Swedish: "till"

Moorland

Member
English - England
I always get confused with the prefix, if that's the right word of "till" as there are a lot of words in the dictionary that begin with it as well as the word on its own. Also its position at the end in words like "hjälpa till."

Is there some meaning, reason or connection with all the words that begin and end with it or is it all quite unrelated ?

Thanks
 
  • myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    The question is if there is something that unifies all the uses of till in Swedish (including hjälpa till). Is there a common semantic denominator? It's not easy to give an answer as it depends a lot on what one believes about meaning and the lexicon. My guess is that there is a meaning that covers a wide array of the different uses but that this meaning is so abstract that it is difficult to explain with words. Exposure is probably the best way to access this meaning instead of having someone try to explain it.
     

    Moorland

    Member
    English - England
    Thanks for all this which now makes sense having looked up semantics which I'd only vaguely known about previously, presumably being taken from the overall context of the whole sentence itself. So a word like multi-purpose could fit....

    My guess an example in English would be say the words definite or reaction....?
     
    Last edited:

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Could it be a contraction of a longer and more specific construction that takes the infinitive? To use examples found with google:
    Vill du hjälpa till att förflytta bilar?
    Sverige måste hjälpa till att betala för regnskogarna
    Ny märkning kan hjälpa till att minska prylsvinnet

    I'm a Brit who knows some Norwegian, and can just about muddle through in understanding Swedish, but the expression intuitively makes sense to me, and is how I (perhaps naively) think of it.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I think a better - or at least more parallel - translation of "hjälpa till" is "help out".

    We have the same phrase in Norwegian, "hjelpe til", and it is often followed by "med" - like English "help out with something". From a Norwegian perspective, a "med" after "till" would improve winenous' three sentences, at least in written texts.

    This thread gives more information about the differences between "hjälpa" and "hjälpa till":
    Swedish: hjälpa vs hjälpa till
     
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