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Progressive form in Scandinavian languges Options
rogermue
Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2015 4:31:55 PM

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Progressive form in Scandinavian languages

In German one can say

1 Ich bin beim/am Essen (I'm eating) (I'at/in/in the act of eating)

In Dutch

2 Ik ben aan het eten (I'm eating) (I'm at the eating)

What is it in Danish or Swedish? Are there similar forms with a preposition
and a gerund/Infinitiv as noun?
With Swedish dictionaries I got

3 Jag är ... att mecka med bil.
But I could not find out if there is a preposition or not.
The sense is: I'm tinkering about with my car.
Anders Wrist
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 6:01:12 AM

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In Danish it would be something along the lines of:

Jeg er i gang med at spise (I am in the progress of eating)
Jeg er i færd med at spise (same as above)
Jeg er ved at spise (I am at the act of eating)

"gang" means walk, so it denotes a progress towards something, and "færd" is more or less the same, meaning journey - so a journey towards a goal, i.e. progression (it is however less commonly used than the two other examples).
"ved" can be translated with "at, by, on, upon", and can be used to denote a state of progress towards a goal.

(I have no formal background in languages, and not really up to date on the terminology, but I hope what I wrote is understandable nonetheless).
rogermue
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 6:19:59 AM

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Hi Anders, yes that is good information and it is exactly what I was lo
oking for.And though I have almost no knowledge of Danish I understand your explanations.
I see that gang is connected with German Gang and gehen/ging/gegangen.

And that færd is connected with Fahrt anf fahren.
And spise seems to be the verv, infiniitve and the infinitive as noun. German speisen, das Speisen.
med at spise seems to be mit dem Speisen = mit dem Essen.
Is it at spise a dative? And how is the nominative? Or the singular declension.
Is at spise neuter, das Speisen?

I'm a bit unsure as to ved at spise. Is it bei dem Speisen?
Well, I have to study the Danish dictionary and read the basics of Danish nouns and
declensions.

Ah, I see, er in Jeg er is English are as in you are.
rogermue
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 6:48:50 AM

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Danish: at rejse -das Reisen and zu reisen (infinitive)

Now I understand it better. "at rejse" has a double nature,
it can be used as a noun from the infinitive and would correspond to das Reisen,
in Low German dat Reisen.
Probably dat to at.

And at the same time it can be the infinitive maker, English to, German zu /tsu/.
- At rejse er at leve - To travel is to live - "Zu reisen ist zu leben",
proper German: Reisen ist Leben.

- Jeg elsker at spise kartofler - I love to eat potatoes -
"Ich liebe zu essen Kartoffeln",
proper German: Ich liebe es, Kartoffeln zu essen/ Ich esse gern Kartoffeln.

As gerund:
Han tog livet afsig ved at springe ud af et vindue -
"Er zog Leben-das/es ab von sich durch
das Springen aus von einem Fenster" - Proper German:
Er tötete sich indem er aus einem Fenster sprang.

Source of the examples: en.wikipedia Danish Grammar. (A bit meagre.)
rogermue
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 7:03:07 AM

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Now, as Danish is related to Swedish, I think that in Swedish there is also
a common progressive form with to be + preposition + gerund.
Perhaps we have some Swedish members here who can give information.

I'm interested in this problem because I want to back up my view
that the English progressive form I'm doing is rather to be + gerund
(with drop of the preposition) than to be + present participle
(the traditional view).
Anders Wrist
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 7:32:23 AM

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rogermue wrote:
Hi Anders, yes that is good information and it is exactly what I was lo
oking for.And though I have almost no knowledge of Danish I understand your explanations.
I see that gang is connected with German Gang and gehen/ging/gegangen.


Yes, the two words are the same, though obviously the inflections differ.

rogermue wrote:

And that færd is connected with Fahrt anf fahren.
And spise seems to be the verv, infiniitve and the infinitive as noun. German speisen, das Speisen.
med at spise seems to be mit dem Speisen = mit dem Essen.
Is it at spise a dative? And how is the nominative? Or the singular declension.
Is at spise neuter, das Speisen?


Yes, "spise" is a noun (food, or dish), though not commonly used. It is a verb in the infinitive "at spise" (to eat), and it is indeed a german word originally.

The nominative inflection is as follows:
Singular indefinite: spise
Singular definite: spisen
Plural indefinite: spiser
Plural definite: spiserne

rogermue wrote:

I'm a bit unsure as to ved at spise. Is it bei dem Speisen?
Well, I have to study the Danish dictionary and read the basics of Danish nouns and
declensions.


My german is not up to par with my english, but if "bei" is understood as "next to", "near" or "by" in english, then it would be the same as the danish "ved".

rogermue wrote:

Ah, I see, er in Jeg er is English are as in you are.


Yes, that is correct.

As for Swedish, my gut instinct tells me that it would be pretty much the same as in danish. You can say "Jag är i färd med att..." in swedish, which is analogous to the danish "Jeg er i færd med at...", as in my example above. I can't say whether or not it is common to express oneself in this way in swedish, but the basic principle of progression is the same.
rogermue
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 7:38:58 AM

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Thank you very much, Anders.
rogermue
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 7:38:59 AM

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Thank you very much, Anders. I see, I have to read a bit on Danish and Swedish.
There are so many elements of these languages in English.
Anders Wrist
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 8:02:25 AM

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Joined: 1/19/2015
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I'm glad that I could be of help, even with my limited skills in grammar.

I suppose the north germanic languages have had a measurable amount of influence on english, because of the norse settlers during the nordic iron age, and many similarities remain to this day.
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