"Oftast lagar vi mat själva."

Translation:Usually we cook by ourselves.

March 24, 2015



I prefer to cook my food and not to cook myself -- ouch! Better English would be "Usually we prefer to cook by ourselves."

March 24, 2015


I would say "...for ourselves", since "...by ourselves" to me implies "alone" as opposed to "with someone else", whereas "...for ourselves" to me says "as opposed to letting someone else cook for us".

April 6, 2015


This is how I interpreted it. I don't think "by ourselves" implies the same meaning at all.

June 9, 2015


I think that's on purpose for fun. :) I assume that your translation is accepted, too.

March 24, 2015


'Usually we cook by ourselves' is accepted, but we don't accept adding prefer to here, I think that would be adding a bit too much that isn't there in the Swedish sentence.

March 24, 2015


Fair enough. If you want to add it as a second-level comment, I can withdraw mine.

March 24, 2015


I think the original comment by km1 was not that the sentence should include "prefer" but that "cooking myself" refers idiomatically to suffering a burn, and literally to being cooked. In spite of the lengthy comment by the Californian below, it is technically grammatical to say "I cook myself" but not culturally accepted to describe cooking "for" myself (cooking my own food) or cooking "by" myself (without other people in the kitchen to distract me). There -is- one other use for "I cook myself," as a contrastive or emphatic phrase. It parallels the native speaker's claim to expertise (which could be phrased "well in contrast to all you second-language English speakers, I speak native English myself, and I think....").

January 18, 2017


But does our food not make a difference, then myself is not the object.

I cook the food myself vs. I cook myself

I will tell him myself vs I will tell myself

I water the flowers myself vs I water myself

January 18, 2017


Yes, that would eliminate any misunderstanding.

July 25, 2018


I don't mean to use my status as a native English speaker to condescend or to elevate my opinion on this matter at all, but I'm convinced that what I'm saying is right and I'd like to explain it better, but I think it's kind of tricky to explain to a non-native (it's even tricky to explain to another native!)

But I thought of a better example that may help.

The difficulty here is in English, when you use the word ourselves or myself, it wants to act like an object, as kirakrakra points out, but it doesn't have to.

A good example would be the phrase "I dabble myself." If someone asks you, "do you play poker?" You might reply, "I dabble (in it) myself." The object here (in it) can be omitted. "I dabble myself" is perfectly fine, and clear. You could also say "I myself dabble (in it)."

I completely understand the confusion here, but I fully support the mods deciding to accept "Usually/often we cook (for/by) ourselves." It's perfectly acceptable English despite sounding so strange. (imho!)

January 18, 2017


Why so many words for 'usually'? Are Oftast/brukar/vanligtvis all synonymous and interchangeable? Tack!

June 9, 2015


"usually", "normally", "typically", "often", "habitually", ... :)

June 20, 2015


"Brukar" is a verb and so isn't quite interchangeable. Not sure about the others.

June 12, 2015


"We usually make our own food" seems to make more sense to me. 'Cooking ourselves' is a weird way to say it.

January 13, 2016


I entered "we often cook cook for ourselves" and was rejected. This would seem to mean the same thing.

August 20, 2016


No, it isn't, at least as far as I'm concerned.

If how I understood this sentence is correct, you'd have to say "We often cook food by ourselves", which means that "we" cook the food (by) ourselves without the help of anybody else.

August 21, 2016


Would like to add another voice in favour of "for ourselves". Maybe it's a west coast thing but I would never say "by ourselves"

October 18, 2016


I assume this is the equivalent to "meistens" in German?

July 27, 2016


hej i was curious when is the actual moments when i'm supposed to use oftast and when brukar is more appropriate. thanks in advance to anyone who wants to help me out! :)

December 31, 2016


Generally speaking, brukar is for something you do regularly or habitually, and oftast means most of the time that you actually do something. Please note that there's lots of overlap.

December 31, 2016


I thought 'we usually do the cooking ourselves' might be a good translation, but was marked wrong.

November 16, 2018


It seems like cooking "for ourselves" is better than "by ourselves."

January 28, 2019


Reflexive pronouns + by meaning alone

We often use reflexive pronouns with by to mean ‘alone’ or ‘without any help’:

Why don’t you go by yourself?

The children made the entire meal by themselves.

April 8, 2019


It does not accept "often" in place of usually for some reason, but I believe this is a correct word to use.

December 26, 2017


In Sw. "oftast" is a superlative of "ofta" and should be a superlative in English most often

December 26, 2017


There is a slight difference in English between "often" and "usually."
They both mean that something happens many times.

We use "often" when something happens half the time or more. "We often go to Florida on vacation." Maybe out of 10 vacations, we went to Florida 6 times.

We use "usually" when something happens more often, perhaps 80% of the time. It also implies regularity. It is predictable. It is a habit. It is normal or "usual."

I think "ofta" translates best to "often" and "brukar" translates best to "usually."

April 15, 2019


JeanBean! I would simply use ofta for often and vanligen for usually(vanligen from vana a habit). At least they all are adverbs though the Swedish ones do not have as exaxt numerical significance as their English counterparts apparently have

April 16, 2019


Some years ago we had an english test for chosing better students to send to US for technical courses,the same translation test was there too.the test would give higher point to those who had choosen ....for...

January 26, 2018


Rather than say 'usually' (which I would use as a translation for 'brukar'), why not say "more often than not we do the cooking" ?

May 23, 2018


Other than the word order (feels like there should be a comma in there) that sounds fine to me. But "oftast" can definitely also be translated to "usually." Jag brukar samåka=I usually carpool.

May 23, 2018


"Usually we cook ourselves" means we start the pot boiling and then jump in.

July 3, 2018


"Vi lagar mat själva."

Does this mean that two people are standing side-by-side cooking and nobody else is there?

Or does it mean that I am alone in my own kitchen making dinner, and my friend is alone in her kitchen making dinner?

July 25, 2018


Definitely the former. :)

July 25, 2018


OK, thanks!

July 25, 2018


Most often we cook by ourselves is an acceptable answer while We cook by ourselves most often is not.....

September 30, 2018


I have reported 'Usually, we cook for ourselves' which someone has already brought up, because that would be the most natural way of saying it in English for me. I know that TECHNICALLY you could say that 'for ourselves' means that the food is for us and not someone else, but if you're going to be that technical, then it should not accept 'usually' either. I understand that it accepts 'we usually cook ourselves' which would actually mean like Hannibal Lecter style, DEPENDING on tone. If the stress was on 'selves', then it would sound normal, if the stress was on 'cook' then it would sound like you were planning to eat your own body. Basically what I'm saying is, it's a sentence with some subtleties that in English would most commonly be negotiated with "cook FOR ourselves..."

April 7, 2019
Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.