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  5. "When were you born?"

"When were you born?"

Translation:När är du född?

February 6, 2015



why not 'när född du' ?


That does not make sense. It's like saying "when born you?" in English.


I mean... couldnt you argue that saying "när springer du" is like saying "when runs you"?


Your example "when do you run" is in active voice, which does not use "do" to form question in swedish, and "to be born" is passive, with similar structure in both languages.


I understand that it may not make sense in swedish. However, your comparison to English is not always true. A basic question structure in Swedish is the verb before the noun: "Åker du dit?" which is parallel to "go you there?"... yet it is still acceptable.


So, är in this construction refers to the past even though it's otherwise present tense?


Yes. As explained above, it's är with people who still live.


The result of the birth still exists, so present tense. It's the same in Dutch.


Could somebody explain this grammatical construction please?

Given that we haven't formally learnt the past tense yet, it would seem that född is a noun here rather than a past participle? Which would also explain why it would change to föda in the case of vi?

Is this an example where English and Swedish use different tenses to express the same thing, i.e. being born?


Yes, Swedish and English use different tenses here. Swedish wants present tense är född with people who are still living, but var född with people who don't live anymore.


Would "När var du född?" be wrong?


var född is used for people who are no longer alive. Carl von Linné var född 1707., but Min kusin är född 1995. So unless you are speaking to the other side somehow, it's wrong.


Interesting, thanks!


Interesting! In german it's the same ("Wann bist du geboren?" vs. "Carl von Linné wurde 1707 geboren.") and I never thought about it...


When to use fodda and fodd


Födda is for plurals, like "när är de födda?".


In the correct answers, it shows 'föddes' like this: När föddes du? How does 'föddes' work? Also the V2 rule will not be applied here right?


Right, the V2 rule does not apply since it's a question. Instead, we put the verb before the subject (and the question word first of all, like när in this case).

föddes is a passive form past tense, like was born. It can be used both for people who are still alive and those who aren't, but it tends to focus on the event itself rather than the result of it.


Is ' när är fodd du' right


Nope, doesn't work.


It gives "När föddes du" as the correct answer today.

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