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  5. "Det är en fiende."

"Det är en fiende."

Translation:It is an enemy.

March 2, 2015



"It" is often used in English for indeterminate people. When the doorbell rings, we ask "Who is it?" and they reply "It's me." In the meantime, your roommate says "Don't open the door, it's an enemy!" Det would be used in each of these sentences in Swedish.


Omg! It is so ambiguous to friend


It's a common Indo-European trait. :)

  • Spanish: amigo - enemigo
  • English: friend - fiend
  • German: Freund - Feind
  • etc.

Swedish "vän" and "fiende" aren't really alike, but we do have "ovän" as well.


It still looks like "friend" (foe!)


I don't understand the english sentence.isn't an enemy a person?


I think what you're saying is that 'it' doesn't make sense because we're talking about people. But an enemy can be a person or a group. If we're talking about the former, to use 'it' would not make sense. But if we we're talking about the latter, it might. Let's say two kingdoms—we'll call them Rhizaria and Alveolata—are warring. If someone in the court of the Rhizarian king mentioned the Kingdom of Alveolata, the King of Rhizaria might say of that kingdom, "It is an enemy."


Grammatically speaking, I think this is like what you'd say if you were knocking at a friend's door: "it's me!"


It looks like "friend", but it's actually related to "fiend"


Thanks to black metal band Shining, it was one of my first Swedish words I've learnt


This sentence came after "Det står en person bakom dörren" ;)


I put "That is one enemy." and duo was not keen on that.


Please stick to feasible translations instead of technically correct but very unlikely ones.


:) jag ber om ursäkt. Tack för hjälpen :)


Duolingo also accepted: "That's an enemy."


It should really be 'There is an enemy in English'. "There is/are..." for things that exist. But because "Det..." can be both 'it' and 'there' in Swedish, Swedes often incorrectly use "it" for people.


No, we'd say e.g. det finns en fiende for that in Swedish. The phrase det är en fiende would never mean "there is an enemy".


“It’s my husband” ... Swedish is not incorrect, no language is. But let English be held to the same standard.


Late response, but 'It' is perfectly acceptable for people in English when the gender of the person being referred to is uncertain, or you don't know for certain it's a person, or even if just talking about a person in a really abstract sense (or in the rare case that the person both identifies as neuter and doesn't insist on something like 'xer' as their pronoun). Yes, English (like most languages) lacks a gender-neutral personal third-person pronoun (multiple attempts have been made to introduce one, but none of them have really stuck well enough to make it into any well respected dictionary), and yes, this ticks off some people, but it does not mean that the use of a generic third-person pronoun is incorrect for referring to a person (impolite maybe in some cases, but not grammatically incorrect).

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