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  5. "The food was on the table."

"The food was on the table."

Translation:Maten stod på bordet.

March 8, 2015



Could you have 'Maten ligger på bordet'?


No, we usually say stå here, ligga sounds like someone just put a pile of food on the table or something. But plates står so if they’re on plates, the food står as well.


Excellent, as usual. Thanks! :)


Are you saying Swedes would never say this or are you saying they would. It sounds like the latter in which case it should be accepted


No, I’m saying that they would not use ligger but rather står.


Unless the food is just piled directly on the table which it very well could be.


It’s a stretch at best. Swedish often idiomatically talks about food which står on the table; ligger, not really.


Because "Maten fanns på bordet." is acceptable. Could you say "Maten var på bordet."?


Yes, it's also possible, and an accepted answer.


Is 'fanns' acceptable in the place of 'stod'?


But now 'fanns' is accepted, at least it said in multi-choice that I should have checked it along with 'stod'


I've removed fanns from the list of things that could show up in the multiple choice questions. I've left it as an accepted answer though because I think it's quite possible as a sentence. It somehow makes the sentence more about the whereabouts of the food. Like, maybe we were looking for the food or we didn't expect it to be on the table – I don't think I can describe the exact shade of meaning, but I could certainly say that. Still, Maten stod på bordet is the most normal, neutral way of saying it.


No. The verb 'finns' (past tense 'fanns') is only used when something is more permanent situated somewhere. You can compare it with the English verb 'exist'.


I just read a post from Arnauti that stod only works for things that stand, and fanns was another option for the bottle question, but it was wrong. Now fanns works here?


You have right that the verb 'står' (past tense 'stod') normally only works for things that litteraly stand. But 'står' is also a frequent used word which can have a lot of meanings depending of the context (For example: Det står i tidningen = It says so in the newspaper).

In this case, I think that the sentence (with 'stod') not only says that the food existed or was on the table, but also indicates that it was soon time to eat; And I do not think that you can make that sense or association only by using 'fanns' or 'var'.

Note: I am not native Swedish but Danish-speaking, but we have nearly the same phrases and words in Danish.


That's right. I also think one should remember that what important is that a thing is perceived to be standing. Swedish actually considers the food to be standing. It's the same with plates: Tallrikarna stod på bordet. 'The plates were on the table'. If the plates or the food ligger (are lying) on the table, that means that the plates are broken, the food is scattered around in a disorderly fashion, or something like that.

Plates have an 'up' and 'down', if you look at them closely, they aren't actually totally flat. When you put food on the table, you're usually talking about things that have up and down too. You probably don't mean that you put the stew and potatoes right onto the table (if you do, feel free to use lägga and ligger) but that you put some plates and/or bowls with food in them on the table, in a proper upright fashion.


Jag köpte mat och jag satte ingredienserna redo på bordet i köket. Kann man nu säga "Maten ligger på bordet" ?


Why is fanns wanted as a translation? I don´t think many native English speakers would think that ´the food was on the table´is a question of the food existing, but rather that the food was set on the table because it will soon be time to eat.


I've removed fanns from the list of things that could show up in the multiple choice question. (also see my answer to DmitryReve on this page, wrote a little more about it there).

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