0

I am not a native English speaker, but I translate English texts into my native language, Danish.

I sometimes come across phrases like "Many believe that (x) but I am here to show you that (y)."

I sense that "I am here to ..." is not so much about where the person is located, but more that they have a point to make about something. Could this be true? If so, what might be a common equivalent way of saying it? Because, literally translated, it does not carry the same meaning in Danish of making a point - but perhaps an equivalent, alternate way of saying it would.

  • 2
    Yes, this meaning can be found in a dictionary, under here. I think you could treat it the same as "but I am telling you" or "but I will show you". – michael.hor257k Dec 5 '18 at 16:00
  • 2
    Or even "but I take it upon myself to to tell/show you". – michael.hor257k Dec 6 '18 at 9:02
  • Thanks for the dictionary tip. I had looked up idioms with 'here', but a closer look at 'here' at thefreedictionary.com revealed this: 2. at hand, present, available, in attendance: "I'm here to help you." – DKlaus Dec 6 '18 at 16:09
  • 1
    But I’d like to tell/show you... – Jim Dec 6 '18 at 16:45
  • @Jim - That's exactly what I translated it into initially. :) Thanks for the validation. I guess 'be here to ... you' not really an idom, is it? Just normal language. – DKlaus Dec 7 '18 at 17:10
0

"I'm here to tell you that ..." is a fairly common idiom in the US (dunno about the UK), meaning that I'm about to convey to you some "facts" that I feel you need to understand.

I suspect it may, in the past, have had a neutral tone, but it has come to imply that you're about to be lectured about some topic you'd just as soon not hear about.

("I'm hear to show you ..." would not carry the same idiomatic meaning.)

| improve this answer | |
0

Now, you are kind of correct. At least "I am to ..." is idiomatic (cp "is to" or "is how to" or the modal verb Be to, etc) as are have to, ought to; Very peculiar and not directly comparable to modals like like.

More over, to split the difference, here alters the meaning significantly.

For translation it might be easier to work with come: "I come by to tell you" which must originally have been subjunctive "came", still visible in "become", "I wish I became ...", but undesrstood as past tense "I have come", and consequently rectified to present tense "I am here", because the process of arrival is largely irrelevant.

That is a good guess, because German ich komme um euch zu holen is similarly formulaic. The subjunctive in this word is indistinguishable from the present tense, althoigh the subjunctive is often visible from vowel alternation.

come derives from a root "to step", that might play a role for the French simple future for example, though that one is not quite clear. In that sense the phrase can be understood as "procede to", "want to" or just "will" (again, cp French je vais "I am going to ...", and je veut "I want to"; as well as German Ich will dir mal was sagen "I will to tell you something").

Comparing my mother tongue once more, something similator to here is used in German to translate the present progressive, "Ich bin gerade baden" (*I am bathin', right now).

So, in sum, it's formulaic and you would be well advised to seek a similarly epic expression from Danish.

But that's not an idiomatic saying, no. I don't think that's what saying means (cp saga, Ger Sage). It's an idiomatic phrase, sure.

PS: since someone mentioned the Doctor is here, I want to point out English hoar, or rather Ger hehr, from a root "grey, old, noble". But since this is not obviously attested in context of this phrase, and so would have to be pre-historic, if related all, I would only consider it for translation if archaising the language on purpose. I mean it makes sense, I am proud to tell you that, old, qualified and thus proud. Except I'm not all that qualified, only old.

| improve this answer | |
-1

Clarification was found at https://www.thefreedictionary.com/here A text search for 'here to' revealed a useful definition:

at hand, present, available, in attendance: I'm here to help you.

Thanks to michael.hor257k for pointing me in the right direction.

| improve this answer | |
  • Even this needs care. "I'm here to help, Doug" usually means "I'll be rapidly available if you need me; just call." // With stress, "I'm here to help, Doug" means that helping is my job / mission. // But "Many believe in General Evolution, but I'm here to tell you that ..." (in a stentorian voice) means that you're on a crusade. Rightly or wrongly. You're stepping up to the plate. Perhaps grandstanding. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 1 at 19:27
-2

In this case "i am here" does refer primary to the location, cardinal and temporal.

The most basic expression that this comes from is something like "Don't worry, he is a doctor, he is here to help you" In this case you are saying that the doctor is in this location, and he is going to do something positive.

I think this specific phrase is popular is infomercials. Very often they would have an excited host telling the audience "you think you have to scrub your dishes for 30 minutes to get them clean, but i am here to tell you that there is new magic soap". In this case the host is using a similar expression because he wants to come off as a friend of the audience, someone to help them, not sell them a product.

This expression has become a sort of joke, so is now used by someone trying to give you facts to change your life.

| improve this answer | |
  • No, it refers to the role, not the location. – michael.hor257k Dec 5 '18 at 20:30
  • @michael.hor257k could you explain that more? As in most cases like this, i have repeated the phrase to myself in Russian and there is no colloquialism that disappears through translation – Andrey Dec 5 '18 at 21:06
  • See definition 1.3 and its example sentences here. For even better illustration, consider: "We're not here to do your homework for you." Clearly, this has nothing to do with location. – michael.hor257k Dec 5 '18 at 21:21
  • @michael.hor257k I have a hard time understanding why people think that a metaphorical place like a website is not a location. You "go" to websites, you "leave" websites. There is no usage in English for a location you can't apply to a website. – Andrey Dec 17 '18 at 22:04
  • 1
    It has nothing to do with location, metaphorical or real. – michael.hor257k Dec 17 '18 at 22:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.