I thought that it was a way of saying that he is becoming senile... thanks for the comments, now I understand and agree with heimaey! Take a lingot!
en nagel in Swedish is only a nail as in a fingernail or toenail in English. The one carpenters use is en spik. So lose is the right verb in English.
I can see "dropped a nail" as in, "he was cutting his nails and one fell on the ground." could this mean that?
Possibly, but more likely he hurt his finger … happened to a friend of mine once, slammed his finger in a car door and it turned black and the nail fell off. Pretty gross.
Happened to me as well, but when the nail came off, didn't I technically drop it? Or does to drop have a more specific meaning?
Maybe it dropped, but I don't think you dropped it - wouldn't you agree? :)
Yes, we just put (finger) there to make it clear it's not about carpenter's nails. – The exact word for 'toenail' is tånagel of course.
It's not about what 'nagel' means, it's about what "tappa' means. A nail, whether finger- or otherwise, can be dropped. "...has dropped a [finger]nail" should be accepted as correct.
We're not supposed to accept every possible translation - we can leave out ones that are highly unrealistic and that would detract from the intended teaching. This is a great example of that.
Why is my answer 'The grandfather has lost a nail' wrong? And how would it be if we want to say 'The grandfather.. '?