Swedish: vilken/ vilket/ vilka / som

gvergara

Senior Member
Castellano (variedad chilensis)
Hej:

I read that you can always replace the relative pronoun som with vilen/ vilket/ vilka, but that that's rather formal. My question is: Is this also true of non-defining relative clauses. Whih of these sentences is/are correct?

1) Defining relative clause:
Manen som du söker bor inte här,
Manen vilken du söker bor inte här
.

2) Non-defining relative clause:
Min bror Tom, som bor i London, är ogift.
Min bror Tom, vilken bor i London, är ogift.


Thanks in advance,
Gonzalo
 
  • Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Hm. Som being a more formal substitute for vilken? That's weird.

    As for your first example, I'd say the more natural/common way is probably to omit som/vilken altogether, followed by using som, which sounds fine, and last, using vilken, which sounds a bit awkwardly formal.

    Mannen du söker bor inte här > Mannen som du söker bor inte här > Mannen vilken du söker bor inte här.

    The second example is a bit different since it contains a subclause. However, here too, even more actually, I'd recommend som over vilken.The latter version is really awkward.


    To sum up, vilken is clearly more formal than som. I'll have a closer look at it and see if I can find a context in which I'd prefer vilken (I suspect there might be such a context, but then again, I speak quite formally.)
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Guess my English is getting as rotten as my Swedish... I probably did not use the right words. The book said that vilken/ vilket/ vilka will ALWAYS be more formal than som, not the other way round ;)
     

    Muzze

    Member
    Swedish
    Hej:

    I read that you can always replace the relative pronoun som with vilen/ vilket/ vilka, but that that's rather formal. My question is: Is this also true of non-defining relative clauses. Whih of these sentences is/are correct?

    1) Defining relative clause:
    Manen som du söker bor inte här,
    Manen vilken du söker bor inte här
    .

    2) Non-defining relative clause:
    Min bror Tom, som bor i London, är ogift.
    Min bror Tom, vilken bor i London, är ogift.


    Thanks in advance,
    Gonzalo

    "Som" is right in both sentences but can be omited in the first sentence. Neither "som" or "vilken" etc. are formal for me.
     

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    "Som" is right in both sentences but can be omited in the first sentence. Neither "som" or "vilken" etc. are formal for me.
    So, you are saying som and vilken are equally informal? Interesting, would you please share your age and dialect? :) (I'm just being curious.)
     

    Muzze

    Member
    Swedish
    So, you are saying som and vilken are equally informal? Interesting, would you please share your age and dialect? :) (I'm just being curious.)

    Scanian and in my twenties.

    Neither words are formal to me and one reason is because you for example can`t say them both in some situations.

    Han är stor och stark men ändå feg vilket är underligt.

    In the sentence above it would be strange to use "som". But I agree that "vilken" is slightly more formal than "som" when both can be used.
     

    Dan2

    Senior Member
    US
    English (US)
    1) Defining relative clause:
    Manen som du söker bor inte här,
    Manen vilken du söker bor inte här
    .

    2) Non-defining relative clause:
    Min bror Tom, som bor i London, är ogift.
    Min bror Tom, vilken bor i London, är ogift.
    Note that there are actually two important differences between (1) and (2), and they are independent of each other:

    As you say, (1) is what we usually call in English a restrictive relative clause (but "defining" may be better: it defines (in this case) a particular man); while (2) is a non-restrictive relative clause (just adds more information about Tom).

    But independent of that, in (1) the relative pronoun ("som" or "vilken") stands as the object of the relative clause, while in (2) as subject.

    So there are 4 possibilities (restr subj, restr obj, non-restr subj, non-restr obj). In English it's only restrictive-relative-clause object relative pronouns that can be dropped (and I think the situation is the same in Swedish and Norwegian):
    The man (that) you're looking for ... = Mannen (som) du söker ...
    The man that is looking for you ... = Mannen som söker dig ...

    (This English/Scandinavian dropping of the object relative pronoun is not in general allowed in German and the Romance languages.)
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    Det var en fråga till. My old grammar book (Pelkonen, Miettinen, 1969) lists these as examples of varying use of the conjunctions. Are they common/understandable in modern language?

    Ring till mig klockan 4, vid vilken tid jag redan brukar vara hemma.
    Jag beundrar den skicklighet, med vilken han har lärt sig undvika svårigheterna i sina översättningar.
    Det är en sak, angående vilken man kan vara av olika åsikt.
    De barn, bland vilka jag växte upp, hade goda hem.

    EDIT:
    And one more, from 1950.

    Min bror bor i Åbo, vilken stad även jag ofta har besökt.
     
    Last edited:

    Muzze

    Member
    Swedish
    Det var en fråga till. My old grammar book (Pelkonen, Miettinen, 1969) lists these as examples of varying use of the conjunctions. Are they common/understandable in modern language?

    Ring till mig klockan 4, vid vilken tid jag redan brukar vara hemma.
    Jag beundrar den skicklighet, med vilken han har lärt sig undvika svårigheterna i sina översättningar.
    Det är en sak, angående vilken man kan vara av olika åsikt.
    De barn, bland vilka jag växte upp, hade goda hem.

    EDIT:
    And one more, from 1950.

    Min bror bor i Åbo, vilken stad även jag ofta har besökt.

    For me sentence 3 and 4 directly sound right. Sentence 2 sounds ok but sentence 1 and 5 sound wrong. All sentences are understandable at least in writing. I do not think these kinds of sentences are very common, maybe someone else knows which are correct.
     

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Det var en fråga till. My old grammar book (Pelkonen, Miettinen, 1969) lists these as examples of varying use of the conjunctions. Are they common/understandable in modern language?

    Ring till mig klockan 4, vid vilken tid jag redan brukar vara hemma.
    Jag beundrar den skicklighet, med vilken han har lärt sig undvika svårigheterna i sina översättningar.
    Det är en sak, angående vilken man kan vara av olika åsikt.
    De barn, bland vilka jag växte upp, hade goda hem.

    EDIT:
    And one more, from 1950.

    Min bror bor i Åbo, vilken stad även jag ofta har besökt.

    First is just odd. I'd rewrite it, using the most natural way of expressing it, as Ring mig klockan 4. Då brukar jag vara hemma.

    Second sounds ok, although quite formal.

    Third is ok, but overly formal since it sounds better with som: Det är en sak som man kan vara av olika åsikt om. (Preferably even som man kan ha olika åsikt(er) om.)

    Fourth is similar to third: De barn som jag växte upp bland hade goda hem.

    Fifth is too odd and overly complicated. A possible rewriting would be Min bror bor i Åbo, en stad (som) även jag ofta har besökt.

    All in all, I'd just keep the second example intact. The rest should either be rewritten or be better of with som.
     
    Last edited:

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Guess my English is getting as rotten as my Swedish... I probably did not use the right words. The book said that vilken/ vilket/ vilka will ALWAYS be more formal than som, not the other way round ;)

    No, your question is forrest. It was Tjahzi that misunderstood.
     
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