Talk:Swedish grammar

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Passive voice[edit]

I was thinking about "the passive voice", where an example of swedish is given. You can't say "han fick målat dörren". It should be something like "han fick dörren målad".

It looks strange, quite colloquial. Nothing grammarians would prescribe. 惑乱 分からん 14:38, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and are these get-constructions really cases of passive voice. I wonder since it is not the subject ("he") that is painted in "He got the door painted" (talk) 08:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

S-formation of plurals[edit]

I don't know if the s-formation of plurals should be mentioned. It is common in everyday speech for people familiar with english in english borrowings, such as zombie, scanner, reporter etc, but it has always been advised against by the Swedish Academy since it became popular, mostly because it is difficult to conjugate in plural definite, although forms such as -sen and -sarna (weird mix form) have emerged.

It hasn't apparently made it into the written form yet, I'd give it time. Steve Rapaport 09:42, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It is relatively common in weekly magazines, tabloids etc.
The only accepted —s plural that comes to mind is babys. — Robert Greer (talk) 22:48, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Verb-Subject-Object in adverbial phrases[edit]

It says in the article: "An unusual feature is that a sentence beginning with an adverbial phrase (e.g. "In the morning", "Frequently"), also inverts subject and verb, the same as a question would." However, isn't that the same in a lot of Germanic languages? I know it's the same in Dutch and German (although not in English). So is this unusual enough to be mentioned so prominently? Junes 10:13, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, it is almost only German, Dutch and the Scandinavian languages that have this feature, as you can see in V2 word order, and since English does not, it seems to me it might be regarded as rather unusual to English speakers. On the other hand it could of course always be discussed if it should be mentioned in the intro. / Alarm 10:27, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
When giving examples it is good to compare to English, but if the feature is common in other closely related languages as well as in languages around the world, that should be mentioned. Also, please try to avoid words like "unusual", "strange" or the likes. It is very common for (native) speakers of a language to convey an exaggerated uniqueness about their language when describing it in articles.
Peter Isotalo July 6, 2005 18:23 (UTC)

Deponent verbs[edit]

Something should be mentioned about the deponent verbs, as well as other rare, strange verb forms, such as the reciprocal tense...

Of course, the article hasn't even mentioned about the passive voice, yet.
Now the passive voice has been mentioned. :) -- Steve Rapaport 10:06, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Syntax and word order[edit]

My SFI teacher gave our class what he claimed was a universal word order for Swedish clauses and sentences, which I've inserted from my notes. I make no claims that I have remembered and transcribed it 100% correctly, but I think it was likely authoritative when he gave it to me.

As I recall, some sentences can consist only of Clause A or only Clause B, and some combine them in that order.

Corrections welcome. --Steve Rapaport 13:10, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I recall having seen these sentence structure schemes for Swedish and German, but unfortunately I don't have one available for reference now. However, I've made two corrections/clarifications:
  • The fundament need not be just an adverb (e.g. "Nu" ("Now")). It can also be an entire phrase with an adverbial function, such as "När jag såg honom" ("When I saw him") or "På taket till huset" ("On the roof of the house").
  • The fundament can also be, and often is, the subject of the sentence (e.g "Jag ser honom" ("I see him") and "Jag har sett honom" ("I have seen him")
Also, note that Clause B is a subordinate clause, and while you certainly see examples of such clauses as standalone sentences, just as in English some people maintain that sentences should not start with a conjunction. But I think they're wrong. ;-)
I also have my doubts that your structure scheme in its current form covers all possibilities for clausal adverb placement. While it is certainly perfectly correct to say "Jag ser inte honom" ("I don't see him"), it is just as correct, and perhaps more common, to say "Jag ser honom inte", which doesn't seem to be allowed according to your scheme. I can't explain why off the top of my head, though. (I can't imagine "inte" in the latter case being described as spatial or temporal...). It would probably be a good idea to check this with a Swedish grammar. / Alarm 23:31, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
Feel free to check it and correct. My gut feeling is that it's useful and once corrected, "mostly" universal, though I'm not surprised that it doesn't cover every case. Even so I feel it's unusual for a language to have a syntax as regular as this, and if Swedish comes close, it's noteworthy. Steve Rapaport 12:04, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Reflexive possessive pronoun[edit]

Perhaps it should say something more about the reflexive possesive pronoun, but I don't have the knowledge to add it myself. Is it unique to Swedish? What are the exact rules as to when to apply it and when not to? Jag lärer mig svensk and have a hard time getting the nuances correctly... Gerrit CUTEDH 17:01, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

