"Hon vill vara ensam."

Translation:She wants to be alone.

February 8, 2015

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Vem är hon? Greta Garbo?!


"I never said, 'I want to be alone'. I only said, 'I want to be left alone'. There is all the difference." - Greta Garbo

It's a interesting quote for people trying to understand the nuances of different languages.



Fun Contributor Fact:
I went to the same elementary school as did once Greta Garbo. :p


Katarina Södra? Did they have her portrait on the wall?


Yes, Katarina Södra. As far as I can recall, there were no portrait of her there in the 90s when I was a kid. On the other hand, I was a child so I wouldn't have noticed or cared if there was.


Movie trivia: Garbo actually sprinkled grass seed on herself and said "I vant to be a lawn".


I'm pretty sure that's just a joke... :p


ensam sounds like the German "einsam", like feeling lonely. so does it more resemble "einsam" or "alone", like being on one's own?


It can be alone or lonely, but for lonely you normally use känna sig (feel): Hon känner sig ensam.


thanks and a lingot for the explanation!


First I thought that "ensam" was related with "samman", "together". But researching a little I get to know that "-sam" it's a cognate of the English suffix "-some", so, a literal translation of "ensam" would be "onesome", nice and self-explanatory way of saying "alone".


So anyone can explain to me when i can say ''vill ha'' and when to say ''vill vara''.


want + noun = vill ha/vill få: I want sugar in the coffee = Jag vill ha socker i kaffet
want + verb = vill: I want to play football = Jag vill spela fotboll
want to be = vill vara: I want to be alone = Jag vill vara ensam


In Swedish, vill is always an auxiliary verb, and always requires a main verb to complete it.

In English, "want" without a verb almost always implies "want to have."

So if you want an object--that is, if you could say "want" in English without another verb--you're looking for vill ha.

If you're wanting to do something (including "be") in Swedish, it's vill [infinitiv] (e.g., vill vara, vill äta, vill dricka).


Is the common singular form of the adjective (ensam) being used rather than the neuter singular (ensamt) as she is a living person and all people of animals, regardless of gender are "en" words? I’m conscious that in another example the plural for of the adjective was used: "Vi är inte ensamma" - "We are not alone".

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