Swedish: är du hungrig? or är ni hungriga?

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

  1. msjoeyy

    msjoeyy New Member

    California, USA
    Which of the two is the correct way to ask someone you already know, if they are hungry? and what is the difference between those two phrases exactly? Aside from, knowing that "du" is referring to the person being addressed and "ni" is used when addressing several people. I am however, confused about the differences between hungrig and hungriga. Is hungriga formed because of the present "ni"?
  2. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Är du hungrig? - one person
    Är ni hungriga? - two or more persons
    (Är ni hungrig? - one person, but not something I would recommend using, some see it as the Swedish variant of the polite French vous, but there are many Swedes who don't consider that polite in Swedish, as they prefer to be addressed as du and not a ni.)
  3. Lugubert Senior Member

    Mainly agree, but I sometimes feel there's a tendency among young Swedes, especially in the services businesses, to revive the tu/vous distinction. Well, as long as they don't revert to the cramped impersonal ways still used when I was young...

    Önskas något mera? "Is anything more desired?" Normally now, "Är det nåt/något mer du vill ha?", "Vill du ha mera" etc.

    Önskar herrn något mer? "Does the mister wish for something additionally?"

    Får det lov att vara lite till? "Would it be permitted to be/exist/have some more?"; Google translate "Will it be allowed to be a bit til?" from a hostess asking if the guest would like some more. Informally among friends: "Mer?"/"Lite till?"
  4. JohanIII

    JohanIII Senior Member

    Perhaps a good contrasting example is that in English you/you in Swedish is du/ni.
    So we instead find it strange to use you are when talking about a single person, as it's used for all plural forms.
    (In fact we just use är for everything, but still.)
    So - the inverse. :)
    Just a jog of the memorizing process.

    I agree Lugubert - about age & occupation there.
    And as I'm slightly younger I didn't experience those more cumbersome addressing forms.
    So I have no worse example, and just plainly resent Ni-ing the me myself I (though I'm polite of course, and kind about it).

    Though there's of course already a thread about ni/du, sorry: Swedish: "ni" or "du"?
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013

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