Whetted appetite

Mentioning my newly started blog to some of my colleagues, and the discussion that followed, whetted my appetite for posting more.

Today I want to give some examples on how to express quantities in Swedish. I want to point out that the purpose of this blog is to provide examples of correct Swedish sentences and expressions, with – and sometimes without – translations and/or examples on contexts when the sentences/expressions would be appropriate.

Vissa tycker att det är okej, andra inte – Some people think it’s OK, others don’t

Jag kände igen några av låtarna på konserten, men de flesta var nya för mig – I recognized some of the songs at the concert, but most of them were new to me

Somliga går med trasiga skor – Some people walk in worn out (literally “broken”) shoes (a title of a famous song by singer-songwriter Cornelis Vreeswijk)

Hur många kom på festen? – How many showed up at (literally “came to”) the party?

En massa jobb försvinner när Scania lägger ner sin fabrik – A lot of jobs will disappear when Scania close down their plant.

NB: “En massa” means “många” (a lot of), but is mostly used in spoken language.

Bara för att någon har sagt att det är så betyder det inte att det nödvändigtvis är sant – Just because somebody said so, doesn’t make it true

Ingen vill jobba över en fredag – Nobody wants to do overtime on a Friday (“jobba över” or “jobba övertid” both work equally well)

Endast ett fåtal på mötet tyckte att förslaget var bra – Only a few [meeting participants] at the meeting thought the proposal was good.

NB: You can say “Endast ett fåtal mötesdeltagare” or, as above, leave out the word “mötesdeltagare”.

Hur mycket kommer du ihåg? – How much do you remember?

Lite mer vatten, tack! – A little more water, please!

Last but not least, my favorite when it comes to expressing quantities:

mycket lite – very little
litet mycket – quite a lot

Confusing? Even more so if you read this little conversation, taking place at the hot dog cart:

Cart operator: “Ketchup?”
Customer:  “Mycket lite”
(The operator puts ketchup on the hot dog, too much according to the customer who feels the need to comment on this)
Customer: “Var inte det där lite mycket??

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