"Det finns bara ett alternativ."

Translation:There is only one alternative.

January 25, 2015



The translations for alternativ offer both Option and Alternative. Is this sentence saying there is only one choice, or that there is only one other choice?

September 3, 2016


In real terms, it could mean there are two ways to do something, or in double-speak it could mean there is only ONE way to do something, which, in turn, means that it is NOT an alternative. More context is needed to know what is implied.

January 27, 2017


Why would "There is only an alternative" be wrong instead of "There is only one alternative"?

April 12, 2015


I think it's not a very good sentence since only implies that you want to stress that there are few alternatives, and then you'd say one.

April 13, 2015


what would that sentence mean?

April 13, 2015


The same thing. I am not a native English/Swedish speaker though, this is why I am asking.

April 13, 2015


alright. as a native english speaker, i'll try to explain what sounds weird to me about "there is only an alternative".

"there is only an alternative" means, to me, that "an alternative" is the only thing that exists in this situation. and the word "alternative", by definition, cannot be the only thing (otherwise it wouldn't be an alternative to anything!).

"there is only one alternative", on the other hand, focuses on the number (one) and indicates that there is one alternative, as opposed to many--a perfectly reasonable concept.

April 14, 2015


Isn't the sentence semantically incorrect then? I know in french the very notion of alternative implies there are at least two of them, mostly due to the latin etymology of the name (alter- meaning other).

Then there could be only one choice, not alternative.

June 29, 2016


I think that's why "there is only an alternative" sounds wrong because alternative implies more than one, but "an" and "only" implies just one. Whereas "there is only one alternative" suggests a situation where there were 2 or more options but someone has rejected all but 1 option and the other person says "there is only one alternative [to the option(s) you have rejected]"

August 9, 2017


Ok I get it now, thanks :)

August 9, 2017


Would "There only is one alternative" be a valid translation too?

April 28, 2017


This is the stated answer above.

June 14, 2017


I put "Det finns bara ett alternativ" and was marked wrong. This has happened before in another exercise.

October 5, 2017


It's a sneaky bug that seems to appear totally randomly.

October 5, 2017


That would explain it! Tack!

October 5, 2017

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Isn't "det finns" supposed to mean "there are"?

June 8, 2018


It sort of means 'there exists', and can be applied to to singular or plural.

August 30, 2018


Funny that Swedish puts emphasis on two distinct syllables: AHL-ter-na-TEEV. Whereas in English, even the longest words only emphasize one syllable.

September 7, 2018


Not really. Most 4-plus syllable words have a secondary stress in English (and in many other languages), and very often these words actually have distinct elements. E.g. 'intercon'nection, 'reaffir'mation, 'under'estimate...

September 19, 2018


This whole issue is mainly a British one, in American English it's perfectly acceptable. What's interesting to me is that, according to DL, Swedes use the word the way Americans do.

January 3, 2019
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