"The man runs far away when he finds bread knives in the cabinet."

Translation:Manden løber langt væk, da han finder brødknive i skabet.

May 23, 2015



Why is "when" translated with "da" and not "når"? The action is not in the past.

May 23, 2015


It is definitely 'da' and not 'når'.

The logic might be something a long the lines of considering the running as the present, and therefore the finding of the knives is in the past. Though only just in the past, that still counts.

And other way of thinking about is is looking at the differences between the meaning with 'når' and 'da'¨. With 'når' it would become "The man runs far away whenever he finds bread knives in the cabinet." so more of a general statement about the man. Where as with 'da' it speaks only of a specific instance where this happened.

It is very intuitive to me as a Dane, but explaining it I see how difficult it actually is. But I hope this helps somewhat.

May 24, 2015


The problem is that the given English sentence can have both meanings. There is not sufficient information in that sentence to tell an English reader if this is a specific incident in the past, or a general condition.

May 15, 2019


That makes sense if you think of it as someone describing the plot of a film. But since that's not the usual English interpretation of that sentence, is 'når' also grammatically acceptable?

March 10, 2018


It can be both depending on context. It could be two people whispering about what the outcome of their prank will be, and then you use "når". Which I did. Native speaker getting it wrong. Sometimes, it would be nice if Dualingo put in some context if they don't accept all possible meanings of a sentence.

September 24, 2017


I totally agree. The lack of context makes it difficult to make choices and to understand. It also makes it harder to learn the vocabulary.

November 27, 2017


In your specific case, would using når indicate a future tense via cause and effect? "The man WILL run far away WHEN he finds breadknives in the cabinet."

April 19, 2019
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