Bus 35 gå åt DET hållet


Senior Member
Good afternoon. Could you please help me understand why the word DEN/ DET has been used in the following dialogue (taken from a graded Swedish reader).

-Hej. Vet du hur vi kommer till restaurangen xxx?
-Det är enkelt! Buss 35 gå åt DET hållet. Den går direkt till restaurangen. Men DEN bussen är ofta proppfull så här dags.

The nouns Hållet anda Bussen are already in the definite form, they are not used with adjetives, nor with the possessives Den/det här/där, so I'm not sure why the extra Den/Det is used.

Many thanks for your help
  • MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    I can't give you the correct linguistic rules, but just intuitively:

    Without hearing it I'd say that we'd say "DET hållet" with emphasis in order to indicate one direction as opposed to the other direction (often while physically pointing), and similarly we'd say "DEN bussen" again with emphasis to point out that that specific bus is often filled with people this time of day - as opposed to either the bus of the same line going in the opposite direction or as opposed to the same bus and direction but at a different time of day, or maybe as opposed to a different bus line that also takes you there.

    If you aren't emphasizing the words however I would see it differently. The direction is then more of an acknowledgment that the bus in question will take you where you need to go. If said that way, without emphasis on "det", you could just as well swap that word for something else;

    -Det är enkelt! Buss 35 går dit. Den går direkt till restaurangen.
    -Det är enkelt! Buss 35 går till restaurangen.
    -Det är enkelt! Buss 35 går till xxx.

    Similarly not emphasizing "DEN bussen" can be equally 'neutral' in a sense. It's just saying "Expect the bus to be packed". I.e. I'd say "den" would then function more like "the bus" rather than "that bus". I'd expect some people to just throw that word in there without much thought.

    I will say though that:

    - Det är enkelt! Buss 35 går åt hållet. - Does NOT work.
    Men bussen är ofta proppfull så här dags. DOES work.

    Not sure why, but "hållet" used as a direction needs "det". Same with "den vägen" (that way) and "den riktningen" (that direction). I think you just need to specify which direction it is and that's why "det" is used.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    It's known as the double-definite, the usage is not straightforward, but is explained here: Why the double-definite in Swedish?

    "Gå åt det hållet" would probably be translated as "goes in that direction". You wouldn't in English say "goes in the direction" - you need to express which direction. It's the same in Swedish, which I think is basically what @MattiasNYC was saying too.

    "Den bussen" is I guess just for emphasis. It could be simply "bussen", and would probably be translated as "the bus" in English.

    Why then "det där hållet"? That is usually used for "that" in Swedish. I suppose it is because a direction does not exist in any location. It is literally neither "here" not "there". But I feel on shakier ground with that explanation. @MattiasNYC?