"The description of the image is on the wall."

Translation:Beskrivningen av bilden sitter på väggen.

January 11, 2015

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I wrote 'bilds beskrivningen ligger på väggen' and I'm unsure why it is wrong..


You could say bildens beskrivning (you missed the definite article) but in this case it sounds more idiomatic with beskrivningen av bilden, otherwise you make the image into the subject and the main topic, when it’s really the description that we’re talking about.

However, all these three are accepted for this sentence: bildens beskrivning, beskrivningen av bilden and bildbeskrivningen.

When we’re talking about attachments, like a picture on a wall, or a stamp on an envelope, we use sitter. You cannot ligga (’lie’) on a wall, since a wall is 180° you’d have to use sitter if it’s attached or hänger if it’s hanging. They are all accepted for this sentence.


I think it's more like 90° :D Anyway, useful advice as always, thanks!


I thought that everything that is on a wall would "HÄNGA på väggen" :-( I thought that "sitter" was only for things or people that are on HORIZONTAL things. This sentence is difficult!


hänger works too and it's also an accepted answer.
sitter is used for things that are 'stuck' onto something. Like, whenever you glue something onto something, it's usually reasonable to use sitter about it afterwards. It also often works for things that are nailed onto something, or fastened by pins or similar. If you put a note on a note board, sitter is the most idiomatic verb to use about it, for instance.


Would "står" also work fine here? I sort of remember I found many times that verb in connection with writings on walls or other vertical supports.


It would work fine, but it would mean that the description is written on the wall – text 'stands' in Swedish. (so it wouldn't translate the English sentence we have here, but it would be a perfectly good sentence anyway)


I think I miss something. It seems to me that if a description "is" somewhere, then it is of course written there, whether this is explicitly stated in a sentence or not. But since I know that your explanations are always very accurate, I am inclined to think that, as I said, there's something I'm missing.


I thought of it as the difference between being written directly on the wall vs. as it probably is, written on a sign/piece of cardboard/whatever which is hanging on the wall. Possibly I'm a bit picky, but the Swedish sentence with beskrivningen av bilden står på väggen could raise an eyebrow in this context, it doesn't strike me as totally natural.


All right, it's clearer now, thanks.


Does this sentence mean that the words are written on the wall or on something that is on top of the wall? The use of sitter suggests that it is sitting on the wall, which would suggest the latter...


Definitely the former. I'm thinking maybe a plaque next to a painting.


Men ett eluttag sitter "i" väggen, inte på väggen, har jag det rätt? Jag upplever prepositioner som den svåraste saken just nu.


Prepositions are hard and irregular indeed. A power outlet is either "i" or "på" väggen.


I wrote 'Den bilds bescrivningen är på väggen'. Could someone explain further why I can't do this?



I think it is because Swedish prefers more precise verbs when we know exactly where the object we're talking about is. As Lundgren8 discusses above, 'sitter' or 'hänger' are used instead.


As a general rule: The definitive article is always in the end of the words, even then you use 'den'. Moreover, the prefix 'den' is only used when you want to point out the right thing. You can compare it with the English words 'this' and 'that', words you often use then you are also physical pointing at something.

Therfore, you have to say either 'bilden' (the image), 'den här bilden' (this image) or 'den där bilden' (that image). In the two last cases, you can also replace där/här with an adjective, e.g. 'den fina bilden' (the nice picture).

However, in this case, you are talking about the description, not the image. Therefore, it makes no sense at all to use 'den' about 'bilden'. (In pedagogical words, you are not "pointing" at the image, but the description)

PS: It is not wrong to use the verb 'är' here. Yet, it sounds better to use a more precise word like 'sitter' or 'hänger'.


Actually "Den bildens beskrivning" would not be wrong. It means "The description of that picture". However, "Den bilds bescrivningen" is wrong for two reasons (three, if we include the misspelt "c" for "k"). First, "den" requires the definite form (except when followed by a relative clause, but let's just skip that case). Second, the genitive is always followed by the indefinite form.

[deactivated user]

    Still don't get why my "Bildens beskrivningEN är på väggen" is wrong. Certainly it must be some rule behind it, why "bildens beskrivning" is ok and "bildens beskrivningen" is not.


    We never use the determinate form after the genitive, it's just a rule. They don't in English either, they wouldn't say the picture's the description.


    Can ".. finns på väggen" be used instead of ".. sitter på väggen"?


    Yes, it's less idiomatic but usable.


    bild = picture, avbildning = image?


    Why is this wrong? "Bildens beskrivning står på väggen"?


    Did you read the other comments?

    You could say bildens beskrivning but in this case it sounds more idiomatic with beskrivningen av bilden, otherwise you make the image into the subject and the main topic, when it’s really the description that we’re talking about.

    [står] would mean that the description is written on the wall – text 'stands' in Swedish.

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