||Introduction to Swedish© by Urban Sikeborg, Stockholm (1997-98)|
Even more things
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|On this page|| Nouns in the plural
Sentences to study
|Nouns in the plural||To show that
a noun is in the plural in English an s is
usually added to the noun: one house, but two houses.
The formation of nouns in the plural is more complex in
Swedish. The Swedish nouns are usually divided into five
groups, depending on their plural endings: -or, -ar,
-(e)r, -n; the fifth group has no ending at all in the
indefinite form, but looks the same both in the singular
and in the plural.
As soon as you know to which group a noun belongs, you can easily determine what the definite form (the cars, not just any cars) must be:
There are also some irregular nouns in Swedish, like in English, which do not follow this model (e.g. en man / tvĺ män, en fot / tvĺ fötter, for man and foot, respectively ). Many of them are very common and will therefore be easy to remember. Lists like the one above may look rather terrifying, even in this simplified form, but should not cause you any discomfort. It is not primarily by word lists and grammars that you learn a language and its structure, but by reading, listening, and repeating.
There are some general rules for what ending to take - for instance that the most common ending for en words is -ar - but, after all, in the end your choosing the right ending will most likely be because you have met the word in different contexts several times before, not because of grammatical charts.
In many dictionaries you will find the nouns listed with the singular endings in the definite and the plural endings in the indefinite form, which is enough to know for most nouns: frĺ´g/a -n -or (en) = question shows you that the word 'frĺga' has the following forms:
en frĺga = a question
(indefinite form singular)
|Sentences to study|| Ja
I know not where the bikes are - I see them not, in all cases (i.e. anyway).
lígger dĺ? Vi
kan ta tĺ´get
fast det ä´r
The regular verbs in Swedish end in -r in the present. The irregular verbs, often the most frequent ones, can also have other endings: 'vet' (a distant relative of the English word 'wit')= 'know', 'kan' = 'can'.
'Dem' - the objective form of the personal pronoun 'they' - is pronounced the same way as 'they': 'dom'.
Nouns like 'cýkel' lose their -e when forming the plural: en cýkel, cýkeln, tvĺ cýklar, cýklarna.
'Ta' in 'kan ta' = 'can take' is a form of the verb which is called the infinitive (see Chapter 7).
'Hem' means 'home' as in "Home, sweet home" and is also used as an expression of direction (like in "Let's go home"), while 'hémma' is the equivalent to 'at home'.
|Numbers||The numbers are very frequent in Swedish, as in English, and should therefore be memorized at an early stage. There are two types of numbers: Cardinal numbers (one, two, three etc.), and ordinal numbers (first, second, third etc.).|
|Cardinal numbers||Ordinal numbers||Cardinal numbers||Ordinal numbers|
|0||noll||-||21||tjugoén, tjúgoétt ["tjugi-"]||tjugofö´rsta ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|1||en, ett||fö´rsta||22||tjugotvĺ´ ["tjugi-"]||tjugoándra ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|2||tvĺ||ándra||23||tjugotré ["tjugi-"]||tjugotrédje ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|3||tre||trédje||24||tjugofýra ["tjugi-"]||tjugofjä´rde ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|4||fýra||fjä´rde||25||tjugofém ["tjugi-"]||tjugofémte ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|5||fem||fémte||26||tjugoséx ["tjugi-"]||tjugosjä´tte ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|6||sex||sjä´tte||27||tjugosjú ["tjugi-"]||tjugosjúnde ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|7||sju||sjúnde||28||tjugoĺ´tta ["tjugi-"]||tjugoĺ´ttonde ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|8||ĺ´tta||ĺ´ttonde||29||tjugonío ["tjuginíe"]||tjugoníonde ["tju-", "tjugi-"]|
|9||nío ["níe"]||níonde||30||tréttio ["trétti"]||tréttionde|
|10||tío ["tíe"]||tíonde||40||fýrtio ["fö´rti"]||fýrtionde [fö´rtionde]|
|20||tjúgo ["tjúgi"]||tjúgonde||1999||as an ordinary number: ettusenniohundranittionio; when referring to the year: nittonhundranittionio|
|With the exception of en, ett - both old acquaintances by now - all numbers have only one form and do not change with the gender or the number of the noun. The pronounciation of some numbers often differs somewhat from the spelling in everyday speach, as shown within brackets, but only 40 is never pronounced the way it is spelled: fyrtio always becomes fö´rti[o].|
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This page was updated on 21 December 1998.