Icelandic: frá því um

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by ShakeyX, May 30, 2013.

  1. ShakeyX Senior Member

    British English
    Annar textinn er gamall, eða frá því um 1300, og hinn er nýr:

    One of the texts is old, or ... from... því, around 1300. and the other is new.

    What is this wierd frá því um construction and can someone try and break it down for me.

  2. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    English - UK
    One of the texts is old, or from around 1300, and the other is new.

    The því is just there as an object for frá. I suppose if you wanted to translate it literally it would be "from it around 1300", or slightly less literally "from the time around 1300" which we probably wouldn't say in English. In my experience frá því um is more common than just frá um, although I think you can say either.
  3. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    This það appears everywhere in Icelandic. It's good to recognise exactly what it is early on, rather than trying to decode extra meaning from it.
    It doesn't really have any semantic content and is very, very often used to separate prepositions up. You can't use it all of the time but if you have one section of a sentence ending and then a preposition, you normally can put in whatever declension of það is required by that preposition if another one is about to follow.

    So as was mentioned in the other post from today, you use 'til' to express purpose and therefore 'til að' means in order to / so that...
    Two prepositions together: -> extremely common to throw in það to break them up. Since 'til' is a preposition that governs the genitive, it becomes þess and you have 'til þess að'.

    Exactly the same thing is going on in your example, and as SB said, you can use both but it's good practice to follow what most other people to and that is to insert it.
    Since frá takes the dative, the version that comes out is því.

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