Norwegian: det hadde vært

< Previous | Next >

Eline0909

Senior Member
Romanian
"Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang."

I do not understand the tense here. Is there still a possibility or does it say that it is not possible?

(In the context go to a cinema, travel together or go to a restaurant together)
 
  • kirsitn

    Senior Member
    Norway, Norwegian
    It would be nice to do it some other time.

    I guess the person is busy at the proposed date/time, but he/she would like to do it some other time.
     

    Eline0909

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    1. Det skulle være hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    2. Det skulle ha vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    3. Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang


    Is there a difference in the meaning of these three sentences?

     

    kirsitn

    Senior Member
    Norway, Norwegian
    No, not really. I would most likely only use the third alternative, but that's probably just a question of personal taste and/or dialect.
     

    Frenchlover1

    Senior Member
    Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk)
    Hei!

    The first one is not correct. I can't tell why grammatically, but it is just not right.

    If you remove "ha" and "annen" from the second sentence, it's correct. Then it means "It would be nice to do it some time". (But I'm not very sure about your original sentence, so I'll wait for other Norwegians:))

    The third one is the one we use for "It would be nice to do it another time".
     

    Frenchlover1

    Senior Member
    Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk)
    It's a real pleasure to answer - always. I'm so excited about the thought that someone actually is learning Norwegian! :D
    I really hope you enjoy your evening too :)
     
    Last edited:
    About the question of tense, I had the thought that it's rather a mood. In Swedish, we can say "Det hade varit trevligt att göra det någon gång" or "Det vore trevligt att göra det någon gång". The last one has the verb vara (være) in the rather archaic subjunctive mood, which has almost disappeared in the modern Swedish language, but with vara it's still used frequently. The pluperfect is one of the ways of marking the subjunctive in modern Swedish, if this is the case in Norwegian too, it might explain why the tenses don't seem to add up :)
     
    Just been following this thread about the tenses but I find it interesting because Norwegian seems so different from English and Swedish but on the other I know that it can't!

    Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    Det hade varit snyggt att göra det nån gång*? (not sure if that's right, but it seems odd!)

    From what people are saying it seems the tense is the conditional pluperfect?! (Det skulle ha varit?!) but in Norwegian it seems to be 'Det hadde vært'

    To me 'det hade varit' is the past - 'It had been'

    Why isn't it - 'det skulle (ha) varit'??!
     
    Last edited:

    Cerb

    Senior Member
    Norwegian - Bokmål
    1. Det skulle være hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    2. Det skulle ha vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    3. Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang


    Is there a difference in the meaning of these three sentences?

    I might be mistaken here, but the use of "skulle (ha varit)" in 2. is something I consider very Swedish. It's probably something we've borrowed and might be more common and accepted other places than where I live. I understand 2. and by extension 1. by going through Swedish. The literal meaning of the sentences is different in Norwegian. 2. is passable, but 1. doesn't quite work for me. 3. is probably the only proper way to express this in Norwegian.

    To me, the meaning of 1. comes across as "It was meant/supposed to be nice to do it some other time". I'd probably read 2. with the same meaning as 3.

    edit: @alexpayne_uk
    Norwegian has had a renaming of the more exotic verb tenses in the recent years, so I'll thread carefully here. If I understand your question correctly, you're wondering why/if Norwegian uses "normal" pluperfect to express what appears to be future conditional? We do in the case of "det hadde vært hyggelig å.. ", but this type of construction works more like a fixed expression. I'm starting to get in over my head here, but as far as I can tell this is what we do.
     
    Last edited:

    Eline0909

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    In swedish I think it would be:

    Det vore trevligt att göra det någon annan gång (vore indicates that there is still a possibility ...and in english it would be, it would be nice..., I think

    (And I think this would be in Norwegian "det hadde vært hyggelig")

    Some native speakers should comment on this, both norwegians and Swedish, please:)

    Det vore trevligt (swedish)=det hadde vært hyggelig (norwegian)=it would be nice (english)

    But at the same does not "det hadde vært hyggelig" mean in english "it had been nice" (and it indicates in english that there is no possibility for that any more because it is in the past...but the same tense in norwegian means that it is still possible.

    Very complicated to see how Norwegians use a past tense as a future tense.
     
    Last edited:

    Cerb

    Senior Member
    Norwegian - Bokmål
    I think I might be mixing something I consider to be stereotypic Swedish into this (and it's a good chance I'm dead wrong here). At any rate, I think the culprit here is the Norwegian idiomatic use of past tense to express future tense in this example.

    "Det hadde vært hyggelig" literally means "It had been nice", but it's used in the meaning "It would have been nice".
     

