"Vad skulle du göra om du var jag?"

Translation:What would you do if you were me?

March 27, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Why is the nominative jag used here instead of mig?


Swedish uses the nominative case when it's the object of the verb "Vara".

"Det var jag som tog boken"

"Är det du?"

"Det är han"


I should add that English used to use the nominative after "be", e.g. "It is I" but today it just sounds pretentious.


It doesn't sound pretentious; it sounds correct.


Going slightly off-topic but sticking with the dig/du debate. Is it:

Jag är starkare än du? eller Jag är starkare än dig?


I thought that "du" was the grammatically correct one, but that a lot of Swedish people nowadays mostly use "dig". Quite similarly to Dutch actually. (I'll always stick to the nominative variant, because hey, I am a linguist.)


Either is grammatically fine, actually, albeit for different reasons. But snobs will invariably tell you that only du is correct and that other people are illiterate plebs for using dig. :)


Hahaha. Well, I guess I am one of those snobs in the Netherlands then xD. Although I do not accuse other people of being illiterate plebs, I am not that rude.


I meant in Swedish; I don't speak Dutch. But very well, I'll remember you as Gerda the Snob now, then. :p


Lol. I'd rather you would not do that :P Just Gerda is fine.


Both are fine. Here's a link to a long discussion about the finer points: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13904675


Presumably, Swedish uses the same case as the subject, not specifically the nominative, for the object of "vara". Most if not all European languages use the accusative for the subject and object of "to be" verbs in the infinitive, and the nominative with the indicative.


"Predicate nominative" is one of the phrases that has managed to stick with me for the more than 30 years since I studied Latin. (Thanks, Miss Draper!) When the subject of the sentence is equated to the noun in the predicate -- when they are defined as being the same thing with some variation of "to be" -- then the noun in the predicate will also be in the nominative.

It may help to think of it more like maths: "I = the man" (I am the man) is the same as "the man = I" (the man is I). (Mathematical symmetry.)


So whereas English would always use the unchangeable unique-to-that-situation "were" ("if you were me", but also "if I were you"), Swedish would use "vore" in that exact other spot, as a replacement of "skulle vara"?


Yep! Like English "were" in that case, "vore" is a special verb form that's become archaic in all other verbs.


So would it be possible to say om du vore jag (which sounds wrong to me), or om du var jag is the only correct solution?


Both are grammatically fine and common.


I wrote "what would you do in my place" i think it should be accepted... it conveys exactly the same idea


You're right, but "conveys the same idea" isn't always enough as a criterium in a language course. We'd say e.g. vad skulle du göra i mitt fall/ställe? for that meaning in Swedish.


The correct English should be "What would you do if you were I."


The default answer here is perfectly correct. Your answer is also fine.


How would you write in Swedish "what would you done if you were me?"


Did you mean "have done"? If yes, then "What would you have done if you were me?" would be Vad skulle du ha gjort om du var jag?


I should be "What would you do if you were I?".


That's also a correct answer. But language belongs to the people using it. The default answer here is perfectly correct. Because that's how people talk.


is this the same as "what would you do if you were in my situation"? If not, does it have another meaning?

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