Verb questions: Lagar and Stöttar
I recently bought a book of Swedish verbs and looking through it, I compared it with Duolingo and am a little confused.
According to the book, Lagar is the present tense for "To mend, to make" but Duolingo seems to say its related to cooking, which is really confusing.
Duolingo says that the present tense for "support" is Stöttar. But my book says the present tense is "Stöder". Is my book wrong?
As a native speaker I can confirm that the above about laga is correct. Stöttar and stödjer/stöder can both mean "to support" but in slightly different contexts. Both can mean physical support (e.g. poles under a house) and to give emotional support, but stödja has more meanings. Stödja can also mean 1) to support an idea, a cause or proposition because you agree with it or 2) to rest against or support yourself with something, both figuratively and literally.
I cannot explain the different translations of 'support' (I am not a native speaker), but regarding 'att laga' the book is correct and Duolingo is, too.
On its own 'att laga' means 'to make / to mend'. In Duolingo, however, you encounter the word in the context 'att laga mat' which means 'to cook' (literally 'to make food').
It’s true that stöda is a younger form than stödja, but you don’t want to give off the impression that stödja is somehow archaic or not commonly used.
According to a corpus search, stödja is 25x more common (~75000 vs ~3000 hits) than stöda on social media (which I regard as an informal context). As a comparison, it’s 75x more common (~16000 vs ~200) in literature and in newspapers (which I regard as a formal context).
You've probably got used to these words by now, but my suggestion with "att laga/att laga mat" is to think about the English verb "to fix". On its own it can mean to mend or repair something, but you can also talk about "fixing a meal" to mean cooking. I hope that makes the words seem a little less strange.