1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Grumpy people are no good!"

"Grumpy people are no good!"

Translation:Sura människor är inget att ha!

March 20, 2015



Why can't you say directly "are no good", like "är inte bra"?


I tried the same, but I'm still wondering why it's wrong...


I'm wondering too...


That would mean are not good which, while technically the same, doesn't carry the same nuance. When translating, we want to carry as much meaning to the Swedish as possible so if there is a matching expression, we use that.


I'm not sure I understand. The sentence above is ".... are no good"?


(Sorry for the late answer) Yes, the sentence above is "are no good". I think what we are all confused about is why it is not okay to translate that as "är inte bra". Maybe this is accepted now, don't know, but when I posted it certainly wasn't.

I understand "inget att ha", it makes perfect sense to me and I understand that this sentence is probably here to teach this expression. But at the same time I also feel like "är inte bra" would work just as well, although it would technically mean "are not good".


Yes, you can say inget bra with the same meaning as above. Note though that that will be inget bra in Swedish. Just like you said no good in English.

If it had said not good in English, inte bra would have been a good translation.

Generally, not in English is inte in Swedish, and no is ingen/inget/inte. We're trying hard to get this through to our students since it seems that people who speak English tend to easily mix the two up. But it's really much easier than many people understand!

'This is not a book' = Det här är inte en bok
'I am not eating' = Jag äter inte
'We have no books' = Vi har inga böcker
'I have no energy' = Jag har ingen energi


Can you say "this is no book"="det här är ingen bok"? Or "I do noT have [eg. the] energy"="jag har inte energi[n]"?


This is a perfect explanation! I genuinely struggled with this and didn't think there was a difference. But now it's clear! Thanks.
However, i still have a problem with EJ. I don't know when it's used. Can you help me with this?


ej is synonymous with inte, just formal. You'll encounter it in formal text and where brevity is important, such as on road signs.


I do agree that it can be frustrating when a translation isn't accepted, but I think "no good" and "not good" are different in English.

My take is that saying "Grumpy people are not good" is talking about something fairly concrete, e.g. "Grumpy people are not good because they bring everyone down", or "Grumpy people are not good as teachers."

Saying "Grumpy people are no good" means they generally have no use or redeeming features, and nobody would ever want them around.

I think it's clearer when talking about a single person. "He's no good" is a description of his character. Maybe he's got a long criminal record or he's always letting others down. "He's not good" sounds more like the answer to a question asking how he is or how skilled he is at something.

Also, as you suggested, I think this sentence is really trying to teach us "...är inget att ha". The simple use of "inte" is well covered elsewhere.


Yeah, looking back on it I totally understand what you mean. Will take it up for discussion with the other mods to make sure we're on the same train.


I got "sura människor är inte bra" wrong. Is it not correct?


I don't quite undetand what inget att ha means.


Well, literally it means "nothing to have", which means nothing worth having, which means it's no good.


I was going to ask why it can't be ingen since we're dealing with people here. You answered my question. :)


So in swedish you can not say are no good? Even though there is är for are inget for no and bra for good . Those words together wouldn't mean are no good?


It can work very colloquially at times, especially if you say inge' bra and skip the t, but it's not very proper Swedish.


Why doesn't "folk" work here?


In English, people also doubles as the plural of person, but in Swedish, it doesn't.

So it's like this: Peter, Paul, and John are three people in English, but they're not tre folk in Swedish. Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes are tre folk in Swedish.


So 'folk' would bear closer resemblance to "peoples" as in whole groups, not persons?


Yup, when it's used as a countable noun. As an uncountable noun, you can say mycket folk, but then you don't see them as several individuals, but as a crowd.
Compare with fruit or paper in English where you can say either many or much, but you get different meanings.


I also want to know this


Why "inget"? Människor is plural...shouldn't it be "inga"?


Graham, here "inget" is a pronoun, not an adjective modifying "människor". (If it were an adjective modifying a plual noun, then yes, it would take a plural ending. But it's not.)


"Nothing worth having"?


DL corrected my attempt (using vresiga and inte) to "Griniga människor är inget bra!" Would that have been accepted if I had written it first time? I have a screen shot of it in case it's just wrong! Just tried it and it was accepted!


About 'people', a TV program on IKEA ('Flatpack Empire') showed their slogan which talked of being better for 'de manga manniskorna' (sorry for missing accents) which in English they translate as 'the many people'. That sounds funny in English, does it sound funny in Swedish?


My wife, a Swede, would not say it that way.


I do not doubt that, and I'm sure she has equivalent sayings that are just as fine as well. This is perfectly idiomatic Swedish, though, even if your wife doesn't use it personally.


I am quite puzzled by this construction, inget att ha contains none of the words I've learned thus far that mean good, such as god or bra, so I was nowhere near the correct answer...


It's an idiom - inget att ha translates to "no good" only for idiomatic purposes.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.