"She does not know who she is herself."

Translation:Hon vet själv inte vem hon är.

March 13, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Hej, varför kommer "inte" efter "själv", men inte "vet"? Tack!


The själv is actually relatively free in this sentence, you could put it in a lot of places and it would mean essentially the same thing unless you were to put special emphasis somewhere:

  • hon själv vet inte vem hon är
  • hon vet själv inte vem hon är
  • hon vet inte själv vem hon är
  • hon vet inte vem hon själv är
  • hon vet inte vem hon är själv (although this one I would never use)

The vet may be easier to see if we compare with English and remove the "does not" construction. In that case, the sentence in English would be "she knows not who she is herself," and both languages apply qualifiers for the "knows" after the word rather than prior to it. Hence, "she not knows" doesn't work in English, and "hon inte vet" doesn't work in Swedish.


this is one is not accepted - hon vet inte vem hon själv är


Reported again Jan 8, 2022


Thanks, also, why is 'själv' so free here?


Why would you never use the last option? That's the one I picked but I haven't any context. It was just the closet to the way I'd say it in English.


Since you suggest it is correct, I reported that “hon själv vet inte vem hon är” should be accepted.

[deactivated user]

    Please how does one know when to use "vet" instead of "kanner" and vice versa. Tack


    Why is känner wrong here? In another discussion it was said that "vet is 'knows' as in knowing facts. känner is 'knows' as in knowing people." Here it is knowing people (herself), so shouldn't it be känner instead of vet?


    The sentence says that she does not have knowledge about who she herself is. If you wanted to say that she does not know herself, it would have been Hon känner inte sig själv:


    To be very honest... I can't see the difference. Knowledge about who she herself is = know herself. To me both are knowledge about herself, which is a person. The first one is needlessly complicated way of expressing it IMHO, but says the same as the second one. I hope it doesn't sound like nitpicking, but I truly don't see the reasoning.


    If you're a native speaker of English, it may be hard to see the difference because your language doesn't encode it. But it's just how it is. To know who you are is att veta vem du är, and to know yourself is att känna sig själv. They're very different from a Swedish point of view.


    No, I'm Hungarian. I guess I'll just have to accept that this is the way I have to say it in Swedish.


    kitsummer, it is the difference between knowing one or more facts/things about yourself (veta) and being familar with/acquainted with youself (känna).


    I just thought of one more thing: you can say Hon känner vem hon är, but that would mean She feels who she is. So maybe this is more helpful: whenever there isn't a who right after känner, it will just mean feel instead. Jag känner att det här är bra för mig = 'I feel that this is good for me'.


    In Portuguese the equivalent to 'Vet' means she doesn't know who she is, in the sense that she doesn't recognize her attitudes. It would infer confusion about one's own identity.

    The equivalent to 'Känner' on the other hand would mean, for instance, that the person had most likely suffered amnesia due to an accident, and was unable to recognize herself in the mirror.

    Is that the distinction you're referring to here?


    If you can't recognize yourself in the mirror, there's another verb in Swedish, känna igen (particle verb, stress igen) which means recognize. My knowledge of Portuguese is just rudimentary, but I think the Swedish känna (någon) and veta are a bit similar to conocer and saber in Spanish. You can't saber a person in Spanish, but you can saber who a person is. At least I think so… I hope someone else can help us out here.


    You are right! I'm guessing that the sentence in Swedish has the "conocer" meaning. The translation would be "Ella no se conoce a ella misma", which is more focused on not knowing what are her abilities, strenghts, weaknesses, what she likes or want, etc. The "saber" phrase is rather different, and actually doesn't make sense to say "Ella no sabe quien es ella misma", since it's redundant and you can't "saber" yourself. The correct phrase (or ar least how I would say it) with the "saber" meaning would be "Ni ella sabe quién es" which would be "Not even herself knows who she is".


    veta: facts, information, how to do sth. känna: people, places, things. examples: Jag vet själv inte mycket om historien -I don't know much about the story myself(facts). Många väljare vet hur de skall rösta - Many voters know how to vote(know how). jag känner honom (know the person). Jag känner honom bättre än han känner sig själv. - I know him better than he knows himself. (beginning with känner we have to use again känner although it could be ..han vet själv like the phrase: Jag vet själv hur jag är - I know how I am). Compare with the phrase: vi vet mer om hans fysik än han vet själv. - we know more about his physique than he knows himself. Right?


    I think I get what you mean. Although in 'Portuguese' 'saber' and 'conhecer' can be used interchangeably when referring to someone you know.

    I'm curious. Would you use 'känner inte' or 'vet inte' when referring, for instance, to a music band which you do not have the knowledge of?

