Swedish: 'Jag tror att de frågar dig.'


Senior Member
English - England
I'm reading a short learners passage where they are talking about a woman's upcoming job interview.

The following is said:

'Men vad tror du de frågar mig?

Jag tror att de frågar dig om dina egenskaper, både positiva och negativa.'

It seems to me the first person is asking 'what do you think they'll ask me' but there's no marker of time or any of the verbs like ska. Is there a rule that governs this or have i completely misunderstood ?
  • DerFrosch

    Senior Member
    As you may know, verbs in the present tense can be used to express a future meaning in Swedish – and there doesn’t necessarily have to be an explicit marker of time for that to be possible, as long as the context is sufficiently clear.

    In your case, the speakers are, as you mentioned, talking about an upcoming interview, so there’s no ambiguity. You could add a time marker to the sentence: ”Men vad tror du de frågar mig [då/under intervjun, etc.]?” However, they can easily be left out if that’s already clear from the context.

    Just to be clear, it would certainly be correct to say ”Men vad tror du att de kommer (att) fråga mig?” But since it’s a bit more cumbersome to say ”kommer att” then simply adding ’ll as you do in English, the present tense is often used instead.

    That’s how languages work – we rarely add more components to our sentences than we need to get our message across!
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