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  5. "Who are you waiting for?"

"Who are you waiting for?"

Translation:Vem väntar ni på?

March 30, 2015

24 Comments


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

why is för not accepted?


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

In Swedish, the preposition with waiting is .


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

tack, i have a lot of problems with på. (though most are related to me not being native english speaker and mixing in and on)


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

Prepositions are very tricky in translating from one language to the other. You'll get the hang of it with enough time and practice. :)


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

Thanks again, and for the motivation; and for all your contributions to the answers, they are very informative.


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

One of Noice's songs sings:

Hej hej, vad väntar du på
Hej hej, det ska nog gå
Hej hej, vad väntar du för
Hej hej, bara kör

That, of course, was done because of the rhymes, but is it certainly wrong?


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

In colloquial speech, you can add a för at the end of a phrase to turn it into a "why?" question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xolove24xo

Why would you use ni and på in this sentence


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

Same thing as in the other thread, please see that answer: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7824458


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jennifer856684

why cant it be du? instead of ni


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

That's also perfectly fine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jormungand10

Would vem väntar ni be acceptable? Minus the på?


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

Not as a translation here, but it's occasionally used to mean "who do you expect [for something]?"


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

Curious - why can I not say, "Vem väntar du efter?" when we use that formulation for "längtar" and I believe also "hittar"?


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

Good question. That actually used to be a correct form as well, and it's not an uncommon phrasing in e.g. older Bible translations and psalms. I'm afraid I don't know why it fell out of fashion.


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

Tack! At least I know I'm not crazy! :)


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

Why can't you say vem vänter du på?


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

That's also accepted, but note it's väntar, not vänter.


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

Technically the correct English sentence is "For whom are you waiting?", although few would say it that way. In Swedish can you not put the particle at the beginning, the way we would (should) put the preposition before it's object in English? I wrote "Pa* vem vantar du?" It was counted wrong.

*(I know there should be accents, but I can't find them here.)


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

I don't really subscribe to the notion that not putting prepositions last is somehow more "technically correct", but yes - you can put it there. It's not usually idiomatic, though, and it's a construction we avoid in the course, since it can be a little too advanced for the scope.


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

Thanks! English is ridiculous in that (among other reasons) during the Norman Conquest French rules (such as not ending a sentence with a preposition) were imposed on a Germanic language with verbs that include prepositions. (My favorite example is "Those are the shoes upon which George Bush threw." Remember that little Japanese relations faux pas?) It makes no sense at all, but that's British history.

The Duolingo lesson I read on particle verbs seems like the same thing as the German. I know that in romance languages the preposition rule is firm. Brits seem to use the structure routinely, but here in the U.S. it's common to ignore it, so much so that I've heard language students discussing whether or not the word 'whom' is obsolete. It's not. A 4-year-old native English speaker in rural Kansas asked me "For whom are you making it?" It especially sets my teeth on edge when people attach superfluous prepositions to the end of questions that don't need them. Case in point: 'where are you going to' instead of plain old 'where are you going'.

That's enough of my rant.

My familiarity with Swedish is minimal, and I'm left with two questions. First, is my Swedish sentence correct? (I wasn't sure if you mean that the construction is not used in the course in English, in Swedish, or both. I've seen it used in the Italian, French, and Spanish courses.) If so, is it commonly used in the written and/or spoken language? I guess what I really want to know is whether or not people in Sweden would still look at me weird if I use it in speaking. Sometimes people here do that, even though the English I use is the only language I knew until I was old enough to ride my bike around town by myself, and I learned it in regular midwestern public schools and at home from working class native English speakers. Thankfully, in school I was spared the example of the kindergarten teacher who - while leading a meeting - said "I could of went." Ouch.

Sorry for the verbiage. It's late and my filters are weak!


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

Sorry for the verbiage. It's late and my filters are weak!

No worries. :)

Your sentence is correct, minus the diacritics - it's just not a very idiomatic construction in Swedish, and it's not common (though neither is it rare).

Hence, we tend to not use it in the course regardless of language. We're a lot stricter in the Swedish the course than in most other courses when it comes to sentence construction, since we're trying to actively teach how to phrase things in Swedish. Because of this, prepositional phrases might be accepted if moved a little, but not generally allowed to rewrite the entire thing. The argument is that we think it's easier for people to learn the appropriate Swedish constructions if we're a bit stricter with how they correlate to English.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to this approach, and it will occasionally result in less idiomatic English as well.

Hope that helps!


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

Yes, thank you!


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

If most people say it in a certain way, it's the correct way to say it. That's how languages work.

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