Where Am I and Where Am I Going?

Sometimes people who speak English have no idea how lucky they are. If you want to know where you are going, where you are, where you left your keys and where you should put the book in your hand, you just need one simple word: Where. In Swedish there are two words for where: “Var” and “vart“. German has two different words also. “Wo” and “Wohin“. Germans don’t seem to have the same problems with this as Swedish people do, but Swedish people really do have problems with this… and don’t even get me started on those poor souls who have decided to learn Swedish as a second language (not something I would recommend by the way).

The question is: when do I use “Var” and when do I use “vart”?

Answer: Depends on what you are trying to say.

This is probably easier if it is broken down into many languages.

Where is the car? Var är bilen? Wo ist das Auto?

If you use “var” in this way, you would like to know in what place the car is now.

Where are you going? Vart är du på väg? Wohin gehst du?

Should you use “vart” like this, you are inquiring as to what place an object or person is moving to.

One way of making the destinction easier is to ask a simple question: Is something there or is it going somewhere? If an object or a person is not moving you would ask where it is and in Swedish use “var”. If you are asking where something is going you, in Swedish, would use “vart”.

[Svenska]

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