Swedish: "kommer att" vs "ska"

tpettit

Senior Member
Standard French
Hi,
is there a general rule concerning the use of kommer att as opposed to ska for the future tense? In English, going to and will are interchangeable to a certain extent in every day speech, although the former is usually used for future predictions based on the present (there are many clouds in the sky --> it is going to rain) and the latter is used for future facts one knows are true (everybody will die eventually). Is this also the case in Swedish?
Thank you :)
 
  • Wilma_Sweden

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Scania)
    That's a tough one (I found a whole doctoral thesis on the use of future in Swedish)...

    Apart from kommer att and ska, we also often use the present tense to express future.

    Kommer att is predictional, i.e. simply predicts objectively what is going to happen:
    Det kommer att regna imorgon.
    It will/is going to rain tomorrow.
    Tåget kommer att bli försenat. The train will be delayed.
    Jag kommer att missa planet. I'll miss the plane.
    Alla kommer att dö någon gång. Everybody will die at some stage.

    Ska is more intentional, i.e. it expresses an intention to do something.
    Vad ska du göra i sommar? What are you going to do next summer?
    Jag ska åka till Spanien.
    I'm going to Spain.

    The present tense is often used for the near future, with a time adverbial, mainly intentional:
    Jag ringer dig imorgon! I'll call you tomorrow!
    Vad gör du i helgen? What are you doing next weekend?
    Jag jobbar hela lördagen, och på söndag ska jag plugga. I'm working all of Saturday, and on Sunday I'm going to cram {=study hard}.

    I hope that helps...

    /Wilma
     
    Last edited:

    dinji

    Senior Member
    Swedish - Finland
    Excellent analysis. One further note:
    There is a strong tendency for non-native speakers to underestimate the use of the present tense for future meaning. So I would encourage Swedish learners to perceive the present tense as a sort of default choice, unless the utterance is cleary intentional or predictional.

    For intentional or predictional meaning there are also further structures. While "ska" carries the notion of a sort of determined intention, a weaker intention (planning) may be expressed by "tänker + infinitive". "Jag tänker resa till Spanien" ("I intend to travel to Spain". Planning is still ongoing) but "Jag ska resa till Spanien" ("I will travel to Spain/I have a settled intention to.../I have decided to...)
    "Jag kommer att resa till Spanien" communicates that the whole issue is somehow outside of the speaker's control, may be a business trip which leaves little choice or may be the spouse decides... ;-).
     

    Wilma_Sweden

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Scania)
    Excellent analysis. One further note:
    There is a strong tendency for non-native speakers to underestimate the use of the present tense for future meaning. So I would encourage Swedish learners to perceive the present tense as a sort of default choice, unless the utterance is cleary intentional or predictional.
    I agree. We can put it another way: there is a strong tendency for non-native speakers to overuse ska when present tense or kommer att would be more idiomatic. I am sure that Swedish speakers, likewise, have difficulty in choosing the correct future expressions in English.

    For intentional or predictional meaning there are also further structures. While "ska" carries the notion of a sort of determined intention, a weaker intention (planning) may be expressed by "tänker + infinitive". "Jag tänker resa till Spanien" ("I intend to travel to Spain". Planning is still ongoing) but "Jag ska resa till Spanien" ("I will travel to Spain/I have a settled intention to.../I have decided to...)
    "Jag kommer att resa till Spanien" communicates that the whole issue is somehow outside of the speaker's control, may be a business trip which leaves little choice or may be the spouse decides... ;-).
    Good clarification.

    We have the same choices in conditional clauses, i.e. when the 'if' clause itself is in the present tense, the conditional clause may be either of the above future expressions, depending on context, while English in this case usually uses the auxiliary will to express future.
    If the petrol runs out, the engine will stop. Om bensinen tar slut, kommer motorn att stanna OR in speech often: Om bensinen tar slut [så] stannar motorn. In cases of objective prediction, ska is definitely unidiomatic.

    /Wilma
     

    Celt75

    New Member
    UK
    English UK, Welsh
    Hi, I'm new to this site so apologies if I have got it wrong.

    I understand the difference between "kommer att" and "ska" and that the present tense is used extensively to convey a future meaning, however I am stuck with the use of the verb "bli". In my Swedish book there are the sentences "blir det dyrt = is it expensive" and "blir det regn = is it going to rain". Does the verb bli also convey a future meaning overlapping with the verb to be ie. vara?

