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  5. "Hon ser ut att behöva tvätta…

"Hon ser ut att behöva tvätta sig."

Translation:She looks like she needs to wash herself.

August 5, 2015



I am confused why there is no second "hon" with the infinitive. Is it possible to say it with a second "hon" or would that be wrong in this phrase?


You can say it more like how it's said in English: Hon ser ut som att/om hon behöver tvätta sig 'She looks as if she needs to wash' – but then, just like in English, you don't get an infinitive but the present tense in the second half.

If you rewrite the sentence and switch verbs fromser ut and 'look like' to verka and 'appear', you can get the infinitive in the second part, too: Hon verkar behöva tvätta sig 'She seems to need to wash herself'.


Ah, I was going to ask why 'She appears to need to wash herself' was marked wrong. So 'ser ut' is synonymous with 'liknar' rather than 'verkar'?


I guess the word 'liknar' means to 'look like', i.e. you compare things and see resemblance, and 'ser ut' - 'look'.

For instance:

Mina kläder ser slitna ut.
My clothes look shabby.

Dessa kackerlackor liknar mina.
These cockroaches look like (resemble) mine.


is there any sematic difference between 'ser ut SOM att' and 'ser ut att'?


Please accept "as if" and "as though" in place of "like" in this sentence.


If you want something to be accepted, the best way is to simply report it.


i'm confused, why is it behöva and not behöver? And where did the "som" go? as far as i know the construction is "ser ut som"


Even though you might know it by now, the reason is that it is preceded by the word “att”, which serves the same function as the German “zu” (in subordinate clauses) or “to” in English: It triggers the infinitive mood.


Did you not check what bubble you were doing?


Never a good sign...


Is "ser ut" usually followed by a double infinitive? Would you use it in sentences like "the cat looks like it is hungry"? And, does the "att" only go before the first infinitive? Is it wrong to put it before both infinitives?


How about "wash up?"

  • 1522

It's ambiguous. To you it may mean to wash yourself: to me it means to wash the dishes :)


Would using "som" here be strange? Could anyone explain to me where the "som" went and whats the difference between "ser ut" and "ser ut som"


still waiting here a month later for a reply! :p


Just a guess, and far from sure whether I'm wrong as I too am still learning, but I guess that “ser ut som” could only be followed by a noun, in order to describe an appearance; whereas the word “att” can only be followed by another verb, in order to write a subordinate clause describing the appearance.

Just my two cents. Maybe someone can explain it more correctly, and more comprehensibly.


I feel called out.


I used clean hear instead of wash, but it was marked wrong


In the Swedish sentence, it's very clear that she needs to wash herself, not some other female, so you need to use herself here in English.


Maybe, but in the English sentence "She looks like she needs a wash" it is perfectly clear who needs a wash. There is no way you could assume she needed to wash someone else.


True, but you can say for instance either wash herself or just wash, but not wash her, because the latter would definitely mean she'd be washing someone else.

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