"He never drinks coffee anyway."

Translation:Han dricker ändå aldrig kaffe.

February 27, 2015

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'he drinks anyway never coffee' These word orders are doing my head in, can someone please explain this example?


Yeah, I can appreciate that.

The basic word order is of course han dricker kaffe ("he drinks coffee").

But when you add the never, due to the v2 rule that says verbs want to go second, it becomes han dricker aldrig kaffe ("he never drinks coffee"), as the never has to move.

For the anyway, you could actually insert that at the end as well: han dricker aldrig kaffe ändå ("he never drinks coffee anyway"), but in Swedish, it tends to go prior to a modifier, especially a negation such as aldrig or inte, in order to reinforce it.

So while you'd often hear han dricker ändå aldrig kaffe, a phrase such as han dricker ändå kaffe is far less likely (but possible, and dialectal). There's actually a relatively recent youth slang phrase ändå så which may or may not become a part of standard Swedish in a few decades, and which is used either positively (han dricker ändå så kaffe - "he actually drinks coffee" or "he drinks coffee anyway") or negatively (han dricker ändå så inte kaffe - "he doesn't drink coffee anyway").

Hope that makes it a bit clearer.


Thanks for the slang bit. I find slang and old fashioned phrases one of the hardest things to distinguish while learning a new language. If you are not careful you can sound both old fashioned and too modern at the same time.


Thank you for giving the time to explain this wonderfully clearly.


Best explanation ever!


Thanks, that is super helpful!


Super helpful, tack så mycket.


very helpful, thanks!


Kan man säger också: "aldrig dricker han kaffe ändå"? Can the phrase be said this way or otherwise "ändå aldrig dricker han kaffe"?


The first word order sounds unnatural. It may not be "technically wrong", but it sounds very odd.
The second sentence is technically wrong since it doesn't have the verb in second place.

Possible word orders are
Han dricker ändå aldrig kaffe
Han dricker aldrig kaffe ändå
Ändå dricker han aldrig kaffe ('Yet he never drinks coffee')
Kaffe dricker han ändå aldrig (strong focus on coffee here)


In English, I feel like this sentence is ambiguous:

  1. as in "He doesn't need a cup for breakfast, he never/doesn't drink coffee anyway."

  2. as in "I bought him Peruvian coffee as a souvenir, but (still) he never drinks coffee anyway."

Although I'm not sure if you'd use "anyway" in this 2nd case.

In German, the 1st would be "ohnehin" or "sowieso", and the 2nd "trotzdem". Spanish "de cualquier forma" (1st) and "a pesar de eso" (2nd).

Now, which is the one that Swedish ändå implies here?


From the notes: "Like English, adverbs are placed before adjectives and other adverbs."

How do I decide which adverb goes first?

Maybe English being my 2nd language is tripping me here, but in this specific case am struggling to reason why it is "ändå aldrig" and not "aldrig ändå".


If we wanted to use inte here instead of aldrig, would the sentence be structured like so: "han dricker ändå inte kaffe" (he doesn't drink coffee anyway)?

Do inte, aldrig, and other negative words just act the same?


Could you say, Han dricker inte kaffe i alla fall

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