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  5. "Om jag bara hade vetat"

"Om jag bara hade vetat"

Translation:If I only had known

January 11, 2015

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CrazyChao

Shouldn't the adverb bara come after the verb, not before?

January 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Bara will go before what it is describing, just like only does too.

January 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seraph259

In English this phrase would probably sound more natural as "If I had only known," despite only usually being before the word it describes.

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

We know, we just put the words in the same order as in Swedish to make it easier on learners when translating the other way. It's not incorrect the way it is. But it's good that you're pointing it out, especially for the sake of the people who use the course to improve their English.

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonathan606349

Yeah, I agree. "If I had only known" (or "had I only known") may be idiomatic, but it's a more natural construction in this case than "If I only had known."

January 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PJamesM

I think I'd be most likely to say "If only I had known". Preference is probably somewhat regional. That said, "If I only had known" seems the most awkward of the bunch to my ears, too.

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KriVee

Exactly! Standard English should be "If only I had..".

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CrazyChao

Makes sense, thanks. :)

January 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanlucpecard

Ok thanks, so V2 doesn't apply to bara?

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George418878

Perhaps because this is a bisats, the adverb comes first?

August 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

That's correct. In a subclause, a satsadverbial, which this is, must go before the verb. Other adverbials go after, like adverbials of degree, time etc.

satsadverbial definition:

sentence adverb (or sentence adverbial), which modifies a sentence, or a clause within a sentence, to convey the mood, attitude or sentiments of the speaker,

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disjunct_%28linguistics%29

August 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adelhaidar

can't i use "just" as a translation for "bara" here?

April 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

You can, but not with all possible word orders. So you can say If only I had known, but If just I had known does not work. I'll leave it to some native speaker of English to explain in which cases just works and why.

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chreekat

If I just had known and If I had just known both sound okay, but for me they usually are connected to another phrase. "If I just had known that, I wouldn't have picked up the spoon." Using just also gives the phrase a more petulant/exasperated/defensive tone, as well as making the phrase sound more conversational than literary.

There are subtle distinctions between all the varieties of this phrase, especially when spoken. It's just one of those phrases. :)

May 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Solvind

Bara sounds like böra to me in this sentence. I think it's wrong, is it?

June 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichelMarq20

If only had I known should be accepted.

May 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

I think that contains a bit too much poetic license. :)

May 19, 2018
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