Swedish: To do errands

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I run errands: how do you express that in your languages? I looked it up and got references to handla (ind) [in which I recognize Dutch handelen, to trade], probably meaning "to run errands" (going for groceries)...
 
  • Swedish Anna

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Sweden
    You use springa ärenden ("run errands") or gå ärenden (literally "walk errands") when you do errands for somebody else.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Google T tells me that "uträtta" is something like "to deal with". Am I right that that sounds a little bit like hard work, or at least not really light, etymologically for example?
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    "Gå/springa/uträtta ärenden" are all good in my book. I would maybe say that where I'm from (mid-east) I'd expect "springa" to imply a bit more of a set of errands that are fit into a busy day between other things.

    I actually don't really recall "göra ärenden", but I can absolutely see how that would be used by some.

    Google T tells me that "uträtta" is something like "to deal with". Am I right that that sounds a little bit like hard work, or at least not really light, etymologically for example?

    I don't think it implies more hard work or 'not light' work. To me it sounds more like just carrying out tasks (errands).
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    ThomasK, you asked about "your languages", but your post was tagged "Swedish". Are you only interested in Swedish or in the other Scandinavian languages as well?

    Anyway, "handle" is a more narrow concept than "gjøre ærend" in Norwegian. I suppose it is the same in Swedish. "Å handle" means to shop, while "gjøre ærend" also includes non-shopping errands, such as going to the dentist or the library.

    Actually, I only use "gjøre ærend" if my errands include non-shopping errands. If I am just going for groceries, I use "handle".

    Apart from that, the Norwegian use seems to match Swedish Anna's explanation in posts #2 and 4. We can say "gjøre ærend" or "ha ærend" (for example "Jeg har noen ærender i byen i dag"). I associate "gå/løpe/springe ærend" mainly with doing errands for others. "Utrette ærend" works in Norwegian too, but it is more formal (or even somewhat stilted) than "gjøre/ha ærend".
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks a lot. And yes, I was interested in all the variants within the Nordic (North Germanic???) languages...

    But can going to the dentist or to the library be an "errand" in Norwegian? But I seem to see a difference in the use of "going shopping"/ "running errands" here! I mean: buying groceries would be the very essence of the errands, at least in this area: the really necessary things.

    This is intriguing as for me. I thought the underlying concept would always be the same, but here I begin to wonder... But thanks for your message!!!
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I think we use "ærend" in line with my English dictionary definition of "errand": "a short trip to accomplish a certain purpose". It does not matter whether the errand is really important or not. So, yes, going to the dentist, library, hairdresser, auto repair shop etc are typical "ærender". Buying groceries is also an "ærend", and it can certainly be included in a list of errands. I see "shopping" as a sub-category within the wider concept of "doing errands", and my point is just that the more specific word "handle" is my default option for describing shopping.
     
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