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Swedish: Från/ifrån (svenska prepositionen)

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Ozey, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Ozey

    Ozey Senior Member

    Madrid (España)
    Español (Castellano)
    Hi everybody,

    I have recently started learning Swedish, and I'm dealing now with some of those really easy mini-dialogues that give one a headache in spite of their simplicity. Today I've come across the following one:

    A. Hej! Var är du ifrån?
    B. Hej, jag är från Uppsala men jag bor i Stockholm.

    So, my question would be whether 'ifrån' and 'från' are the same preposition or they are different prepositions that have the same meaning in this situation.

    Tak så mycket!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  2. lairthenair New Member

    Stavanger, Norway
    Norwegian
    Från and ifrån are the same preposistion, and in English they're translated to from. There's often no clear distinction between them, but there are some cases were one is preferred over the other:
    1: Only från is used in the beginning of contracted words (frångå, frånhända, frånsida, frånskild, frånsprungen, frånvaro, frånåkt)
    2: Only ifrån is used at the end of contracted words (
    bortifrån, därifrån, hemifrån, nerifrån, norrifrån, utifrån, varifrån)
    3: Ifrån is used in pheasal verbs (I think) : (
    gå ifrån, slå ifrån [sig], säga ifrån, ta ifrån)
     
  3. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    Even if ifrånåkt isn't in the SAOL, it's sometimes used, especially in sports and when left behind by the train, "blev ifrånåkt av tåget".

    As for the question "Var är du ifrån?", it's really a divided varifrån, you can also say "varifrån är du?", often used in "Jag är från x, varifrån är du?".
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  4. JohanIII

    JohanIII Senior Member

    Switzerland
    Swedish
    This isn't well handled, even by native swedes.
    There is a great deal of ambiguity in the use, but even so...

    E.g. 1) att åka ifrån / 2) att åka från.

    1) pressure on second word = ifrånåkt (or ifrånåka if you want to keep it temporally equal, but that's not used) - as example above by AutumnOwl.
    2) starting the journey from.

    Adding "i" is adding "away" from - a push, a distancing, an action.

    Take a starting point, a city. Going from that city (to somewhere else, specified or not) is från.
    But going away from that city (to anyplace but there) is ifrån.

    There are many, many examples of uses, some close to set phrases, and... not too easy.
     
  5. Ozey

    Ozey Senior Member

    Madrid (España)
    Español (Castellano)
    Thanks again! I didn't expect to find tricky points so early.
     
  6. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    I'm with JohanIII.

    Från denotes origin while ifrån denotes motion away from somewhere. However, the distinction is far from always upheld or noticed. The authors of your textbook probably didn't notice that they used both från and ifrån.
     

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