1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Maybe he is on the phone?"

"Maybe he is on the phone?"

Translation:Han kanske pratar i telefon?

March 26, 2015



How come the "V2 rule" is not respected here? Is kanske an exception?


You're right, there's something special about kanske – maybe the fact that it comes from kan ske that makes this one of the very few exceptions to the V2 rule.


Thanks! :) So is it completely false to say "Han pratar kanske i telefon" or "Kanske pratar han i telefon", or are all three acceptable?


All three are acceptable.


Nice! Tack så mycket


Useful, tack så mycket :D


So, is there a chance that one can still be rejected when s/he forgets the R at the end of the verb? I was once rejected because of exactly this, with a different sentence. Now I wrote:

Han prata kanske i telefon?

And was rejected again. Am I right about my thought? If yes, this is tricky, but I think I understand why this is rejected. Maybe.


@SkldpadsJordgubb: No, the r is required because of the present tense.


Yes, exactly. We do accept it with an r. I've seen reports recently that single typos have been marked wrong, though, so it's probably a new change to the typo system. (Intentional or not, I don't know.)


Is the R optional because of "kanske"?


@devalanteriel Thanks a lot, so it is the present tense. As I haven't reached any lecture on the past or the future tense yet, I couldn't tell for sure. But as for typos, I always thought that it depended on alternative answers as added by creators and moderators, so that the algorithm only decided which to accept and which to refuse by the set of answers permitted. On the other hand, this would result in one hell of work for original creators...


Its because the V2 rule just likes to mess with you any way it can.


Damn Swedes your prepositions are killing me.


Is it incorrect to use "på telefonen", like "on the phone" ?


This is my question too. "i telefonen" sounds odd to me.


I was wondering the same thing but perhaps på telefon is to the telephone as opposed to on the phone?


Why is it telefon and not telefonen


Just idiomatic differences - like when Swedish says på jobbet and English says "at work".


This circumstance is reminding me of another lesson (but I can't remember which one). Is it idiomatic to say it this way because to say telefonen would mean a specific telephone, vice just any telephone? (maybe the example had to do with listening to the radio, but not a specific radio)


Possibly, but I honestly have no idea about why the phrase came to be like this. :)


Why is Kanske han pratar i telefon wrong?


The verb must come second. "Han" isn't a verb. Kanske is strange because although "maybe" isn't a word, kanske is made up from "kan" "ske" ("can" "happen") and so satisfies the V2 rule. (I'm pretty sure my explaination is correct but if not then I'm sure someone will correct me).


This one is confusing to me. Shouldn't i be able to start this with a verb as it's a question? So, "Pratar han kanske i telefon?"


Question: since kanske doesn't follow the v.2 rule, is there any reason why I was marked wrong for "kanske han pratar i telefon?" does putting kanske before han change the meaning, or did I make a grammar error? I ask because I was marked wrong on another question for putting the pronoun before kanske...so I am confused.


Yeah, perfectly valid, but I still think you should accept "Pratar han kanske i telefonen?"


That would be i telefon, in the indefinite.


Is there any difference between "Is he maybe on the phone?" and "Maybe he is on the phone?" when translated to Swedish or are they both "Han kanske pratar i telefon?"

("Is he maybe on the phone?" sounds a bit awkward to me in English, but "Is he perhaps on the phone?" sounds fine.)


You could use Pratar han kanske i telefon? to get the same connotation as "Is he maybe/perhaps on the phone?" in English. :)


Why is kanske han i telefon wrong?


That reads like its English counterpart: "maybe he on the phone".


How come "kanske han är på telefonen?" doesn't work?


You're "on the phone" in English, but Swedish doesn't have that idiom.


I wrote "Han är kanske på telefonen " and got marked wrong. Arnauti can you please explain. One can be on the telephone but not talking? Please help me understand this sentence. Tack


It doesn't really translate literally. Han är på telefonen sounds like he's physically on top of a phone.


Not related to this issue but how do you know the difference between an EN and ETT word, answer, you do not but get punished for it anyhow


No, there are some tendencies (see e.g. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/6329293), but for the most part you have to learn the noun's gender as you learn the noun.


Kanske han ringer is also correct


No, that'd be ringer.


Could "kanske" be in the very end of the sentence? Sounds better to my ear but, that doesn't mean anything when it comes to grammar


Neither your nor Your Swedish answer is not a question at least in ordinary sense. Are you asking if he is on the phone. Or are you exclaiming that maybe he IS on the phone. And you response is formatted in a question. Please consider removing this.

  • Have you seen Sven?
  • No, I haven't. Maybe he's on the phone?

Perfectly valid sentence.

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