Which is the subject here? I'm assuming ni. But then, how do we know that vem is in the dative case? Can you also say "av vem hyrde ni huset?" to be more clear?
Sure, "ni" is the subject, "huset" is the direct object and "vem" is the indirect object. And yes, you can say "Av vem hyrde ni huset?", but I think it's more common to put "av" in the end.
So I guess my question is really, how do we know vem is the indirect object before we reach av in the sentence?
And I think the answer is once we get to "ni", we know that that must be the subject, so therefore vem has to be indirect, and from then on we parse the sentence thusly. Is this true? (because otherwise for vem to be the subject, it would have to be "vem hyrde er huset?")
Exactly :)! But isn't German worse, when you have to wait until the very last word to find out what is actually going on?
Haha maybe so :) . But in German you know from the very first word (wem instead of wer) that it is the indirect object, so you can already start to parse the sentence accordingly :P
Well it's not like it's any better in English really.
"Who did you rent the house from?" is just the same as the Swedish translation. You have to wait till the end to find out what's going on.
I just want to add that I would never say Vem hyrde er huset? The normal way of saying that would definitely be Vem hyrde ut huset till er?
Should might be stretching it; I'm assuming either is accepted (if not - report it), but in modern English "who" would be far more common and arguably the better choice for this course.
Ah, right. Well, if we're going the full prescriptivist route, it should be "From whom did you rent the house?", and we do get the occasional complaint about not using "proper" grammar, but we're not very prescriptivist here. :)
As we already are at the topic of linguistic prescription: My guts tell my the word order should rather be Whom did you rent the house from?, though I can't justify it.
No, the theory is that prepositions must not end a phrase. Which is obviously nonsense. :)
SO how would one say who did you rent the house to? Would it be vem hyrde ni huset till?
Close! We use hyra for renting from and hyra ut for renting to. So you're just missing a small word:
Vem hyrde ni ut huset till?
These aren't recordings. But you can report bad audio using the report a problem button. That said I think the audio for this one is excellent.