Swedish: Var god vänta

Perseas

Senior Member
Greek
Hello
While waiting for the translation of a Swedish word from an online dictionary, I saw this message: "Var god vänta!"
I know that "Var god vänta!" is used to express "Please wait!", but what is the literal translation? My guess: "(It) was good to wait".
Thanks in advance.
 
  • Svenke

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    var = 'be!' (imperative)
    god = 'good, kind'
    vänta = 'wait'
    --> 'Be kind (and) wait!'

    (vänta is ambiguous between imperative and infinitive, and one uses both Var god och vänta (imperative) 'Be kind and wait!' and Var god att vänta (infinitive) 'Be kind (enough) to wait!' as alternatives.)
     

    Silverc

    New Member
    Italian - Italy
    (vänta is ambiguous between imperative and infinitive, and one uses both Var god och vänta (imperative) 'Be kind and wait!' and Var god att vänta (infinitive) 'Be kind (enough) to wait!' as alternatives.)
    In my modest opinion, "vänta" is not really ambiguous, it only an imperative form, that happens to coincide with the infinitive, because the ending -a is part of the root of the verb "att vänta", besides being the verbal ending (verbs of the Swedish 1st conjugation). Compare with "var god (och) stäng dörren", the verb "att stänga" belonging to the 2nd conjugation, with the imperative form without -a, because it is not in the root of the verbs in this conjugation (present form: "stänger").
     

    Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    In my modest opinion, "vänta" is not really ambiguous, it only an imperative form, that happens to coincide with the infinitive, because the ending -a is part of the root of the verb "att vänta", besides being the verbal ending (verbs of the Swedish 1st conjugation). Compare with "var god (och) stäng dörren", the verb "att stänga" belonging to the 2nd conjugation, with the imperative form without -a, because it is not in the root of the verbs in this conjugation (present form: "stänger").
    I agree, and this is in fact the standard explanation. In Var god vänta, both verbs are in the imperative, as can be seen from the fact that the construction *Var god stänga dörren is not possible; it has to be Var god stäng dörren. In summary:
    • The most common type of construction is Var god vänta, Var god stäng dörren, etc.
    • A less common, but equally correct, construction is Var god och vänta, Var god och stäng dörren, etc.
    • Constructions of the type *Var god att vänta, *Var god att stänga dörren are considered incorrect. Nevertheless, they occur somewhat frequently due to the fact that many people do not distinguish in normal speech between the infinitive marker and the conjunction och.
     
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