"Brödet är bakat i går."

Translation:The bread was baked yesterday.

January 11, 2015

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Why is it "är bakat" and not "var bakat" ?


It is presumed to still exist if you use är.


The 'is' translation should not be accepted, this is completely ungrammatical in English.

  • I realise that it is fine to allow literal translation even if it's not the way people actually speak (and I generally prefer writing a literal translation here actually, because I've been burnt enough with correct or good translations on Duo). But the idiomatic conventions of use are one thing, and basic grammatical rules are a completely different thing and should be treated differently (i.e. more conservatively).


But what about the other exercises here? "Kakan är bakad av min man" is translated with "the cake is baked of my husband" or "kakan är bakad och kaffet ...." - "the cake is baked and the coffee"
Really inconsistant


i think is different because in this sentences says " yesterday"


So it's like är född vs var född? Oh the differences between swedish and English!!


But how common is that phrase? I live in Sweden for a year and I think I've never heard that before this here. (maybe it's because most people speak English to me lol)


The specific phrase is not very common. The construction is common, though. Then again, you're obviously more likely to come across the specific phrase in some contexts.


This appears to be what in Russian is defined as "the result of the action is still in effect at the time of speaking." In such cases the perfective aspect is used instead of the imperfective. And here the present tense is used instead of the past.


Is this equal to saying "Brödet bakades i går" ?


Ooh thanks for clarifying this. So is it possible for every verb to use the -es ending?


[I am not a native Swedish speaker, nor even a fair one, lol, but I was curious also.]

My grammar book--"A Concise Swedish Grammar", by Åke Viberg et al, Natur & Kultur, Pub.--says: "The passive in Swedish is formed simply by adding an s to the verb" and all ten examples given are formed that way.

It does, however, add a few options that have to do with endings ('-er' endings in particular, where the 'e' can be left or dropped; and for '-ar', the instruction is to remember that the 'r' disappears before the 's') ...but the end result always appears to be an s on the end. If there are other exceptions, I'm sure someone will say. ;-)

I liked this example: "Kassan räknas varje kväll. Igår räknades den tre gånger. Den har aldrig räknats så noggrant"* even though I didn't know every word.

*[The money in the till is counted every evening. Yesterday it was counted three times. It has never been counted so carefully.]

Hope this helps. I learned something. :-)


Is my understanding correct? :

"Brödet är bakat i går". E.g. I have a basket of bread sitting in front of me and it was baked yesterday.

"Brödet var bakat i går". E.g. I've just eaten the bread, it no longer exists, I asked when it was baked, and it was baked yesterday.


Sometimes one writes "igår" together and sometimes separately. Why?


Both are totally correct and accepted. The official recommendation is to use them with a space, so that's what we write in the main versions. But there's nothing wrong with igår. The only thing is that the machinery has trouble accepting spelling variation in the type-what-you-hear exercises, so in those your safest bet is to write i går.


Thank you for answer! I asked one old swedish man about it, and he answered me that swedish people write "igår" together always. So I was confused. But maybe, he is not so good in grammar)


There's probably a lot of native speakers who think that. I've even had people tell me that they've never ever in their whole life seen the spelling i dag. However that is easy to disprove by a quick search in the most widespread newspapers. I think it isn't very natural for most people to observe their native language very closely. After all, why should they, since it just comes naturally to them anyway.


Shouldn't it be "var" or "blev" bakat. Tack


If the bread var bakat i går, that means that the bread does no longer exist.
brödet är bakat i går means that the bread was baked yesterday, and the result remains = the bread still exists
If you say blev bakat, that means 'got baked' i.e. it emphasizes the change of state from not being baked to getting baked.
So English and Swedish work a bit differently here.


Weird. So if I see a dead person in front of me who died yesterday, I say hon är död igår.


No, bakat is a perfect participle and död is an adjective. You'll want Hon är dödad i går for that meaning. Though that sounds much less idiomatic than e.g. Hon dödades i går.


