"Could you open the window?"

Translation:Skulle du kunna öppna fönstret?

February 5, 2015

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I'm assuming that the "skulle du/ni kunna" construction is fairly formal and polite. If we wanted to be less formal, would we use simply "kunde du/ni"?


No, it would be kan du/ni. Skulle du kunna is like Could you …? and Kan du …? is like Can you …? as for degree of formality.


Ah, I see, thanks. Yeah, I confused myself, since in English "could" is both the simple past and conditional form of "can".


Yes, the other one would be kunde of course. But then it wouldn't be a request.


On Android, at least, the pop-up that appears when you give the wrong answer is misleading.

I was told that I had used the wrong word when I asked Kan du öppna fönstret?, and this was helpfully corrected to Kunde du öppna fönstret?.

However, most people will interpret the question as a polite request, not an enquiry about the potential window opener's ability, so to offer this correction without making the context clear is almost certainly going to lead some people to believe that kan/kunde can be used as a request instead of skulle.


The automatic corrections are pretty awful. The machine tries to pick the closest accepted answer, but the result is often disappointing, and there's nothing we can do about it. Luckily we can add reject notes for incorrect answers that have been reported, and there are a few reports for Kan du öppna fönstret so I'll try to write something more helpful there.


Re: skulle du kunna. I think of would you be able to...


I am just confused. "skulle du kunna ...." is the formal saying to ask something from someone else. So "kunde du öppna fönstret" means "did you have ability to open it"? or just a request? Thanks.


Only 'were you able to', not a request.


If I dropped kunna would the meaning change to Would you open the window?


Yes, exactly - but please note that while you could still use that phrase in English to ask somebody to open the window, this is not possible in Swedish.


Öppna fönstret snabt, något luftar hemskt!


luktar, unless you mean "something is aired terribly". :)


Sorry I'm still confused. If I'm asking someone about their ability to open windows, what would I say as opposed to asking someone to politely open a window, in terms of "kan" and "kunde"?


Does "skulle du kunna" literally mean "would you could" ?


It means would you be able...


Can we use kunna here? Kunna du öppna fönstret?


No, you can't use the infinitive here.


would you could open the window, i donr get it. why not just: kan du öppna fönstret. will it be rude or wrong?


I'm not a complainer, but sometimes I want to throw up my hands and walk away. If I took this as a request to open the window, why is "Skulle du öppna fönstret?" wrong? (Making a request I can easily see someone say either "could you" or "would you.") But if that IS wrong, why???? And if it it's asking if someone has the ability to open the window, why not make the sentence "Are you able to open the window?" in the first place? So many times these exercises come down to being guessing games. (I've read all the comments, but I still don't understand what this sentence is asking.)


From what I can piece together from the other comments, Skulle du öppna fönstret? translates to Would you open the window? which, whilst usable in English to request that someone open the window, is not usuable for this purpose in Swedish, apparently (see the comment/reply by balisong46/devalanteriel).

If you want to inquire as to whether someone is able to open the window, you can use Kunde du öppna fönstret?, which translates to Could you open the window?. The English sentence is ambiguous (it could be an inquiry or a request, though in my experience it will most likely be a request) but it seems that the Swedish sentence can only be an inquiry (see the comment/reply from sandramorris1/Arnauti).

That leaves us with Skulle du kunna öppna fönstret?, which also translates to Could you open the window? but is specifically a request in Swedish (with the English counterpart retaining its ambiguity).

When starting with Could you open the window?, I guess it depends on the context as to which of the translations would be most appropriate.


StephenWat314748... that helps a lot. There is so much involved with learning a second language... and along with new ways of thinking, I must learn patience as well. I appreciate your taking the time to explain very clearly.

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