to a specific part of ANY year as "the spring" or "the (Christmas) holidays." Is Swedish usage for these similar to that for weekend? Though 'exceptions' must often be memorized, sometimes they fall into patterns themselves that make the task somewhat easier.
våren can be any spring in Swedish, as long as both the speaker and the listener knows which one is referred to, but the difference between Swedish and English when it comes to seasons is that we use the definite in expressions like Vintern är här 'Winter is here' because we consider it to be known what winter we're talking about.
It's it is the weekend that is an outlier in English – you don't say it's the evening, it's the Wednesday today, it's the summer now etc. In another forum, which I can't find now, someone recently suggested that this is because weekend is historically a contraction of 'the end of the week', which makes a lot of sense to me.
Tack så mycket för exemplen och anmärkningar, Arnauti. I didn't see a reply link after your response, so I have replied to my own original posting.
Here are a couple of further thoughts on why the definite article is used with (Eng.) weekend and not with Swedish helg. For me, weekend is not an outlier, but is used with THE exactly like its counterpart, the workweek (working week UK?). I think the reference to etymology is on track, though we can also take a basically synchronic view, that many expressions that use THE (including some proper names, nouns that typically don't need THE) achieve their specificity (and need for THE) through some type of modificational delimitation, whether by means of preposed attribution, a trailing OF phrase, or through noun compounding. The Suez Canal, The Tower of London, the workweek / weekend.
Helg, without the definite article, seems to me to behave more like the words vacation (US), time off, holiday (partic. UK). Unless used to mean a specific holiday, etc., these English words have a more nebulous time frame. They seem more abstract, and abstract nouns in English don't use THE without further modification. Looking at a couple of online etymological dictionaries, one at Project Runeberg, led me to understand that helg, like Eng. holiday, is historically derived from helig dag (holy day) > helgdag > helg. Although etymologically containing a modifier (which in English at least seems lost to contemporary speakers), holy days were numerous, and therefore not specific in the singular. So in Swedish, does helg behave like rast, and lov, as I suspect? What about veckoslut? Does it behave like THE weekend or helg?
With regard to seasons or times of day (as distinct from names of days of the week, which are treated like proper names), you are quite right that THE is more often not used in many such expressions. However, the use of THE is optional there (NOT precluded), and in some expressions obligatory: What do you do in the morning (NOT in morning)? For seasons after IN, I would opt to use THE, though I would not flinch at hearing "in summer." This may be (partly) a US/UK thing, like at (the) table, in (the) hospital, where US usage must have THE.
Finally, as I tried to say originally, THE, though pointing to something specific conceptually (as understood by speaker & listener), can be used not only to indicate specific objects or instances of something, or to indicate a whole group or set (the Smiths, The Bahamas), but also what I regard as a typical or representational example of the whole set or class (and not simply a reference to a particular member of the set): The heart pumps blood. The wolf is an animal. What do you do on the weekend?
I'm sure it will become more clear later. It just means "it" here though. "tomorrow is it the weekend" is the literal translation. In English, we would reorganize the words to "it is the weekend tomorrow", but all the words are the same. "is" only comes first because the verb goes in the second position in Swedish.
However, as a native English speaker, I would never say 'tomorrow is the weekend' because the weekend is comprised of 2 days. I would say 'The weekend starts tomorrow.' I might say 'It's the weekend tomorrow' semantically might be the same thing as 'tomorrow is the weekend' but I'd just never say it and I don't think I've ever heard it. Is this how people say it in Sweden (tomorrow is the weekend)?
By logical extension, are we to understand that you would also reject sentences such as 'Tomorrow (it) is May,' or 'Tomorrow (it) is the new year'? Or perhaps you would accept them with 'it,' but not without? Perhaps the form without 'it' could be regarded as a kind of truncation of the form containing it? I can assure you that many native speakers, including myself, do say such things. I understand your literalist unwillingness to equate a period of one day with a longer period, but even though I am also both a native speaker and someone who tends to analyze the hell out of things, I don't necessarily expect that every English utterance, taken alone, will correspond to the strict dictates of logic. Real world utterances aren't always logically complete. Who in the course of ordinary events would say 'Tomorrow falls within the period of time we call a weekend'?
AB, I think you give me more credit for being logical than I deserve, lol :). If I'm going to correspond to strict dictates, they're more likely to be of chocolate than logic. "Tomorrow it is the weekend" sounds funny in my ears. I wondered if this is something native Swedish speakers say, and it sounds like they do, per your comment. Tack!
The chocolate sounds good to me too. We are often surprised that not everyone says things the way we do. I know I was, when I went to Japan to teach English many years ago and discovered that expressions I thought were wrong, happened to be British usage. But it can be on a much finer scale than that. Tack för svaret.
Thanks for the answer. Here is an example for the double r spelling: http://www.ordkollen.se/stavning/imorgon-eller-imorron/
It's pretty ok – the e sound is so weak you shouldn't be able to be quite sure what vowel it is :)
In real life we usually pronounce it even blurrier, so that you wouldn't hear the d in det – it sounds as if it were written imorron ere helj or imorron äre helj for most speakers.
Sure, I get it. I posted that maybe just as a hint for system development. I noticed that misspelled double letters (in many other english words) are very common type of typo, so maybe it could be nice if the system could ignore misspelled double letters in ENGLISH translations (not the studied language where it is good to teach correct word).
I agree it would be nice. From a programming perspective, it's best to keep the underlying logic simple unless it's a clear improvement. The code can get messy pretty quick.
Also, the more typos it allows, the greater chance you misspell a word that is the wrong answer and your misspelling is "close enough" to the correct word.
It is correct that helg also can mean holiday. When used as holiday we normally add some information and say julhelg (Christmas), påskhelg (Easter) to make clear which holiday we are talking about. If the holiday is only one day long we can say helgdag (holiday-day). But when helg appears on its own it is almost always refering to Saturday+Sunday.
You're not saying that a specific thing is "weekend". We're just talking about the current situation. You would also say "det är måndag" if you want to say that it's currently Monday. Or "det regnar" or "det är mörkt ute" or "det är sommar" etc. If you're talking about "en fest" and you want to say that it's occurring this weekend, you would say "den är i helgen".
Nope, it's perfectly fine. I morgon is also just one day. The sentence means that tomorrow is not a day which is part of the working week. It doesn't suggest that the whole weekend is covered by that one day.
(Also, "weekend" is a societal construct, not an absolute thing: it used to be 1.5 days when Saturday was still commonly half a working day. Even now, it's not Saturday and Sunday all over the world, but for example Friday and Saturday in some places.)