"Medicinen smakar inte gott."

Translation:The medicine does not taste good.

March 2, 2015

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jaxxist

Would it not be better to say "Medicinen smakas inte gott"?

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

No. The use of passive does not make sense there.

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jaxxist

In that case I don't understand at what times the passive can be used. I don't see the difference between the example above and "rummet känns kallt", which does make sense I believe?

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

"Känns" is not passive, but a so called deponent verb, that looks passive but isn't. There is more info on deponent verbs here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6094592

The passive is used to mean "be [verb]ed", thus smakas means "be tasted".

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jaxxist

Okay thank you. I'm still not sure I understand fully the difference between deopnent and passive verbs. As in this example "Känns" seems to mean "is felt", the same as a passive verb. However I will try and make sense of that now.

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sninguistics

Pretend that att känna and att kännas are different verbs (they actually are different, if related - deponent verbs are verbs that have an active meaning but a passive structure, and they don't have an active form).

June 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

You wouldn't use passive for this in English either. You'd say The medicine tastes good, not The medicine is tasted good.

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jaxxist

Couldn't reply to your latest comment Arnauti, but I wanted to thank you. It seems that I did not fully understand the difference between the agent and the subject of a sentence. Now that I have looked that up, it seems much clearer now.

Tack!

March 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Glad to hear that! Ask again whenever anything seems unclear.

March 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jaxxist

No, but I would say "the room feels cold" and would leave it up to the interpreter to assume that I meant the room was being perceived as cold. As opposed to the room experiencing coldness.

I assumed that the presence of "Känns" and other verbs like it meant that it was necessary in swedish to define explicitly who was feeling what. Thus I thought it was necessary to say "the medicine is tasted as not good".

Unfortunately though I can't seem to find a clear explanation of the differences between deponent and passive verbs. So I think I could just be misunderstanding something quite badly.

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

On the one hand it is complicated, I'm afraid what I said in that thread there can be no agent who performs the verb action and there isn't an underlying idea that the action of the verb was caused by some external agent is the best explanation I can give of the difference between passive/deponent in Swedish.

On the other hand it is easy, all you really need to know is that some Swedish verbs end in -s without being passive. In English, I don't think The room feels cold is passive either, the -s is only there because it's third person singular.

So it's not that we use passive in a lot of cases where you don't, it's just that some verbs end in -s when you wouldn't expect them to.

March 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ens5
  • 249

I think that much of the difficulty in understanding deponent verbs for an English speaker is that most languages (including English) don't use them, so if you haven't studied Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, or a couple of Nordic languages you likely haven't run into the term before (or thought about why it might be a useful concept). Another concept that seems to get used occasionally in these explanatory comments is supine forms, which we for all practical purposes don't really use in English. Looking at Wikipedia articles on these two subjects will give explanations and some examples which may be useful.

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanHill16

I feel I must be missing something obvious, but why is it gott and not god, if medicin is an en-word?

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

In English, you use adjectives for how things taste and smell, but in Swedish, we use adverbs. So medicinen är god but medicinen smakar gott.

May 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/cheezwizard93

Are nice and good not interchangable translations here? The medicine dosent taste nice?

August 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Added that, can't hurt.

May 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/YufeiPang

I surmise that 'The medicine does not taste tasty' is also applicable

November 6, 2018
Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.