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  5. "Now it cannot get worse!"

"Now it cannot get worse!"

Translation:Nu kan det inte bli värre!

February 24, 2015



Is there a difference between sämre and värre?


unfortunately "theswedishteacher" doesn't exist anymore. so sad, and quite a lot of the answers in the comments link that page!


It's a huge shame. She was clearly very knowledgable, and her pages were a great resource. Perhaps they are available at archive.org, at least.


Brilliant, thank you. :)


Does Swedish make a similar distinction on the positive side, too, or is bättre the opposite of both sämre and värre?


bättre is the opposite of both, actually.


So either would be ok here since it is unclear what it is, right?


Sure. (and both are accepted too).


Unfortunately I got a multiple choice where the only difference between the two sentences was sämre" and "värre" -- and apparently I chose the wrong one!


Very helpful! Thanks!


Why is it värre here, but värst(a) in other places. The two seem like different words


It's just how the word is conjugated.

  • bad - worse - worst
  • dålig - värre - värst


Oh! Duh. Jag är så dum!


Why does the word order seem like a question? I would think it is, "Nu det kan inte bli värre".


In a question, the verb must go before the subject like here, but there can't be any adverbials before the verb. You can have a question word at the start of the sentence (like where, why etc), but other than that, the verb goes first. So you can't have nu first in a question.

Since this is not a question, and not a subclause either, the V2 kicks in – the rule that says that the verb goes second. So the only thing we know for sure is that kan must be in second place. You can say Nu kan det inte bli värre or Det kan inte bli värre, but kan stays where it is.

[deactivated user]

    Why does "det" come before "inte" in this particular phrasing? Why not "Nu kan inte det..."?


    Sorry about my first confused answer to this one! If we take a look at the diagrams here: http://www.student.umu.se/under-studietiden/studieverkstad/skriftliga-uppgifter/skrivrad-och-sprakhjalp/ordfoljd-i-huvudsatser-och-bisatser/ we can see that the normal word order for a main clause, which is what we have here, is

    1. foundation
    2. finite verb
    3. subject
    4. satsadverbial 'sentence adverbial'
    5. non-finite verb
    6. verb particle
    7. object/predicative
    8. adverb

    Number 6 and 8 are empty in this case; värre is a predicative.

    So this is just the normal word order. What confused me is that in some cases, you can indeed hear people saying inte before the subject, at least colloquially. Some resources for learners I found simply stated that this is wrong. It doesn't necessarily sound wrong to me in all possible sentences, but I guess it's the kind of word order that learners should avoid.

    For this specific sentence, I could imagine saying Nu kan inte det bli värre with a strong stress on det, which would translate into 'Now that cannot get any worse' (implying that something else might). But that sentence would require a special context + it would basically always use that rather than it in English.

    [deactivated user]


      Arnauti's link to a University of Umeå website is no longer active, but you can explore the word order position tables for various types of sentences and clauses at this website: http://www.svenskgrammatik.net/Content.aspx

      [deactivated user]

        So I think I just remembered why it is "det inte" and not "inte det": subject+verb are a unit. ?


        Just to answer this one too, they don't form a unit. For instance we could say Det kan inte bli värre nu, so it's just word order rules that decide where they end up.


        Can one use 'få' here instead of 'bli'? They both mean 'get'. But to answer my own question, I suppose not, because 'få' means 'get' in the sense of 'receive', whereas here we want 'get' in the sense of 'become'. But would it be correct to say for example 'Nu kan jag inte få öl'?


        That is correct: you can't use in the example sentence, but you can in the öl one - for the reasons you write.


        There's also the word hämta which means get as in acquire. It just keeps getting more complicated, doesn't it. :P


        There are two identical answers shown.


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