    Can "blir det regn" also be translated as "det kommer att regn" and can "blir det dyrt also be "ar det dyrt" or am I totally on the wrong track?

    Many thanks for any help.
     

    USB-anslutning

    Senior Member
    Swedish - Sweden
    Hi, I'm new to this site so apologies if I have got it wrong.

    I understand the difference between "kommer att" and "ska" and that the present tense is used extensively to convey a future meaning, however I am stuck with the use of the verb "bli". In my Swedish book there are the sentences "blir det dyrt = is it expensive" and "blir det regn = is it going to rain". Does the verb bli also convey a future meaning overlapping with the verb to be ie. vara?

    Can "blir det regn" also be translated as "det kommer att regn" and can "blir det dyrt also be "ar det dyrt" or am I totally on the wrong track?

    Many thanks for any help.
    Bli generally means something like "become".

    Han blev ledsen.
    He became sad.

    Jag blev aldrig någon bra fotbollspelare.
    I never did become a good football player.

    Du kommer aldrig att bli något.
    You will never amount to anything.

    Jag blev otroligt lycklig.
    I became unbelievably happy.

    Jag blir glad varje gång jag ser dig.
    I become happy every time I see you.

    When combined with a perfect participle becomes a passive phrase.
    Han blir hjälpt
    He is being helped/he is helped

    Han blir körd
    He is being driven/he is driven

    Det blir (..) translates to "it's going to" or "it/there will be".

    Det blir regn.
    It's going to rain.

    Det blir dyrt.
    It's going to be expensive.

    Det är bestämt, så blir det.
    It's decided, that's how it will be done.
     

    Celt75

    New Member
    UK
    English UK, Welsh
    Many thanls for your reply and it certainly helps clear up some of my confusion. I seem to be obsessed with the verb bli as I now have two more questions.

    1. Is there a difference between a. Det ska dyrt, b. Det blir dyrt, and c. Det kommer att dyrt (I'm not even sure if c is grammatically correct). Is the main difference one of emphasis that would be achieved in English by vocal stress/tone?

    2. Whilst using an online translator (not an accurate tool I admit) the phrase Jag blir i Danmark translated as I am/will be in Denmark, and the same was achieved in the past tense - Jag blev i Danmark whereas I would have thought that should be Jag var i Danmark. Are these subtle differences in nuance or just proof online translators are slightly dodgy.

    Again many thanks for your previous answer.

    Matt
     

    Wilma_Sweden

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Scania)
    1. Is there a difference between a. Det ska dyrt, b. Det blir dyrt, and c. Det kommer att dyrt (I'm not even sure if c is grammatically correct). Is the main difference one of emphasis that would be achieved in English by vocal stress/tone?
    a. Det ska bli dyrt :cross: is how you would say it, but you wouldn't. Ska is a modal verb, and you need human intent to use it if the purpose is to express future.
    b - Det blir dyrt and c - Det kommer att bli dyrt basically mean the same thing. b involves a personal prediction, while c is a more objective statement of fact. I believe that b is more often used in speech, while c would be more common in writing, but that's a hunch. Other Swedes might disagree.

    2. Whilst using an online translator (not an accurate tool I admit) the phrase Jag blir i Danmark translated as I am/will be in Denmark, and the same was achieved in the past tense - Jag blev i Danmark whereas I would have thought that should be Jag var i Danmark. Are these subtle differences in nuance or just proof online translators are slightly dodgy
    Online translators are hopeless! You can't use bli to express that you're in a place. Remember that the main meaning is to become. You can use it to mean remain if you add the adverbial kvar (=still here/there): bli kvar, (and in some dialects, the adverbial is omitted in speech, but that's more than you need to know right now). So, back to Denmark:
    Pelle åker hem imorgon, men jag blir kvar i Danmark. Pelle is going home tomorrow, but I'll remain in Denmark.
    Pelle har åkt hem, men jag är kvar i Danmark. Pelle has gone home, and I'm still in Denmark. [speaking from Denmark, while you're still there]
    Pelle åkte hem, men jag blev kvar i Danmark en vecka till. Pelle went home, but I remained in Denmark for another week.
    Jag ska åka till Danmark imorgon.
    I'm going to Denmark tomorrow [it's my intention to go to Denmark tomorrow]
    Jag kommer att vara i Danmark imorgon. I'll be in Denmark tomorrow [inevitably, I'll be spending tomorrow in Denmark]
    Jag är i Danmark imorgon. I'll be in Denmark tomorrow. [mainly spoken, personal prediction]

    I hope this makes sense. Perhaps the other Swedish foreros can come up with better explanations.

