"Han står och tittar på dig."

Translation:He is watching you.

February 7, 2015

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Swedish can make the creepiest things sound cute.


How can "He is watching you?" be correct? Where does it say he is standing up?


står och [verb], as well as sitter, ligger, etc., are common ways of expressing a continuous action. In other words, they have the same function as "is watching" as opposed to "watches". While you could of course translate them literally in a real-world setting, it makes much more idiomatic sense not to.


oh no, not that creepy guy again! remember when he followed you home and was found standing behind the door later?


❤❤❤???? We're getting some clues, people. The creepy guy is a Norwegian architect! We need to identify him and inform the police about this before it gets worse D:


Sounds like Pól in the Irish course. We suspect he put a woman in the refrigerator


Can you use other verbs for this "continous" form? For example

Han springer och tittar på dig.

(if of course he is actually running)


springer och is used in a similar construction, but it has a special meaning, or actually two:

  1. Either it means 'to start to do something' (sometimes with a negative nuance)
    E.g. springer och skvallrar – literally 'runs off to tell [on someone]' or springer och gömmer sig 'runs and hides' (or 'runs off to hide') (the latter one does not carry any negative value judgement per se)

  2. Or it means 'to do something very often' (probably more often than the speaker would like)
    E.g. Han springer på toa hela tiden 'He runs to the toilet all the time' e.g. he goes to the toilet more often than expected. Hon springer och skryter om … 'She runs around and boasts about …' e.g. she keeps boasting about something.

No actual running has to be involved for these sentences to be used!

Since these two already exist, in order to create the continuous form you were imagining, we must add omkring. Then it works: Han springer omkring och tänker på … 'He is running around thinking about …'


Why is it that “Han står och tittar på dig” means, “He is standing and looking AT you” (looking FOR you is incorrect), but “Boken ligger och väntar på dig” means, “The book is lying and waiting FOR you?”


Because prepositions often don't really translate across languages. At the end of the day you just need to memorize which preposition goes with which verb.


Thanks. I agree and appreciate your response. So then is suppose if one would want to say looking "for you," that is what he would say - "for dig"?


No, actually, that's not the case. It is: "att leta efter (dig)". If you were to say "leta för dig", it's more like "I'm looking for your sake" or "I'm looking for x thing for you".


Is just saying: ''han tittar på dig'' correct?


Sure, that's what we usually say. Han står och tittar på dig has a stronger continuous meaning than the English continuous in is watching, but with the present, just tittar, there's no continuous meaning.
So when you translate the English continuous into Swedish, you have to either do without that meaning, or exaggerate it. There's no 1=1 match.


So, am I correct in thinking the phrase directly translated "He stands and looks at you" is actually an idiom used in Swedish to say "He is watching you"? Is there a rule to anticipate these kinds of idioms, or do you just have to memorise them all? Thanks :)


Depends on how you define 'idiom'. I'd say it's a grammatical construction. We wrote about them here: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sv/Continuous-Forms


I think a direct English translation that maintains the sense would be "he is standing there watching you", which has a different and more continuous sense than "he is watching you".


Why is the ‘ standing and’ part not included in the translation? In other sentences, it often is included. So: “He is standing and watching you.” Why is that not accepted?


I'm not entirely sure about this, since I wasn't around when the tree was first created, but I think the "and standing" phrasing (and its siblings) are included when the very first lessons are taught - and then that crutch is taken away to make it more realistic.


OK. It would be nice to know when “the rules” change like this. Otherwise, the inconsistency makes understanding usage more difficult.


I agree, but we're limited to what features Duolingo offers, and there is no such feature.


I suppose "he is staring..." should be accepted as a correct answer :)


stare is stirra in Swedish.


Can it be Han står och tittar på det, meaning "he stands and watches it"?


Not as a translation of the example sentence, but it's a fine phrase, yes. :) It would be more idiomatic English in the continuous, though.


I probably should have clarified that I was writing what I heard. Aurally is there any difference between "dig" and "det"?


I'm assuming you mean in pronunciation. :)

Yes, there's a difference. det is pronounced like , while dig is pronounced like English "day". Well, sort of.


Dig is pronounced like English day would be, if the y on the end were pronounced like the y in yellow.


I found a problem with this, i wasnt given the words "standing" or "and" but it simply accepted "he is watching you."


Please refer to my answer to RyuKyoto above.


Why it is not IS STANDING and instead it is IS


The Swedish construction står och [verb] is a way of constructing a continuous. So it should usually really be translated into a standard continuous in English - i.e. "is watching" here.


In the UK there are very few who wouldn't understand "I am stood" in various contexts. E.g : Standing outside a GP surgery, a physically unwell elderly woman waits for her husband to park their car so he can attend to her usual need for assistance with walking in to the waiting room. He has taken longer than usual to park the car and she has grown tired and a little impatient. She is leaning on a metal handrail for support, a look of fatigue, pain and indignation is evident on her face, in her demeanour and through her body language. Upon seeing her husband she rather loudly and probably a little unnecessarily exclaims "I'm stood here waiting for you, and almost doubled over in pain. Where have you been?" This idiomatic use of "I'm stood" entails past and present. It would be understood by all native English language speakers and in use by many. Regional speech has been elevated by the BBC, and many presenters on TV now originate from areas where regional speech predominates. Regional speakers should NOT be looked upon as uneducated, and those attitudes are outdated. (Though these attitudes do sadly persist.)


In the United States as well. Very well stated and a delightful explanation. Have a lingot.


Thank you :-) Interested to read it is the same in the United States


Pratar vi om Storbrodern?


When one uses those verbs (sitter, ligger, etc) to express continous action, is it necessary to include them in the translation? For instance, "Hon ligger och tittar po dig", could be translated to simply "she is watching you"?


(well , that is the suggested translation!!) to me hard to grasp!!!


And what might be wrong with "he stands looking at you". A much better translation than "he is watching you" that Duo proposes.


Creepy ! This is in a language learning program ?

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