    Havfruen

    Senior Member
    USA
    English - American
    Long-time lurker here, have learned quite a lot of Danish and interested in similarities/ differences across Danish/Norwegian/Swedish. I’ve attempted to summarize previous posts and add Danish version. I believe this may be a case where Danes use “kunne” but Norwegians say “skulle”? The expression “at få det til en annen gang“ sounds either foreign or more formal to me – I might say “at gøre det en anden gang, but is there an alternative? I didn’t attempt to write up the corresponding Swedish phrases but would love to see those added. Please correct my errors in all languages!
    1.
    EN: It would be nice to do it another time
    NO: Det skulle være hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    DK: Det kunne være hyggeligt/rart at gøre det en anden gang
    SV:?

    2.
    EN: It would be nice to do it some time
    NO: Det skulle være hyggelig å få det til en gang
    DK: Det kunne være hyggeligt/rart at gøre det en gang
    SV: ?

    3.
    EN: a. [literally] It would have been nice to do it another time (but this implies no possibility to do it ever, which is NOT intent of the Norwegian/Swedish/Danish sentence) / b. [meaning] It would have been nice to do it (while it couldn’t be done that time, a desire to do it another time is implied) / (or) it would be nice to do it another time.
    NO: Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    DK: Det havde vært hyggeligt/rart at gøre det en gang // Det ville være hyggeligt/rart at få det en anden gang (?)
    SV: ?
     

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    This is indeed an interesting topic.

    More or less like Norwegian, it seems, Swedish has more than one way to express subjunctive. However, most of those are rather equal in meaning and can be used interchangeably in most contexts. Although distinctions, like the ones in Havfruen's examples, can be made, they are not necessarily interpreted so strictly. I will try to explain (and understand) as good as possible below while filling in the Swedish blanks. My translations are based solely on the English examples since I am not capable of sensing these nuanced differences in Norwegian and/or Danish.

    1.
    EN: It would be nice to do it another time
    NO: Det skulle være hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    DK: Det kunne være hyggeligt/rart at gøre det en anden gang
    SV: Det hade varit trevligt att göra det en annan gång


    Firstly, I interpret this as something that did not already happen and as such another time in the future is proposed, and not as something that did happen after which it was proposed that it would happen again (such a sentence would be translated as "Det vore roligt att göra det igen").
    Anyhow, both "hade varit", "skulle vara" and "vore" can be used here. I have decided upon the former due to the simple fact that it sounds best to me. Another native speaker might have a different opinion. The important part in the distinction between this one and the next example however is that between "another time" and "some time", which is made more or less identically in Swedish and English (and Norwegian and Danish).

    2.
    EN: It would be nice to do it some time
    NO: Det skulle være hyggelig å få det til en gang
    DK: Det kunne være hyggeligt/rart at gøre det en gang
    SV: Det vore trevligt att göra det någon gång

    Here, employing the pure subjunctive forms appears natural. Again, other ways could be used. Additionally, the particle "ju" can be added to stress the preceding word in order to achieve certain effects; "Det vore ju trevligt att göra det någon gång (men det kommer nog inte hända)". In this example it stresses the uncertainty expressed by the subjunctive.

    3.
    EN: a. [literally] It would have been nice to do it another time (but this implies no possibility to do it ever, which is NOT intent of the Norwegian/Swedish/Danish sentence) / b. [meaning] It would have been nice to do it (while it couldn’t be done that time, a desire to do it another time is implied) / (or) it would be nice to do it another time.
    NO: Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang
    DK: Det havde vært hyggeligt/rart at gøre det en gang // Det ville være hyggeligt/rart at få det en anden gang (?)
    SV: Det skulle ha varit trevligt att göra det någon gång

    I am actually not quite sure what the English original is supposed to mean, but I believe this Swedish form has to be interpreted as if it had been nice, but it really is not possible anymore. A missed opportunity. However, I believe that when in this situation, most speakers would prefer "Det hade varit trevligt att göra det", or to further stress the impossibility of "it" to happen: "Det hade varit trevligt att ha gjort det/ha fått göra det". In fact, I remember my mother using the phrase in such as way; "Det hade ju varit trevligt att ha fått städat (men jag hade inte tid)".



    Actually, after quite some contemplating, I have come up with a plausible explanation for my choice of forms in the first two examples;

    The difference lies within the relation between "en annan gång", which is a defined moment (although technically undefined), and "någon gång", which is undefined. Again, this is far from set, but in general, I have the feeling of that "vore" is used for general situations, and "hade varit" works a little better when a certain occasion is given.
    More native opinions on whether this is even remotely true is needed however.

     

    Magb

    Senior Member
    Norway, Norwegian
    I agree with Tjazhi that it's a mistake to think that these alternatives are strongly differentiated from each other, and frankly I think the same is generally true of the English examples. Sometimes subtle nuances are so subtle that no one is really aware of them. This also seems to be an area of the language that's highly dependent on personal idiosyncrasies. Personally, I don't think I'd ever say skulle være, as you have in your Norwegian examples. I would normally use hadde vært for all three sentences, and if I do use skulle, kunne or ville, I always use the pluperfect form: skulle (ha) vært, kunne (ha) vært, ville (ha) vært (I almost always omit the ha). But that's just me, and I'm not a great writer.