    /Wilma
     
    Last edited:

    schluckauf

    Member
    Arabic
    hello,

    thanks for the explanations. But I have one question:
    why do you say: jag kommer att sakna dig and not Jag ska sakna dig?

    Missing someone is sth. you cannot predict, like the train is late or the rain. Like in the example:
    Jag kommer att resa till Spanien" communicates that the whole issue is somehow outside of the speaker's control, may be a business trip which leaves little choice or may be the spouse decides... ;-).
    However, missing somenone is sth that is NOT out of my control!
    Am I right? Maybe it is just an exception? thanks for your help!
     

    Södertjej

    Senior Member
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    hello,

    thanks for the explanations. But I have one question:
    why do you say: jag kommer att sakna dig and not Jag ska sakna dig?

    Missing someone is sth. you cannot predict, like the train is late or the rain.
    Well, predictable can be kind of understood as unavoidable. It's a fact, not something I'll choose to do, it will just happen, which stresses the intensity of the longing for that person. It's the idea of unavoidable as in "Vi alla kommer att dö" (någon gång).
    Jag kommer att resa till Spanien" communicates that the whole issue is somehow outside of the speaker's control, may be a business trip which leaves little choice or may be the spouse decides...
    Well, given the right context it may be something you have to do against your will, but it doesn't necessarily mean it always implies that. It could imply something like "all the arrangements are already made". A bit like when you use the present tense in Spanish to express future actions. "Me voy de vacaciones/viaje el lunes". It could imply it's out of your control (your boss is sending you to a meeting somewhere else "me voy de viaje el lunes" (por narices), nothing you can do about it. Or it could be just the opposite, you have decided you're leaving, made the arrangements and no one is going to stop you (it's out of "their" control): "me voy el lunes de vacaciones" (por mis santas narices).
     
    Last edited:

    solregn

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    hello,

    thanks for the explanations. But I have one question:
    why do you say: jag kommer att sakna dig and not Jag ska sakna dig?

    Missing someone is sth. you cannot predict, like the train is late or the rain.
    I don't agree, I think you can predict missing somebody. Jag kommer att sakna dig = I will miss you / I am going to miss you (I know I am going to miss you)

    "Jag ska sakna dig" would be something like, "I have the intention to miss you" something you have decided that you will do.

    In my opinion that's not how the principle of missing people works ;) You know it's going to happen because you care about the person, and there is nothing you can do about it...
     

    Södertjej

    Senior Member
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    Good point, Solregn. You can be certain you will miss that person (you know now what will happen in the future= when that person is away, you'll miss it), but you can't make up your mind to miss someone.
     

    Candissrainbow

    Member
    England, English
    Hello, I know this post is quite old, but I'll see if anyone replies!

    I was just wondering about 'kommer att' - is it possible to say it without the 'att', (like we sometimes say 'he helped me study vs. he helped me TO study), maybe if people are being lazy, or for poetic licence, or something?

    It's just that I had asked someone to find out how to say a phrase and they wrote it (in what I think should be future tense) without 'att' - was it correct or a mistake? The sentence was:

    "Och glöm inte alla löften ni kommer ge varandra".

    Is this a mistake, or is there a grammatical explanation to this construction?

    Many thanks for your help!
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    -
    Swedish
    "Och glöm inte alla löften ni kommer ge varandra".

    Is this a mistake, or is there a grammatical explanation to this construction?
    It's not that unusual to omit the word att, especially in spoken language, a simple Google search for "kommer ge" gives more than 500 000 hits (while "kommer att ge" gives 160 000 000 hits). I can't give a grammatical explanation, but I would only omit the att in kommer att when speaking, not when writing.
     

    Candissrainbow

    Member
    England, English
    Awesome! Thank you!

    Because it was for a poem I was trying to write in different languages for a hen party's scrapbook, so it needed to be formal/grammatically correct in the written form!

    Tack så mycket! :0)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top