"När ska jag ringa tillbaka?"

Translation:When shall I call back?

January 26, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Why isn't "when will I call back?" accepted? Is it because "shall" implies some sort of certitude?


I'm slightly unsure about the English here. The thing is that this Swedish sentence is not about when you are going to call back, but when you are supposed to call back, or when somebody wants you to call back. (should is another accepted answer).


but one of the duolingo translations for ska is 'will'. Why doesn't that meaning work here?


Hints are just hints, not all hints work in all contexts.

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I'd agree that in English "When shall I call?" is an everyday question, asking when is a suitable time, whereas "When will I call?" sounds rhetorical or maybe like you're thinking aloud.

Just to confuse things, I think that the 'will' form is sometimes used to ask a direct question in some UK dialects. It's certainly not standard, though.


Normally When will I call? would be När kommer jag att ringa? in Swedish, and it would be a rare thing to hear or say this.

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Yes, it would be very rare in English, too. Nothing you'd hear in standard English in normal conversation.


Well, that's actually good to know!


I think I understand, thanks


When I was learning Latin my teacher was adament that "shall" was the proper pairing in the first person (I, we) and "will" was used in the second and third person.


Yes, that system was once taught, but I suspect it is not taught (or used) much today, on either side of the Atlantic.


There are two translations for "will". Kommer att, which implies that it is happenning for sure : solen kommer att stiga imorgon. And Ska, which translates an incertitude. It may or may not happen. "När ska jag ringa tillbacka?" Which also asks between the lines :shall I call? And if yes, when ?


I usually say that kommer att tends to be a prediction – this is likely to happen, whereas ska always contains a modal element: someone wants it to happen, someone has decided it will happen.


There's an archaic rule about this in English: when expressing 1st person future, shall is used and will for 2nd and 3rd person future

However, if we're talking about intention or permission, it's the other way round.

Ex. 1 I/we shall arrive at 3:00.

He/they/you will arrive at 3:00.

Ex. 2 I/we will never let you go!

They/you/he shall never order the fruit parfait.

This rule was never consistently applied in English at any time.


As a native American speaker, I don't think I have ever heard someone speak the word "shall" and in modern books I have never read it either. I don't know what people do in England or Australia, but for anyone learning American English, I would not recommend "shall". I think that "will" or "should" would be a much better translation because those are words people actually say. And the discussion here seems to be implying that in this case, "should" is better than "will".

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It's always interesting (to me at least...) to hear how the language shifts over time and between places.

I'd say that "When shall I call?" and "When should I call?" are fairly equally common in the UK to ask this question. It can sound weirdly old-fashioned to use 'shall' in some contexts, but it's still in everyday use here. It can also be a handy word if you want to add emphasis to a statement.


I'm also American, but I use "shall" fairly frequently. That being said most of my friends my age (I'm 19) don't, but I hear it a lot from every generation of my family that's older than me


I probably speak more formal English because I had to overcome wanting to use Swedish grammar order from hearing Swedish at home. I am 60 years old but I say it and hear others commonly say, for example, "When shall I pick you up", Maybe not as much as I used to but no one raises an eyebrow at this usage.


As an American speaker i feel like should implies that you ought to but shall implies that you might.


bad audio.. "jag" isnt there


I can hear it in the audio though.


yes you are right I¨ve heard it now. but its so fast and I really notice very often there are no slight pauses between words and really i struggle with that to train my ear to that, because in that cases 3 words seem to be only one extra large... do native swedes really speak like that? or its due to audio faults?


I can definitely understand why it can be hard to hear well. It's honestly pretty indicative of native speech here, though. Short, common words and suffixes tend to merge or drop sounds, just like in virtually any language. The only good advice I can give is to practice - usually, people start getting the hang of it once their Swedish grammar is good enough that they start to know which words to expect in what positions.


Unless you are stupid, like me.


What is the difference between the verbs ska and skola? So far, I haven't really seen the second one anywhere except in my dictionary. The very same dictionary also gives a preteritum form skulle for both of them, which seemed mildly weird.

Apart from that, what is the infinitive of ska, if there is one? I also stumbled upon a supine form of ska, skolat, and was wondering when it would possibly be used. Any thoughts?


The word "skola" is an infinitive form. The present tense form was "skall" but is now "ska". The past tense form, still in use, is "skulle". The supine form is "skolat".

The word "skulle" is often traslated as "would". For example:
Jag skulle vilja ha ... = I would like to have

The forms "ska" and "skulle" are used in modern Swedish. The other forms, not so much!


In the sense of "shall", they're the exact same present tense, but skola is archaic almost everywhere in Sweden.

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