Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Alisha: How do I say "no" in Swedish?
Jesper: And how do I make negative sentences?
Alisha: At SwedishPod101.com, we hear these questions often. In this scenario, Hedda Hakansson did her homework. She asked her mother, Hanna Hakansson,
"Is this correct?"
Hedda Håkansson: Är detta rätt?
Dialogue
Hedda Håkansson: Är detta rätt?
Hanna Håkansson: Nej, inte "snabb mat" utan "snabbmat."
Alisha: Once more with the English translation.
Hedda Håkansson: Är detta rätt?
Alisha: "Is this correct?"
Hanna Håkansson: Nej, inte "snabb mat" utan "snabbmat."
Alisha: "No, not 'snabb mat', but 'snabbmat.' "

Lesson focus

Alisha: In this lesson, you'll learn how to say "no" and make negative sentences in Swedish. First, let's review how to make a simple negative sentence. In Swedish, you make a negative sentence with the use of the word
Jesper: inte
Alisha: which is the equivalent of the word "not" in English. We place this word in different positions in a sentence depending on several factors. Allow us to show you an example:
Jesper: Jag gillar inte glass, för jag är laktosintolerant.
Alisha: "I do not like ice cream, because I am lactose intolerant." The negation is placed after the verb if it is part of a main clause, such as in this example: If it's part of a subordinate clause, it's placed before the verb, like in this sentence:
Jesper: Eftersom jag inte gillar glass äter jag istället frukt till efterrätt.
Alisha: "Because I do not like ice cream, I eat fruit for dessert instead." As for how to say "no" in Swedish, we do that with the word
Jesper: nej
Alisha: When someone asks you if you're hungry, and you're not, you can reply with a simple,
Jesper: Nej
Alisha: or "No." You can also reply with a more complete sentence like,
Jesper: Nej, jag är inte hungrig.
[Recall]
Alisha: This time, let's take a closer look at the dialogue.
Do you remember how Hanna Håkansson says ""No, not 'snabb mat', but 'snabbmat?'"
(pause 4 seconds)
Jesper as Hanna Håkansson: Nej, inte "snabb mat" utan "snabbmat."
Alisha: Here, we see the expression
Jesper: Nej
Alisha: which is the Swedish word for "no." We also see the word,
Jesper: inte
Alisha: placed before the object. While most of the time the word order of Swedish is the same as that in English, there are small differences when the beginning of the sentence is something other than the subject of the verb. The rule is that the main verb will be in the second position in declarative sentences. Another rule in making negative sentences in Swedish is to place the negation before the object in straight sentences, that is, if the sentence follows the regular word order. What if the word order is reversed, such as in interrogative sentences? In that case, the negation is placed after the noun. Take this sentence, for example:
Jesper: Studerar han inte svenska?
Alisha: "Isn't he studying Swedish?"
[Summary]
Alisha: In this lesson, you learned how to make a negative sentence in Swedish. To do so, we use the word
Jesper: inte
Alisha: or "not." To review, we insert this negation after the verb in the sentence if the negation is part of a main clause, such as in
Jesper: Jag gillar inte glass, för jag är laktosintolerant.
Alisha: "I do not like ice cream, because I am lactose intolerant." If the negation is part of a subordinate clause, we insert it after the verb in the sentence, as in,
Jesper: Eftersom jag inte gillar glass äter jag istället frukt till efterrätt.
Alisha: "Because I do not like ice cream, I eat fruit for dessert instead." You've also learned that the negation is placed right after the conjugated verb in the sentence if the sentence follows the regular Swedish word order, which is subject, verb, and object, as in
Jesper: Jag studerar inte svenska
Alisha: "I am not studying Swedish." On the other hand, if the negation is part of a sentence where the word order is reversed, the negation is to be inserted right after the noun. Finally, you've learned how to say "no" in Swedish with the help of the word,
Jesper: nej,
Alisha: which is the word you will use when refusing something, such as when you say,
Jesper: Nej tack.
Alisha: or "No, thank you."
Cultural Expansion
Alisha: There are three other Swedish words for "no" you need to be familiar with. These are
Jesper: ingen, inget, and inga
Alisha: In attributive use, these three words correspond to the English 'no', 'not a', and 'not any', respectively. Here are examples for each word:
Jesper: Ingen människa är fullkomlig.
Alisha: "No man is perfect."
Jesper: Han är inget helgon.
Alisha: "He is no saint."
Jesper: Han har inga pengar.
Alisha: "He has no money." Now, in nominal use, the three words correspond to 'none', 'not any', and 'not one', respectively. Here are some examples:
Jesper: Ingen av oss var där.
Alisha: "None of us were there."
Jesper: Vill du ha pengar, så har jag inga.
Alisha: "If you want money, I don't have any." And, finally.
Jesper: Jag tar hellre detta än inget alls.
Alisha: "I'd rather have this than nothing at all."

Outro

Alisha: Do you have any more questions? We're here to answer them!
Jesper: Vi ses!
Alisha: See you soon!

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