"Nobody wants to know where you have bought your sweater."

Translation:Ingen vill veta var du har köpt din tröja.

January 10, 2015

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For anyone who wants to know this is a swedish song title:)


Thanks for not posting a link to it :)!


Ingen vill veta var du hört den sången.. ;)


It is a quite cheerful melody for such depressed lyrics. Khm...


The cause or result of den svenska vemoden? ;-)


Det svenska vemodet


I am a little confused about when to use var vs vart

  • var = where
  • vart = where to

English can be ambiguous, with "where" being able to mean "where to" as well - for instance in "where are you going?" But Swedish is strict here.


To express a thought like this in English, I would tend to use the simple past rather than the present perfect: "Nobody wants to know where you bought your sweater".

Buying just one sweater one time is a single event, and the simple past does a better job of conveying that than does the present perfect.

On the other hand, if it were "sweaters" in plural, then there would be a choice of sentences with two different meanings:
1. I know where you bought your sweaters.
2. I know where you have bought your sweaters.

1 refers to a single event at which multiple sweaters were bought. In contrast, 2 is about the purchase of multiple sweaters at different times.

Does Swedish see this differently? Wouldn't the Swedish be more elegant if it used the simple past here for one sweater, and reserved the perfect for multiple sweaters purchased over a period of time?


Either is absolutely fine in Swedish, though I'd tend towards the simple past personally myself. The specific phrase is a reference to a song, though - the existence of which clearly shows that other natives think differently. Or maybe the just wanted something to fit the rhyming scheme - who knows? :)


I now see that the song lyrics (see the YouTube link above) use "köpt" -- no "har", and no -e at the end. Would a Swede interpret that as poetic for "har köpt" or as poetic for "köpte"?


It isn't really poetic either way, but it's common to simply skip the har / hade part of the har / hade [supine] constructions in subclauses, especially colloquially but even in some formal registers.

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Ingen vill veta var du har köpt tröjan? In many sentences the fact that it is "your" is left implicit by using the definite, right?


Yes, but not this one. Here you use "din" to make clear whose sweater it is.

That is in contrast to a sentence like (in English) "I put on my/the sweater", where using the definite article does not invite ambiguity.


I am still confused as to when to use vill and when vill ha??


In English, the complement of "want" can be a noun or a verb infinitive. For example:
1. I want ice cream [noun complement]
2. I want to eat ice cream [infinitive complement]

In Swedish, if the complement of vill is an infinitive, you do NOT use "ha" as well. But if there is no other verb in the complement, then you use "vill ha" instead of just "vill".
3. Jag vill ha glass.
4. Jag vill äta glass.

Corrections welcome!


Thank you very much! I am not a native English speaker and not great in grammar in any language.. But I will just remember the "no other verb, add 'ha', other verb, don't add 'ha'" rule :D

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