Var var du någonstans?

English Translation

Where were you?

Why is the word ‘någonstans’ used here? In English, we wouldn’t add the word ‘somewhere’ to the sentence.


You’re right about it being redundant, but it’s highly idiomatic. You can also see it written apart: “någon stans”.

Is there a rule or guidance as to when you would add ‘någonstans’? I’ve seen it also being used in these other sentences from the corpus:

  • Var bodde du någonstans?
  • Hallå, var är vi någonstans?

I can’t come up with a rule, but it’s informal, colloquial. It seems to give the question a bit more emphasis.

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I definitely agree with @morbrorper . I don’t know any rules, but I use it whenever I really want to know a place or just to show my interest.

For me “Var var du någonstans?” shows a lot more interest than “Var var du?”

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That already answers my question :slight_smile:

I imagine it like so:

  • If that obnoxious co-worker returns from vacation and you’re stuck with him in the elevator, you’d ask ‘Var var du?’ just to break the awkward silence.
    • You’ll go separate ways as soon as the elevator doors open and you don’t want him to begin elaborating on something you’re not interested in.
  • But if that awesome co-worker is back from vacation and you’re genuinely interested, you’d ask ‘Var var du någonstans?’
    • Because without ‘någonstans’ it could give the false impression that you don’t truly care, and you don’t want that to happen.

Thank you @morbrorper and @Fnirk1 for your answers :slight_smile:

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