"Varför kysser han mig inte?"
Translation:Why doesn't he kiss me?
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This is a question with a question word. This means that the question word must go first, and the verb needs to go before the subject. So the first two slots in the sentence are already taken. But there are two other possibilities:
Varför kysser inte han mig? 'Why doesn't he kiss me?' – like in 'everybody else does'
Varför kysser han inte mig? 'Why doesn't he kiss me? – like in 'he kisses everybody else'
I don't get it. How can I know what inte is applied to ? In your example, it seams to apply to the word after itself, but in the correct answer, it's in the last position…
So, is it something like "when in last position, it's applied to the entire clause. Otherwise, it applies to the next word ?
I personnaly would have tried "Varför kysser inte han mig". Why is it not correct ?
Ahh. Well the normal order is <subject><verb><reflexive pronoun><inte>. In this case the verb was moved forward, but the rest stay in order.
In English, we usually <subject><negation><verb><reflexive pronoun>.
You will see the Germanic order in very old clichés like He loves me, he loves me not, whereas a new English phrase would be He loves me, he doesn't love me.
I generally try to stay out of English grammar as best I can, but I can't help noticing that you do have a verb before the negation: "He did not X" or "He was not Xing". Maybe that's even why you use those constructions.
In the Swedish sentence here, mig is a pronoun, but not a reflexive pronoun. Syntactically it's just an object. (mig is only a reflexive pronoun when it refers back to the subject, e.g. Jag rakar mig 'I am shaving'). We're not asking why the poor guy isn't kissing himself :D
@LivingCliche then I really recommend re-reading my introduction to Swedish word order and other topics listed in the sticky post here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5892805 and then asking questions about whatever is unclear in the discussion threads there, and about specific sentences in their sentence forums. I'm personally always happy to answer questions about word order since I think it's one of the most interesting areas of Swedish grammar.
I suppose but then I'd have to remember every single phrase and sentence in existence so that I would be able to speak. I just don't like translating a Swedish sentence into what it 'basically means' in English, because I know it's not entirely correct, and if I were to reverse translate it back into Swedish, I would be using incorrect word order and it would make for bad Swedish, Im one of those people who absolutely has to understand everything, every little detail and if I don't it doesn't sit well because then it makes it difficult to formulate things myself. I compare it to my studies in science back when I was in school a few months the ago, if I was given a new equation I had to completely understand it otherwise I wouldn't be able to use it outside of the example questions they gave us. It's just a part of my DNA really that must understand every little nuance and subtlety of something. And any missing pieces are instantly a red flag in my mind and then I worry how I'll be able to use a certain word, or word order or preposition outside of the examples already given. I like rules and formulae with which to build my own sentences which is why I have a slight dislike for en/ett words because there is no way of telling if a word is en or ett. I might sound quite obnoxious and my constant questioning might get on people's nerves but I can't help it. I don't want to just be capable, I want to be fluent. Go big or go home for me I guess lol
That helps a bit, what would you recommend for constructing long complex sentences with lots of verbs, adjectives, objects and other stuff? I can read it quite well now, by translating everything word for word and then trying to figure out what that means by rearranging the words, it makes for slow reading but I can generally get what people are saying in Swedish now. But reading and listening are passive, I keep worrying about having to construct my own sentences, in writing and speaking, learning the words and getting the pronunciation right will come with time and practice but getting the grammar correct and especially those damn prepositions are going to be obstacles.
It comes down to practice. That's actually what I find most difficult as well. During my last trip to Sweden I bought a bunch of books from child to adult reading levels, to improve how well I know the words. I find trying to talk in Swedish frustrating since my vocabulary is too restricted to express myself. So I intend to learn a lot more words then to hire a tutor to talk with. Reading more will also get me used to more advanced sentence constructs.
Have you learned a second language before? If you haven't, I humbly suggest to stop trying to translate word-by-word and rearranging, but instead sentence-by-sentence. In addition to learning the word order, you'll find that many idiomatic expressions simply don't translate word-by-word. Take for instance Vad vill ni hittar på?, literally "What shall we find on?" but meaning "What do you want to do?"
Trying to force a different language into English will ultimately greatly slow your learning. A language will only become "fast" once you start thinking in it. I find expressing even simple thoughts in my inner monologue in the new language to be a tremendous help when learning, both for vocabulary and sentence structure. I've also found social media to be a great place to practice composing Swedish sentences. Some do it in the comments here. I also found the prepositions to be the hardest part when I started!
Lots of good advice from Mark here. For complex sentences, it doesn't hurt to learn a few typical abstract sentences by heart. I really recommend the diagrams I link to in my long post about word order. But also don't worry too much about it. In real life, your grammar doesn't need to be correct. There's a knack to learning to say a lot with limited skills, too, so don't miss the opportunity to practice.
@Mark typo in your example: Vad ska ni hitta på? can mean 'What are you going to do?' – you're mixing ni and vi and if we really wanted to say 'What do you want to do?' we'd say Vad vill ni hitta på? instead. hitta på is a bit like 'come up with' in English – the idea of an idea popping up in your mind.
Good point! Just lost my last heart on that translation! I am positively p....d off about it because I need to understand the meaning of the phrase in order to communicate. I haven't got some magical power which enables me to guess how Duolingo prefers me to put the exact same idea into English! Just that! Lost last heart and...what's wrong about that? All in all, you just wonder why the guy is not giving you a kiss!
I too wonder why the gerund should not work with this sentence. I hitherto assumed that when it comes to tenses and moods, Swedish is close, if not even akin, to German, so that there is no counterpart to the English gerund, leaving us to the mercy of the context to decide whether to allow it or not. And as the iterator might not usually despair over this question, it is a once-in-a-[...] question, making it necessary to put the verb in gerund.
But maybe a moderator could join in and answer this question. But isn't up to Duolingo as the whole system but the moderators and creators to decide it, whether to add this alternative as a subsidiary answer.