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  5. "I knew you were in the park."

"I knew you were in the park."

Translation:Jag visste att du var i parken.

March 30, 2015

6 Comments


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

"Jag visste du var i parken" was marked as wrong. Is it really necessary to use "att" and if so, which cases make it unnecessary?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lundgren8

It’s a difficult question and I have no research to back me up, so I will go with my own intuition, and then ask the other mods if someone knows more:

I think it’s more common with certain verbs, like verbs that introduce some sort of reported speech, such as know, say, think, claim etc. This is still more a spoken phenomenon I think, and the att tends to be included in writing, or at least in more formal writing. In speech, to me, these sentences are fine however.

  • Han visste det var nåt som saknades. (He knew [that] something was missing)
  • Jag tror han kommer i morgon. (I believe [that] he’s coming tomorrow.)
  • Jag sa jag var besviken på honom. (I said [that] I was disappointed in him.)

These sounds more dubious, and probably not very common, but don’t sound completely ungrammatical:

  • ?Det är intressant han gillar språk så mycket. (It is interesting [that] he likes languages so much.)
  • ?De fastställde det rörde sig om något annat. (They confirmed [that] it concerned something else.)

I would never say something like this, I consider this ungrammatical:

  • ﹡Det var roligt han ramlade. (It was fun [that] he fell.)

It also seems to me that the longer the main clause is, the more dubious the omission of that becomes, even though they include the same verbs as above:

  • ?Han hade under dagen vetat det var nåt som saknades. (He had during the day known [that] something was missing.)
  • ?Hur kan du tro han kommer i morgon? (How can you possibly believe [that] he’s coming tomorrow?)
  • ?Alla eleverna i klass 5B sa de var besvikna på honom. (All the pupils in class 5B said [that] they were disappointed in him.)

Also not that this is a different phenomenon than the infinitive marker att that was discussed in this thread.

I shall ask around more and look for scientific papers about the phenomenon, and maybe we can write another text about it that’s not based on my personal intuition.


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

Nice summary! I'd like to add some things, but please note that I don't have any sources here either.

If you can't exclude the att, it's mostly because the det or a similar referrent has been moved to another place in the sentence. You can see this for non-questions by moving the phrases around to a construction where the att is required, but without changing the word order within phrases. Let's compare:

  • Han visste [att] det var nåt som saknades.
  • ?[Att] det var nåt som saknades, han visste.
  • Det var roligt att han ramlade.
  • Att han ramlade, det var roligt.

In the first case, we can see that det var nåt som saknades is a direct argument to han visste, and you can hence leave the att out, since it is implied. But in the second case, att has a slightly different conjunctive function and is required.

It's actually basically the same in English:

  • He knew that there was something missing.
  • He knew there was something missing.
  • It was hilarious that he fell.
  • ?It was hilarious he fell.

I think that it would probably be easy to find patterns through analysis, if anyone is so inclined. For instance, I would assume that phrases beginning with det tend to require the att.


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

What's with "visste" instead of "vet" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlinaIvano6

Because "vet" it's present and "visste" it's passed. I think that


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

Of course it is. I don't even know why I asked this question. I guess I misread the "knew" with a "know".

Thank you.

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