"What gas is it?"

Translation:Vad är det för gas?

February 10, 2015

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why is the "för" need here? is it wrong to say just 'vad gas är det'?


Yes, that is wrong.

"Vad ... för" is a way of asking, in this case, what kind of gas it is. It's synonymous with asking "Vilken gas är det?".

But be aware! Used differently, "vad ... för?" could be used synonymously to why.

Vad gör du det för? = Varför gör du det? = Why are you doing that?


Is this a reference to motor fuel ie US gas? In English usage we say petrol or diesel, I thought this was a question about gases such as ozone or ammonia?


You're right, in Swedish gas is only used about gases, not about motor fuel :)


Please be aware that if ever visiting Canada, that we also use the term gas for petrol. However, both in Canada and the US, the term "diesel" is still used for diesel fuel.


Why "vilken gas är det?" and not "vilken gas är den?" ? isn't it clear that we are talking about an en-ord, since we are just asking which kind of gas it is?


det is a placeholder pronoun that does not refer to the gas itself – rather its meaning is "that which we are speaking about".

I wrote a much longer post about this phenomenon here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9708920


Is Vad är det för NOUN a general way of asking what noun is it?

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