    Btw, I think this could help English speakers (or maybe it will just make things more confusing):

    Känna Igen = Reconhecer = Recognize

    Känner' = Conhecer = 'Cognize'

    When you think about it, the verb 'to cognize' should exist in English, since they do have 'Recognize'.

    But that leads to further questions. In Portuguese, as in English, you would Conhecer/'Cognize' (Know) a song. In this context it is interchangeable with recognize. However, 'Saber' in that context would nearly imply you knew the lyrics or maybe how to play it with an instrument.

    I had not even noticed the peculiarity of the example above in my native language until now.


    For the band, neither works. You känner till – another particle verb with the stress on till, it's like 'know about' in English. Or you just say hört talas om 'heard about' or some other expression.

    If you know a song so that you can sing/play it, then it's kan. But if you just recognize it, it's känner igen, and if you've heard about it, it's känner till. It is a bit complicated!


    On the plus side, if you manage to learn the difference between the two, you are one step closer to also getting it in French (connaître vs savoir).


    I came to the comments for clarification and I leave even more confused


    So, I think I can help you as I've been speaking Swedish for quite a while now.

    In English you would really say "She doesn't know who she is". Whether that's another person or herself would be up to the listener to figure out based on context.

    However, if you understand the character of the Swedish language you know it is quite anal about who you're talking about (Annika kysser sin man / Annika kysser hennes man). In Swedish you need to specify that she is talking about herself (själv), or else it would mean the object of the sentence is someone else.

    What the creators of the course have done is transliterate the sentence to make this point more understandable. It might sound weird but it reflects how the Swedish language works.


    From the comments here, I got it, but I had a hard time parsing the English version of this sentence. I didn't know if the second she was the same person as the first. I guess the "herself" is supposed to clarify it.

    Sometimes people say, "She doesn't know something herself," to mean she doesn't know it, but she can find the information or knows who does know. Like I might be asked who that woman shaking the king's hand is, and I don't recognize . "I don't know who she is myself... but my Swedish friend probably does." Would that be phrased differently in Swedish?


    So the most "conservative", albeit not necessarily idiomatic translation to english would be: "She herself does not know who she is"?


    Why is sjalv not at the end of the sentence since "herself" is at the very end? This stuff confuses me - the words are all over the place


    Curious why "hon vet inte sig vem hon är" doesn't work. Is it grammatically incorrect or just not how this idea is expressed syntactically?


    The syntax is pretty much like in English, only that we have two different verbs to choose from.
    For knowing people, we say känna, not veta. Hon känner sig själv 'She knows herself'
    For knowing who someone is we say it as veta vem någon är. So Hon vet vem hon är = 'She knows who she is' – it's exactly the same word order as in English in both cases, you just need to pick the right verb.


    Tack. Jag förstår.. "Känna sig" makes sense as a reflexive because it's knowing a person (even if it is herself) whereas "veta" is about knowing something, generally, and, therefore, not reflexive.


    In a way that is spot on, but I should probably add that the verb in this sentence isn't what we normally call reflexive.
    There is a reflexive verb känna sig which translates into 'feel' in English: Jag känner mig trött = 'I am feeling tired'. But here, we just have a normal verb that happens to have the same subject and object, and this is why we also need the word själv.

    But you're right about how känna is used with people and veta is used for knowing facts.


    she does not recognize herself? this sentence makes little to no sense at all to a native english speaker.


    I assumed it was talking about another woman, since it used 'hon' instead of 'sig', but all the comments so far suggest otherwise. I'm still not clear on why, is there a rule I'm missing?


    In the sentence here, you cannot use "sig" in place of the second "hon". The pronoun "sig"is used only as a direct object or object of a preposition that occurs in the same clause as the subject (han/hon) to which it refers.

    Here we have a new clause introduced by the relative pronoun "vem", so a sig referring back to the "hon" in the first clause is impossible.


    I dont understand


    I'm also still pretty confused about the meaning of this sentence, after reading the comments my understanding is that it is not about being confused about your feelings, it's literally not knowing who you are.

    For example, this sentence would be used to describe a situation like this: A woman got into an accident and injured her head. When the rescue team asks who she is (her name, address, phone number, etc.), she can't reply because due to her injury she has no knowledge / memory of that.

    In other words:

    Hon känner inte sig själv (she doesn't know herself) - she should see a psychologist

    Hon vet själv inte vem hon är (she doesn't know herself who she is) - she should see a medical doctor

    Am I understanding this right?


    "Hon vet inte vem hon själv är" is not accepted as the right answer. June 2020.


    And it is good that your sentence is not accepted, right?

    Or do you have a reason for believing that the "själv" should modify the second "hon" rather than the first "hon"?


    Jag kände mig dum. Every time I do duo practice. This sentence construction does not match the English and it is confusing.

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