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  5. "Selv om det regner, går vi."

"Selv om det regner, går vi."

Translation:Even if it is raining, we are going.

June 17, 2015



If om can mean both "though" and "if" here, how does one distinguish between "Even though it's raining..." and "Even if it rains..."? I guess context would clarify this case, but what about in other sentences?


You're writing as though/if though and if weren't interchangable in English in some contexts


They are not the same here though.

"Even if it is raining" = we will go whether or not it is raining. ("Even if" = the thing might happen.)

"Even though it is raining" = it is definitely raining and we are going anyway. ("Even though" = the thing is happening or will definitely happen.)


That depends upon English usage... "Even though it is raining, we go", is clear. "Even if it is raining, we go" can mean either, 'it might rain, but we are going, anyway' OR, 'it is raining, and we are going, anyway'. It's not completely clear. Norwegian doesn't really distinguish between them (so this sentence could mean either). If you do need to distinguish, you need to phrase it differently in Norwegian. Maybe: Det regner, men vi går likevel.


It seems to me that there is one simple way to differentiate between the translations of 'even if' and 'even though', and that is the aspect of tense, or at least of time. 'Even though' implies that the event (and the rain) are already happening, since we know it's raining, and thus, the situation is taking place in the present. 'Even if', on the other hand, since we don't know yet whether it will be raining when the event takes place, implies that the event will happen in the future.

In English, 'we are going' can mean either that we are going in the present OR that we are going in the future. We can clarify that it is future tense by saying "Even if it is raining, we WILL go." Without this clear indication of future tense, and without any further context to help clear it up, it seems the original sentence can be translated into English as either 'Even if...' or 'Even though...'.

What I'm wondering is whether Norwegian works in the same way: if we want to ensure that the future tense (i.e., 'Even if it rains') is clear, I assume we could remove all ambiguity by changing the verb to future tense: Selv om det regner, skal vi gå (Even if it rains, we will go). However - and I think this is the crux of the discussion above - is the question of whether the original sentence Selv om det regner, går vi is still ambiguous in that it can refer to either a present ('even though...') a or future event ('even if...'), just like it does in English?

Sorry this comment turned out to be so long! :) If someone could confirm these two questions - both whether the original sentence is ambiguous in Norwegian as it is in English, and whether my proposed sentence including skal works in clearing up the ambiguity - I would very much appreciate it!


I think that 'selv om det regner, går vi' is more likely to be taken as current than otherwise. If the distinction is important, I think that you are correct, and folks would say, 'skal vi gå' instead. It does clear up the ambiguity. Though, in the area where I live, I think they might say, 'Selv om det regner, så skal vi gå'.


@LinkCottrell - Tusen takk! So, there is some ambiguity in the original sentence, but it sounds like "Even though it is raining, we will go" is the best translation.

What part of Norway do you live in, out of curiosity? I'm wondering if the addition of is a colloquialism, as its addition would seem to negate the V2 rule.


I live in Buskerud, south west of Oslo. There are certainly some local differences, though I don't know if the addition of 'så' in this circumstance is colloquial / dialect. They might also say, 'så går vi likavel', but I'm not sure that resolves any ambiguity, though it seems (to me) to make it more immediate sounding. I'm not sure if that impression is correct. Some of these subtle differences escape me!


For the record, "even if" and "even though" are not unclear in English. One always means one thing, and the other always means something else. If someone uses the phrase "even if it is raining, we're going" and means "it is raining right now but we are going anyway" then they are using the language "incorrectly". I understand that over time usage changes, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "even if" and meant "even though"


I have heard people use 'even if' and 'even though' interchangeably in some parts of the Midwestern USA. I have not ever heard it in the UK, but I would not be terribly surprised to do so.


Why is it går vi and not vi går?


It's the V-2 rule. ''Selv om det regner, '' is considered the first part of the sentence, so the verb has to follow directly after it.


What does the rule say?


Old English used to have this same rule and so did some early modern English. Compare: Þá hit regneð þá giet gá ic (when it raineth, then yet go I), or Gá ic þéah hit regneð (go I though it raineth).


The United States Postal Service?


The USPS will go in the rain... using your package as an umbrella.


Just typical Norwegians :D


Can I use hvis instead of om?


Not in this context. 'hvis' doesn't go with 'selv'.


"Even though it is raining, we go" is that correct?


I'm still not clear on when to use 'om' or 'hvis' for "if"? I understand "om" will always go with "Selv om" but I just want to understand "om" and "hvis" in general.


There are many circumstances in Norwegian, where 'om' is used like 'about', 'on', 'if', 'in' and other small prepositions in English, often with other words (e.g. selv om, om kvelden, om bord). These are generally things that you just need to learn.
'Hvis' is used for 'if', usually at the beginning of a prepositional phrase, and without directly connected words. In this context, 'hvis' and 'om' are generally interchangeable.
I think that one could sort of use a rule of thumb that if it is checking a yes/no condition, use 'hvis', and if you could substitute 'whether' or 'about' and get a similar sentence, use 'om'. Other than that it may be regional or subject to use exceptions, or interchangeable; it's probably safer to use 'om' than 'hvis' if you are not sure. p.s. I've been living in Norway for 5 years, and I'm still not always sure.


Hello Linda and thanks for above. I've replayed several times in both initial interrogative and repeat question in answer...I do not hear the "v" in Selv. So is it silent or just my advancing years? (please be kind) 20Jun17


''v' is not usually pronounced in selv, halv, sølv, and similar words.


Shouldn't this be "we are walking"? Or, going in the other direction, "drar vi"? I assume it's still accepted, but from what I understood it should be the primary translation.


The mode of going is walking, but the translation is going. The sentence puts in mind a berry-picking expedition or something :)


This sentence can mean both: "Even though it is raining, we go" and "Even if it is raining, we are going" right? But they mean different things......


That depends upon English usage... "Even though it is raining, we go", means 'it is raining, and we are going, anyway'. "Even if it is raining, we go" can mean either, 'it might rain, but we are going, anyway' OR, 'it is raining, and we are going, anyway'. Norwegian doesn't really distinguish between them. If you do need to distinguish, you need to phrase it differently.

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