"Det kom en uggla och sa att jag var en trollkarl!"
Translation:An owl came and said that I was a wizard!
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I'm currently reading "Harry Potter och De Vises Sten". ( https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Vises-Sten-Potter-serien-ebook/dp/B0192CTOLW ) It's doing wonders for my Swedish!
Can you please explain the translations of Det, Den, Det är, Den är, Detta, Denna at the beginning of the sentence? I cannot find a rule as they change in the translations, and I rarely understand the meaning+ difference, maybe since English is not my mother tongue. Thank you.
I've written a long post about that here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9708920
In this sentence though, we have something slightly different. Here, we just add det in order to be able to change the word order. Usually, sentences in Swedish follow the information principle: they start out with things that are already known to the listener, and have the new information at the end. So since the owl in this sentence probably hasn't been mentioned previously, it's a little odd to start the sentence with en uggla. Not wrong, but just not the way we prefer to do it. We want the verb to go before the subject, because from the point of view of information, what I want to tell you is that
1. something came
2. that 'something' was an owl
3. the owl told me …
So in order to get the verb before the subject, we need to add something before the verb (since the verb must be in second place in the sentence). We call this a placeholder pronoun – it's just there because the place cannot be empty. And we always use det as the placeholder.
Thanks Arnauti! This, what you write, is quite clear to me, it's more that I have found some examples here that would claim that my translations for "det/ den är" as wrong if I wrote "it" and instead use "that" or "this"... I cannot remember exactly, but will pay attention and post them here when I find such example to ask you for further explanation, hope that is ok with you? Thank you again.
Yes, det and den can be it or in some cases that.
det där and den där are that
den här, det här, denna and detta are this.
Also, there's this difference:
den röda bilen is the red car
den bilen means that car
(the car is bilen and that red car must be den där röda bilen).