I understand that but sur means "sour" or "grumpy," right? As Arnauti said above, in English, this would feel more like "cross," not angry. My question, however, is why "mad," which is a synonym of "angry" in English can't be used here. Is there another Swedish word that means "mad?"
Yeah, if mad works here angry should work fine. I understand that angry has another translation, and that sur isn't supposed to mean shouting-slamming-doors angry like arg, but this specific sentence just doesn't have an exact translation that preserves the word order. In English I'd say, "What did you do to make him grumpy?" to preserve the exact meaning - "Why is he mad/angry at you?" warps the meaning but not the word order. Mad and angry are equally incorrect; to me they are synonyms, and mad (which is the suggested correct translation) doesn't feel any more specifically brooding. To sum up: Just another request for another mildly incorrect translation to be allowed. Jag är ganska sur när jag skriver "angry" och Duolingo säger att jag skulle ha skrivit "mad." :V
Very interesting semantic issue! I actually think that 'angry' is maybe a bit better than 'mad' as a translation, due to being associated with more serious issues, eg 'my wife is angry/mad at me for forgetting to put out the garbage' vs 'my wife is angry/?mad at me for committing to go on a fauna survey over the weekend without discussing it with her first'. But it's certainly not clear what is best to do!
It's not really that you're supposed to use US English, but rather that "mad with" is used with feelings, not people. You can be "mad with anger" but not "mad with him".
Obviously, that's a prescriptivist view. I'm not saying you're using your language wrong - just that it shouldn't be accepted in the course.
Tyskarna säger också: Warum ist er s a u e r auf dich? PONS ordbok har flera förslag: to be/be getting mad fam [AE sl to be pissed ] [at sb/sth]; to be pissed off [at sb/sth sl ]; to be sore with sb; to be cheesed with sb; to be peeved at sb for sth. https://de.pons.com/übersetzung/deutsch-englisch/sauer+auf+jemanden+sein
We do say, "Don't get surly with me!" But it's kind of a set phrase. I guess you are right that "surly with" isn't very common. If asking about someone else, we would probably say, "Why is he so surly today?"
Where I live, we would more likely ask, "Why is he so crabby?"
I have trouble thinking of a phrase where "at" or "with" is used ... All I can think of is "mad at" or "angry at."
I think "crabby" would be the best translation of "sur," but I'm guessing it won't work to add it because people aren't usually crabby "at" someone, but just "crabby." To include "at you" in the sentence, one would have to say something like, "Why is he crabbing at you?"
But, if "grumpy at you" is accepted, maybe "crabby" should be added. It's way more common where I live.
Perhaps the issue is that I only speak German semi-natively, then, and this would be my Swedish influence peeking through. :) I would use sauer auf in the same way I would sur på - which is less strong than "angry at" but has the same general meaning, just not the same intensity.
Well in german you also have the "böse sein" and I would use it synonymously to sauer sein without making a distinction of the intensity. But there is a distinction when talking about a person. When you say that someone is a bad person you would use only "Böse". Arg I would use in german generally when talking about me, when I'm sorry for something or I feel bad about myself.
That is incorrect English. Is it incorrect Swedish, too? If I were teaching someone English, as you are teaching us Swedish, I would not insist on an incorrect Swedish translation. I would respect your not wanting to promulgate incorrect Swedish, so why do you insist on our using incorrect English? MAD AT is wrong. Why has this been going on for four years with no one fixing it?