Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Icelandic: skulu vs munu

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Reykjavík
    Native language
    English - UK
    Age
    26
    Posts
    1,537

    Icelandic: skulu vs munu

    Sindri keeps telling me off () for writing 'Ég skal gera eitthvað' instead of 'Ég mun gera eitthvað'.
    Both these auxiliary verbs are used to talk about things that will happen in the future, right? But there must be some difference that I'm not picking up on. Could anyone explain for me when you should use which verb?
    Imhotep is invisible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Reykjavík, Ísland
    Native language
    UK English
    Posts
    18,506

    Re: Icelandic: skulu vs munu

    Note: the verb munu really indicates the pure future, while skulu gives an idea of determination, desire, and so on. But, you will find that the verb skulu is of more frequent occurance than is munu.
    Source (p.24)

    The auxiliary munu has epistemic meaning. It expresses intent or possibility.
    As an extension of this, it is also used to express the future tense in a rather neutral or non-modal fashion.

    [...]

    The auxiliary skulu 'shall' still has deontic meaning.
    Source.

    Deontic means the idea of permission, the feeling is up to the will of the speaker, in a sense, i.e. it's not a normal neutral way to express it.

    Icelandic derives from Old Norse and indeed is scarcely changed from it in the written form. Icelandic uses the auxiliaries:

    * "munu" expressing a probable future
    * "skulu" (shall) implying obligation or determination.


    It is believed that in Old Norse "munu" expressed the pure future, "skulu" expressed obligation or determination as it still does, and a third auxiliary, "vilja" ("will"), expressed will or intent.
    Source.

    Hope some of these might shed some light on it.
    It seems like if there's no reason to show determination then munu is the best option.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Umeå, Sweden
    Native language
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Age
    27
    Posts
    1,721

    Re: Icelandic: skulu vs munu

    We make an identical distinction.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Reykjavík
    Native language
    Icelandic
    Age
    28
    Posts
    748

    Re: Icelandic: skulu vs munu

    If you use "skal" then it's like you're volunteering for it.

    Ég skal þrífa bílinn : Yeah ok i can ( shall? ) wash the car

    Ég mun þrífa bílinn : I will wash the car, you know it's firmly or something like that.

    And that does sound strange if you are maybe talking about that you will miss something, "ég skal sakna þess" it just sound wierd because it's like you're being forced to miss this/her/him or what ever.

    Ég mun sakna þess is much better

    I hope i gave you some better insight!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Reykjavík
    Native language
    English - UK
    Age
    26
    Posts
    1,537

    Re: Icelandic: skulu vs munu

    Thanks, everybody!
    Imhotep is invisible.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Native language
    francais-France
    Posts
    2,083

    Re: Icelandic: skulu vs munu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tjahzi View Post
    We make an identical distinction.
    Could you please elaborate a little. Examples woud be greatly appreciated ( with a translation ).

    Thanks in advance.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •