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  5. "Hon vet själv inte vem hon ä…

"Hon vet själv inte vem hon är."

Translation:She does not know who she is herself.

January 18, 2015



I don't understand the construction of this sentence: I'd say "Hon vet inte själv vem hon är" or "Hon vet inte vem hon är, själv" would have made more sense to me (even if maybe they are wrong).

In English you can say "She doesn't know herself" or "She doesn't know who she is, herself". In this swedish sentence it looks like we are saying "She does not know herself, who she is".

I don't think I've expained it well...


The meaning is 'She herself does not know who she is', maybe we should have had that as a main translation. Both Hon vet inte själv vem hon är and Hon vet inte vem hon är själv (no comma) would be OK in Swedish (the latter one less good, but not wrong). And Hon vet inte vem hon själv är would work too.


So, the själv directs it back to herself. Withour själv, she doesn't know who the other her is..


Thanks, the English translation was fine. It's the Swedish one that seemed to have a slightly different meaning.


I'm not sure if my answer helped. I'll add that 'She doesn't know herself' would be Hon känner inte sig själv.


Ah, I think this is what I was missing. I didn't considered the missing "sig".

Thanks a lot!


You would not say that in English. Just because it's that way in Swedish, it doesn't translate exactly into English. It would either be "She does not know herself" or "she does not know who she is." You're welcome!


The following sentence sounds more natural in English, and it was accepted by Duolingo: "She herself does not know who she is" :)


I think you could say that in English. ´She complains her boyfriend does not know who she is. She does not know who she is herself!´


"She does not know who she herself is" was marked incorrect.


So … do both "hon" in the sentence refer to the same person?


Yes, since it is the subject both times. For an object, you use "sig" (herself) or "henne" (someone else).


I wrote the shakspearean " she knows not who she is" and was marked wrong...is it really wrong?


I´m with you there - that seems good. It is a standard form, for example ´They know not what they do´.


Why is there no "sig" in here?


She (hon) is the subject both times and herself corresponds to "själv".


why is själv splitting up "vet inte" in this sentence?


Actually, "själv" doesn't have to split up "vet inte". The important thing is that "inte" comes before the verb, since this is a main clause.

Possible sentences:
Hon vet själv inte vem hon är.
Hon vet inte själv vem hon är.
(Själv vet hon inte vem hon är.)
(Hon vet inte vem hon är själv.)


Isn't the verb here "vet"?


you mean after the verb in a main clause (and before the verb i a subclause)?


If we use some ett-word instead of "hon", will there be "självt" instead of "själv" then? Like "Barnet vet självt inte vem han är".


Yes. It can be a bit problematic with children because we don't really like to refer to living creatures as det, but having självt first and then han as in your version is inconsistent, so people tend to try to rephrase sentences like that instead. But in other expressions, like det säger sig självt literally 'that says itself' meaning 'that is self-evident', we definitely use the ett form.


Спасибо, Arnauti! :)

So, my example "Barnet vet självt inte vem han är" is incorrect because there are both "självt" and "han" related to "barnet" in one sentence, is that right? And in other more simple cases (like in "Barnet tvättar sig självt") we just always use "självt" with ett-words, don't we?


Yes, that's what's considered most correct. You can hear other versions from native speakers because of this so there's some variation in practice. You could certainly hear a native speaker say the first sentence just like you did.


Tack så mycket, Arnauti!


Are both "hon"s referring to the same person here. Sorry if this is a basic question. What would you write if you are referring to two different persons here? :)


What does this phrase mean, even the English version. Why don't Duo people choose self evident phrases that are understood immediately by listening just once to them.


I got this right only because I'm getting better at spelling what I hear, not because the sentence made any sense to me until I saw the translation.

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