    This is certainly worth discussing, but I don't think you'll arrive at any sort of definitive answer.
     

    Cerb

    Senior Member
    Norwegian - Bokmål
    It's not natural to use "skulle" in 1 and 2 in Norwegian. If it's used or understood at all it is by knowing the Swedish sentence in 3. 1 and 2 in Norwegian do not carry the same meaning as the sentences in EN/DK/SV. I agree with magb for the use of "hadde vært" for all the three sentences (including tense).
     

    Icetrance

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hello!

    If I'm not mistaken, more literally in English, we'd be saying (like a "had" conditional + inversion of this/had + conjunction "but" ):

    "Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang" = Had this been nice to do, but for another time


    Can you use "ville (ha) vært" instead, such as "Det ville ha vært hyggelig..."? Just wondering.

    Thank you so, so much.

    Tusen Takk
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    "Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang" = Had this been nice to do, but for another time
    I am not a native English speaker, so I can't really comment on your translation. But I don't think the translation of this sentence has been quite correct, throughout this thread. "Få det til" implies that something was planned, or at least seriously discussed, but not carried out. I would prefer "to make it", instead of "to do".

    Can you use "ville (ha) vært" instead, such as "Det ville ha vært hyggelig..."? Just wondering.
    This is probably a matter of personal preference. For me, "ville vært" works fine, but not "ville ha vært". At least to me, adding "ha" implies that the event is less likely to happen: "it would have been nice" instead of "it would be nice".
     

    myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    This is probably a matter of personal preference. For me, "ville vært" works fine, but not "ville ha vært". At least to me, adding "ha" implies that the event is less likely to happen: "it would have been nice" instead of "it would be nice".
    Likelihood is indeed an element when it comes to what kind of verbal complement we choose for modals, but I think you got it the wrong way because the inclusion/omission of ha does not really have an impact on this. With your description, it seems that you would say that c) below is the unlikely one and then you would group a) and b) together. But it is in fact b) and c) that mean the same thing. And in terms of likelihood: a) expresses a possible fatal outcome of an event (using an infinitive), b) and c) express a fatal outcome of an event that is no longer possible (using a past participle). If you are able to differentiate between the likelihood of impossible events, I would like to know how :cool:

    a) Han advarte om at det ville være farlig.
    b) Han advarte om at det ville vært farlig.
    c) Han adarte om at det ville ha vært farlig.

    (As for the inclusion/omission of ha, we enter a completely different domain. )

    Just to sum up: I disagree. In this context, ville vært is equivalent to ville ha vært.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Thanks for your comments, myšlenka. I agree with your conclusions - in your context. But my (or Icetrance's) examples are from a different context, and compares different phrases ("hadde vært" instead of "ville være").

    Take your example "b) Han advarte om at det ville vært farlig." I agree that this describes a situation that is no longer possible.

    But "ville vært" can also express something else. For example, "Det ville vært godt med en kald øl." This is something you say before you go to the fridge to get some beer; it is certainly not a situation that is no longer possible, but it is a way to express an intention, a request or a wish.

    Icetrance's question was about these options:
    A. Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang.
    B. Det ville vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang.
    C. Det ville ha vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang.

    I believe these sentences are closer to my beer example: they express an intention for the future (we'll make it another time!). But they are ambigous. The sentences could also mean that this is no longer possible (it would have been nice, but it is impossible).

    I thought that the second interpretation would be somewhat more likely for sentence C than for A and B. But, again, that may just be me. In any case, the way it is said (intonation etc) will be important to understand the meaning of these sentences.
     

    Icetrance

    Senior Member
    US English
    Thanks for your comments, myšlenka. I agree with your conclusions - in your context. But my (or Icetrance's) examples are from a different context, and compares different phrases ("hadde vært" instead of "ville være").

    Take your example "b) Han advarte om at det ville vært farlig." I agree that this describes a situation that is no longer possible.

    But "ville vært" can also express something else. For example, "Det ville vært godt med en kald øl." This is something you say before you go to the fridge to get some beer; it is certainly not a situation that is no longer possible, but it is a way to express an intention, a request or a wish.

    Icetrance's question was about these options:
    A. Det hadde vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang.
    B. Det ville vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang.
    C. Det ville ha vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang.

    I believe these sentences are closer to my beer example: they express an intention for the future (we'll make it another time!). But they are ambigous. The sentences could also mean that this is no longer possible (it would have been nice, but it is impossible).

    I thought that the second interpretation would be somewhat more likely for sentence C than for A and B. But, again, that may just be me. In any case, the way it is said (intonation etc) will be important to understand the meaning of these sentences.
    Thank you so very much!

    Yes, I agree: I would have thought that "Det ville ha vært hyggelig å få det til en annen gang" is more like "It would have been nice..." (no longer possible to do so).

    Tusen Takk!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top