Swedish: Du <skulle> läsa mellan raderna.

Le Tamia

New Member
English
Hello

Can anyone help me to understand what skulle means in this context? This is from Assimil Swedish (in French. of which I have a decent understand, but it's not my native language). For context, two people are talking about a letter they had just finished reading together.

A: Hennes iakttagelser är inte mycket att hänga i granen.
B: Du skulle läsa mellan raderna.
A: Dessa rader är rena grekiskan för mig.

The French translation provided is "Tu devais lire entre les lignes), and using that as an aid, I might translate the Swedish as something along the lines of "You had to read between the lines" or "You needed to read between the lines." It seems like skulle is here intended to be the preterite form of ska, which, in this context, possibly means have to/be required to. Does that understanding sound correct to you?

I'm having difficulty here because I've read that skulle could also be used in other senses. Do any of these translations sound more or just as accurate?

You should read between the lines.
You could read between the lines.
You were going to read between the lines.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
  • winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It seems like skulle is here intended to be the preterite form of ska, which, in this context, possibly means have to/be required to. Does that understanding sound correct to you?
    That is correct.

    I think all of the above suggestions could work, apart from your "You could read between the lines" and "You were going to read between the lines".

    On the basis of what I think sounds most natural in English, I'd go for "You need to read between the lines".
     
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