Norwegian: Såpass

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by sjiraff, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. sjiraff

    sjiraff Senior Member

    Scotland, UK
    English
    Hello again,

    I usually try to limit how often I make threads here at least without researching the phrase/word as much as possible first, but given that I haven't been able to find any concrete definition of this word for a while, and that it seems to be everywhere, a clarification might even help others also learning Norwegian.

    Såpass

    What exactly is the difference between såpass and "så"? At first I thought it was more of an indicator of the "degree of something" (Like, "Eska var såpass tung at jeg ikke klarte å bære den hit"?). (the box was so heavy that I couldn't manage to carry it here)

    Here are two examples I got from a video with some examples of the word:

    1. Godt å få bekreftet en såpass stor ordre - Good to confirm such a big order.

    2. Det er veldig bra at denne feilen oppdages såpass tidlig - It's very good that this error is discovered sufficiently early

    Now for number 1, would I be wrong in saying you could also say "Godt å få bekreftet en stor ordre"?

    For number 2, I'm quite unsure, I probably would have said "tilstrekkelig tidlig" or "tidsnok" or something.

    When should and shouldn't one use "såpass"?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ífaradà Junior Member

    Norwegian/Yoruba
    Såpass is a word with a couple different uses. It can mean different things depending on the context.

    You can use "så" in the first example, indeed, but såpass sounds better.

    In the second example, "såpass" means: "it's very good that this terror was discovered this early. (As early as it was).

    Tilstrekkelig tidlig sounds odd and is not in use. Tidsnok, however, is a good replacement for såpass, though it would change the meaning slightly.
     
  3. sjiraff

    sjiraff Senior Member

    Scotland, UK
    English
    Ahh I see, I had a feeling it was like "this early" (because it's unique to English we "this" and you wouldn't say "dette tidlig" in Norwegian)

    But does this mean it would apply to something like, "Why are you THIS/SO angry?" - "Hvorfor er du såpass sinna?"?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Ífaradà Junior Member

    Norwegian/Yoruba
    Exactly!

    Though you would have to say "hvorfor er du så sinna?" (So in English).
    Doesn't really make much sense, but that's how the word works >.<

    If you are really unsure about its usage, you can replace it with another word 99% of the time.
     
  5. sjiraff

    sjiraff Senior Member

    Scotland, UK
    English
    Hmm, I thought I was on to something there with "såpass sinna", but in that case, I think I'll play it safe most of the time and just stick to så mostly.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Ífaradà Junior Member

    Norwegian/Yoruba
    You were onto something. Look here:

    De er såpass sinna at de kan gjøre hva som helst - they are angry at the point where they could do anything.
    De er så sinna at de kan gjøre hva som helst - they are so angry they could do anything.
     
  7. sjiraff

    sjiraff Senior Member

    Scotland, UK
    English
    Ah! So you're saying it's used in a comparison(sort of), almost like saying "i den grad at..."?
     
  8. Ífaradà Junior Member

    Norwegian/Yoruba
    Almost, yes.

    Let's say there's a bottle, let's say half the bottle needs to be filled with water before it gets angry. "Såpass" in my example above, informs us that the bottle has reached this point, and is now capable of anything.
     
  9. sjiraff

    sjiraff Senior Member

    Scotland, UK
    English
    Yeah, I think I get it. More confident with the "såpass x...at han kan y" usage than the others, but understanding them written is no problem.

    Cheers!
     
  10. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    Ífaradà has already given you a good explanation, but maybe I could add that there often is an element of moderation in "såpass". That is probably why you can't use "såpass" in "hvorfor er du så sinna?"

    I think you can translate this sentence a bit differently:
    Godt å få bekreftet en såpass stor ordre - Good to confirm an order of that size.
    Godt å få bekreftet en så stor ordre - Good to confirm such a big order.

    With "såpass", the order is sizeable, but you are not necessarily impressed or overwhelmed by it.
     
  11. sjiraff

    sjiraff Senior Member

    Scotland, UK
    English
    I think I get what you mean, an order "of that size". Does that mean maybe you could say, "Hvorfor er du en såpass sinna mann?"? Maybe?
     
  12. myšlenka Senior Member

    Norwegian
    Your first example doesn't sound like idiomatic Norwegian, it's weird.

    - used to talk about degree, always modifying an adverb or an adjective.
    Såpass - used to talk about degree in comparison with what you would expect in the given context.
     
  13. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    Thanks myšlenka - this was really a much better explanation than my attempts!

    No need to apologize, sjiraff. Your questions deal with things that most native speakers have never thought about - because it is natural for us. I usually learn something new about my own language from your questions. But this also means that some of us have to fumble a bit, before we are able to explain.
     

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