I understand my mistake but what wanted to clarify that since there are a lot of objects that after being made exist for quite long than it would mean that in Swedish for these objects one can say both present and past passive forms (as long as the objects exist). Moreover, sometimes they exist forever. For example if a person dies, the dead person exists forever (at least until resurrection:), which would mean that in these cases both forms are always correct. Am I correct in this?


No, I get what you mean but as far as Swedish is concerned, a dead person is considered to no longer exist. :)


This will be hard for me to remember.

I am having trouble understanding how the idea of the bread being gone is included.

If the sentence was, "Brödet var bakat och ätit upp i går," I would have no trouble knowing that the bread was gone.


Try to think of it like this, if it helps:

  • Brödet var bakat i går = The bread was and it was baked yesterday
  • Brödet är bakat i går = The bread is and it was baked yesterday

It's not so much that the Swedish construction explicitly means something as it is that we leave some information out and infer it through the idiomatics of the construction. So it can definitely be tricky.


Thank you! That helps a lot!!


1) Brödet är bakat i går - the bread was baked yesterday (and it still exists; for e.g. it was not eaten)

2) Brödet var bakat i går - the bread was baked yesterday (but it no longer exists; for e.g. it was eaten)

Can someone confirm if this is correct?


Yes, that is correct.


I have a hard time understanding the argument of the existence or not of the bread. (See my other comment) If I'm at a bakery and ask if the bread is fresh the answer has to be : No it was etc or yes it is baked today.


In that scenario, you'd definitely use är bakat - because var bakat would imply that you're talking about some bread that has already been eaten.

This is true for the är/var passive distinction in general in Swedish. If you use är, you're talking about something that exists. If you use var, you're talking about something that no longer exists.


What is the difference between bakat and bakad ?


bakat is for singular indefinite ett-words, and bakad is for singular indefinite en-words.

There's also bakade for plurals and definites.


Shouldn't the Swedish be 'brödet var bakat i går.' Since the adverb of time is in the past tense, the verb to be has also to be in the past tense. But in the Swedish it is in the present form. Why?


It's a quirk of Swedish, really - we use the construction to show that it still exists.


Swedish does not seem strange at all from the perspective of my native language (Polish), we could say both:

  1. the bread is baked yesterday, meaning the bread is baked at the moment (it is its state being baked) and yesterday would describe the way it is baked, (similarly, the bread is baked and it is dark, we would say the bread is baked dark, if we drop 'dark', we just say `the bread is baked' as the current state of bread).

  2. the bread was baked yesterday, meaning the process of baking happened yesterday. Thus for the bread that has been eaten, we cannot say that it is baked however for the bread that is still in our possession we can say it if we want to report its current state.

I wonder if these two situations cannot be distinguished in English. If they cannot it is rather a limitation of English and Swedish has it right.


Is the exercise to translate what is written regardless?


No, this doesn't translate literally - it needs to be "was" baked in English. Swedish and English function differently here.


So, are you saying that you can't use var unless it was baked yesterday and is gone today? If it was baked yesterday and was eaten up yesterday, are you then allowed to say "Brödet var bakat i går" or do you never use var?


That's correct. We use är/var to tell the state of its existence. Hence, Brödet var bakat i går makes sense in specific context, although that kind of context is usually rare.


What's the difference between 'är bakat' and (if it exists, and if it doesn't, why not?) bakades?


är bakat is a state; bakades is an action.


So this sentence means there was a time yesterday when the bread had already been baked, and if I used 'bakades', I would stress the process of the bread being baked yesterday?


I may have a naive understanding of the difference (based on my own language, which is Polish) but `är bakad' is like 'är brun' so it is more an adjective, while 'bakades' is more like a passive form of a verb. Adding the specification of the time is a bit confusing but it seems to describe in a way how it is baked vs. when it was baked.

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