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  5. "Behöver du någonting?"

"Behöver du någonting?"

Translation:Do you need anything?

February 18, 2015



To me, do you need anything? and do you need something? mean slightly different things. If you were going out to the store and you asked if someone wanted something, you could say Do you need anything?, and although you could also say Do you need something?, although it sounds like you're asking if they only need one thing, so it would sound a bit strange. On the other hand, if someone "summoned" you, you may ask Do you need something? but you would not say Do you need anything?. Do the words någonting and något each hold both of these connotations?


Came here to ask this!

"Do you need something?" is something one might say if interrupted by someone unexpectedly (would be a way of saying that you weren't happy about them interrupting you!) or if you were asking if someone needed something specific. Whereas "Do you need anything?" is something you might say to a guest to check they had everything they need or as in the example AlecHirsch1 gives above when off to the store. The phrases are technically interchangeable but definitely can hold different connotations. As Alex already asked - does this phrase work for both equally in svenska?


Hadn't seen this question before, but Swedish doesn't differentiate between the connotations in this phrase, so either is perfectly fine.


Can you also use något instead of någonting?


so it would be "Behöver du något?"?


Tack! I think I'm starting to get it now.


Does någonting mean both anything and something, depending on the context? Same for något?


Yes. In English, they use anything in negated phrases and questions [Edit, this is a very simplified description, but there is some truth to it].
I wrote some more about this here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5562715


Gotcha :) thanks!


Why is it nor "någotting", if ting is an ett-word? Perhaps because it is more easily pronounceable?


That's a good question (and I don't have the answer)! You are right, "ting" is an ett-word, so "någotting" (and "ingetting") would make more sense. It is "en ting" in Norwegian though, and there is an old Swedish word "en tingest" which also means "a thing". So maybe "ting" used to be an en-word in Swedish before?


någon and ingen used to be the neuter plural forms a very long time ago, and after någon ting - "any things" - merged into one word, the spelling survived the shift of någon into a singular common.


It's a pet peeve of mine when it demands the word do for the english translations when leaving it out is quite common in some of these translations.


And the you, in this case.


On their own they mean the same, but "ting" is almost never used anymore.


Is någon a common prefix for "any" like irgend in German?


Yes, it is similar but we don't always have one compound word in Swedish:

irgendein - någon, något
irgendetwas - någonting
irgendeinmal, irgendwann - någon gång
irgendwer, irgendjemand - någon, vem som helst
irgendwie - på något sätt
irgendwo - någonstans


helen could you please rewrite this for English? I am lost with meaning of these words


It's a bit complicated with the difference between the prefixes some and any. You can find information in section 3.9.10 in the online book "Swedish: A Comprehensive Grammar" by Philip Holmes and Ian Hinchliffe.


So I read on the tips and notes that "ingenting" and "någonting" are "a little bit more formal". My question is, how often do you use those (taking in mind that they are more formal)?


Emphasis on the "little" - they're not very formal, just a little less common in speech.


They are used in everyday conversations frequently. Although, for "någonting" the more common way to say it is "nånting".


Någonting is anything but isn't någon anything if so why add ting

  • någon = some (in this context)
  • ting = thing
  • någonting = something, since it combines the two above
  • något = something, as a shorter form of någonting


doesn't någonting also mean someone/anyone?


No, that's någon. The word ting means "thing", so it can't be used for a person.


Yes! please change this new voice on Duolingo ! it is just grating.


Duo HQ is running a test where some users get the new voice and some get the old one. We have no say in it, but I admit it'll be interesting to see the results later.

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