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 ?
I think it's just that Swedish and English prefer different things in this specific construction. Generally helg is 'weekend' and helgen is 'the weekend'.
There are some other cases where the languages differ about definiteness too, you'll see more examples in the course. But it's probably best just to learn them as exceptions.
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.
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?
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.
So I understand that "det" is epenthetical, but I'm afraid that I still don't understand how to use it. I think I could probably understand this use while reading or listening in the future, but I don't understand when to use it. Does it become apparent further in the course?
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.
"morgon" sounds like the english "moron" to me. Is that the way it is supposed to be pronounced?
The first o should be a little shorter than how I've usually heard it in moron. It's true you shouldn't hear any trace of the g though.
@Arnauti, I am going to give you a lingot! not for this particular comment though. I have seen your helpful clarifications in so many threads.You simply rock! Thanks for all the help!
Veckoslut also means weekend. I think helg is used more frequently in Sweden and veckoslut more frequently in Finland.
But helg also means any kind of public holiday, such as julhelg or påskhelg.
Yes. I am a foreign exchange student in Finland at the moment, and they use veckoslut. Three months in, I have never heard them use helg
Yes, it's our old friend the V2 rule. The verb needs to go in second place (except in questions and subclauses), so when we put an adverb first, the verb needs to go right after that.
My swedish teacher (she is swedish) told me that I can spell "tomorrow" in different ways: i morgon; imorgon; i morron and imorron. But duolingo autocorrected me when I spelled it in one word. Now my question: Is there a more official version how to spell it? Thx.
"I morgon" is the new standard and "imorgon" is the old standard, and both should be accepted in the course. I have never seen the double r spelling, even if that is how "morgon" is normally pronounced.
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.
Seems that would be like telling someone "It is Friday!", but leaving out the word "it". Exclaiming "Is Friday!" doesn't work without the placeholder pronoun.
I wrote "tomorrow it is weekend" and got it correct, but it should have been incorrect.
Why "Tomorrow it is the holiday" wrong? I think helg is also used for holiday. isn't it?
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.