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"What are you actually doing?"

Translation:Vad håller du på med egentligen?

March 29, 2015

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kuiriale

Can somebody explain 'håller på med' part please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

The phrasal verb "hålla på med" means "to be up to" or "to be doing" [something].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nihil.77swe

Is "vad gör du faktiskt" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, that doesn't work. The phrase is idiomatic and can't really be changed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nihil.77swe

ok, thank you! PS: would it, nonetheless, be understandable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

I would imagine some people would understand what you meant, but a lot of people wouldn't. To estimate the ratio between them would actually be really hard.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nihil.77swe

jävla skit... jag kommer att gråta i ett hörn... :D tack igen!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

There, there... :) you'll get it eventually!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuatSEVENC

Why "Vad gör du verkligen?" doesn't work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, afraid not. We mostly use verkligen as an intensifier, the same way "really" is used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silly.moi

And 'vad gör du egentligen'? It's accepted but I guess it's not the idiom you were looking for?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Not really, but I wouldn't think it weird if I heard somebody say it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicolaSvartberg

"vad gör du för närvarande" has another meaning i suppose, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Yes, that adds the meaning of "currently" to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clovisnox

I really need some explanation about this "Vad håller" + "med" combination. It looks like "med" is becoming the verbe "doing" #nonsense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

I wrote an explanation to kuiriale above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clovisnox

My bad ! I missed it. Tack ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Oh, I didn't mean you should've seen it. I wrote it moments before I wrote an answer to you. Just meant that you could check it out. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HenriqueMarino

What is the rule placing DU in the middle of the phrasal verb? Tack.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Since it's a direct question, you put the verb directly after the question word (vad) - but for phrasal verbs, you only move the verb constituent. Hence:

  • Du håller på med något.
  • Vad håller du på med?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mpakern

Why is 'faktiskt' a suggested translation when it is not accepted as a synonym of 'egentligen'? Actually, this happens all the time in the courses that you look at the suggestions and in the end they are not accepted. Without any further explanation this is quite frustrating...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Hints are set coursewide and hence do not always apply to individual sentences. This is a limitation in the system, and not something course content creators can affect. As a result, they're just that - hints - and not an answer key.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mpakern

Tack så mycket för dina svar! I understand that and generally I respect that. I actually would not want a complete answer key. Nevertheless, it happened to me frequently in the Swedish course that the hints brought me in the wrong direction. For example, I just saw a sentence where I should translate something with "take care". I knew "care" translates as "vård" but the programme told me on first place that "take care" means "ta hand". I used it and my answer was not accepted, the right translation was using "vård". I would never have used the other translation if it were not suggested at the first place. Something very similar happened here with "faktiskt": it's not at the first place, but I thought I might use it because I heard it several times in spoken language, but didn't really know when it's ok to use it. Without the hints I would never have thought of it though. But yeah, maybe I don't use the hints as they are intended. I actually write a sentence and check afterwards whether I've chosen the right words. It probably isn't meant that way - in that case, sorry for complaining.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree that this is annoying - for learners and administrators both. But it's a limitation of the system and there's no way around it. I believe Duolingo goes by how often each hint is used in order to show the most frequent ones, on expense of the less common ones.

If this is ever going to change, the system needs to change on a fundamentental level, which course admins - who are just unpaid volunteers - are not able to do. Even then, adding hints for every sentence is going to take hundreds of hours of manual work throughout the courses - and since the system often uses non-default translations in the generated exercises, it still wouldn't be enough.

So I agree with what you're saying but I don't think it can be feasibly improved at this point without making major changes to the platform.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patti309623

how might you actually translate faktiskt? or why would it be wrong in this sentence? Tack så mycket


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

faktiskt typically means "actually" in the sense of "as a matter of fact".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Salva265354

What about a simpler ... "Vad gör du egentligen" .. ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

That's also a sensible translation, though not exactly as idiomatic, as noted above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calebglot

Could you use the word order "Vad håller du på egentligen med?" Also, does this have an incredulous nuance to it or a friendly softing of the question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, the egentligen needs to go either after the verb word in the phrasal verb - i.e. håller egentligen på med - or at the very end. Since it's a question, the subject du is also placed after the verb word, and takes precedence, hence these work:

  • Vad håller du egentligen på med?
  • Vad håller du på med egentligen?

There's little difference in connotation, but the latter is much more common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Salva265354

I tend to agree with Deval ... "Vad håller du på egentligen med?" sounds rather off also to my ear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, that one isn't grammatical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calebglot

Thanks for the answer to the word order question.

My second question remains unanswered, though. In English this sentence could be quite rude, neutral, or even friendly depending on the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Sorry, I misread and thought you were asking whether one was preferrable over the other in regards to connotation.

The question itself is neutral, but depending on how, when, why, and to whom you ask it, it can take on just about any tone. So it's quite a lot like its English counterpart.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calebglot

Tack ska du ha!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/INF2401

"egentligen" surely is a cognate with the german word "eigentlich" but from what I've heard, it just isnt used the same way.

Can you maybe try to explain it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susana73000

The translation is used often as an aggressive term. Like if someone stepped on your dog. If you're interested in what someone is ACTUALLY doing, it would be more fitting with "Vad håller du egentligen på med."

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