There's some information here: Reflexive pronoun and apparently the Serbian language has a quite similar system, so it doesn't seem unique. Exact rules, I don't know, I guess you basically has got to get a feeling for when it is in a reflexive context... Is English your first language?
The reflexive possessive pronoun is used when referring to something that the third person subject of a clause owns. For example: han älskar sin fru he loves his wife (his own wife; sin refers to the subject, han); han älskar hans fru he loves his wife (someone else’s wife; hans refers to another person not mentioned here)—Adam, 15:08, 25 February 2006 (GMT+1)

Past Participle of verb "veta"[edit]

According to, the past participle of the verb "veta" is "veten". Is this correct? As a native speaker, I must say it looks quite strange. 惑乱 分からん 14:37, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

There is no past participle form of "veta". If there would be one it would be "vetad/vetat/vetade" since the supine is "vetat". This verb does not need a past participle since it is not used in constructions where you could have use for such a form. English sentences containing "is known" uses another verb than "veta" in Swedish, notably "känna (till)" 00:04, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Biljard (numbers section)[edit]

Hello, I'm Swedish native, and almost all my relatives say "tusen biljoner" instead of "biljard". What do you think? [ Smiddle / Talk - Contribs ] 20:25, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

In Swedish biljard means "billiards", not one quadrillion. You won't find it in any dictionary and the Mathematical Institution at Lund University does not recognize it as a proper term. There are apparently some who use it, but as far as I know, it's very rare and is generally perceived as fairly ridiculous.
Peter Isotalo 12:16, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Imperative form of verb[edit]

The article says "The imperative is the same as the stem." I thought that the imperative (command) form of the verb was the same as the infinitive. For example, I thought that "Studera" was an infinitive, "Studer-" the stem, and "Studera" the imperative form. Is this wrong?? --Eptin 18:44, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

It varies. For some words it's the infinitive, but many use the stem. For example, springa – spring, skjuta – skjut, sitta - sitt.
Peter Isotalo 12:00, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
The general rule is that the imperative is the same as the stem. The stem is made from the present tense of the verb. If the present tense ends in:
  • -ar, remove the -ar and replace with -a.
    For example, for studera, the present tense is studerar, the stem is studera-, and the imperative is studera!
  • -er, remove the -er.
    For example, for springa, the present tense is springer, the stem is spring- and the imperative is spring!
For irregular verbs such as vara (to be), kommer (to come), and (to go), you need to just learn the imperative form. In those cases, the imperative forms would be var!, kom!, and gå!. –panda 23:06, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
It is a rather new phenomenon, I think, that the imperative is claimed to be the stem. This is also historically false, since old Swedish hade forms like "hoppom" and "hoppen" (from the ar-verb hoppa, these forms didn't disappear in written language until the middle of the 20th century). Also if one regards present subjunctive as a still existing verb form this definition of stem fails. Present subjunctive of "hoppa" is "hoppe". Now the article also says that the present subjunctive is formed by adding -e to the stem. (talk) 09:03, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

include something about the verb to be[edit]

I don't know Swedish, so I went here looking for a conjugational chart for the verb to be. The page doesn't have one, but I did find it over on Indo-European copula. It's probably a good thing to include, since most other language pages have one.

- Christopher 18:33, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Vara ("to be") has now been added to the table of verb conjugations as an example of an irregular verb. –panda 22:51, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Germanic Strong Verbs[edit]

"To write" is a bad example of a strong verb shared by Swedish, German, and English because the English word isn't actually related to Sw. skriva, G. schreiben. Changed to "to bite". Orcoteuthis (talk) 13:36, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


Swedish has never had four grammatical genders, and the source used to support this statement (Thorell, 1973) neither makes the claim outright nor implies it. The term reale is merely a grammatical category that has traditionally been used for common gender, inanimate words (like korg(en), "(the) basket", or väg(en), "(the) road") and not actually a separate gender. It does describe that natural gender is used for personal pronouns like han ("he") and hon ("she") and contrasts these to the pronouns den and det. When assigning definite articles to traditionally masculine or feminine gender nouns, these are always common gendered (den).

I've corrected this and a few other things and I also replaced Thorell with a more recent Swedish grammar written in English.

Peter Isotalo 12:42, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Thorell (1973) states there are four "pronomengenus" (pronoun genders) and calls them: han-genus (maskulinum), hon-genus (femininum), den-genus (reale) and det-genus (neutrum), see p 23. Utrum and neutrum are called "artikelgenus" (article gender), see p 22. He also mentions that an older system used three genders (maskulinum, femininum and neutrum), p 23. So if one considers pronomengenus to be "grammatical" genders, there have in fact been four genders in the past. Also, there are other sources on the web that state there have been four genders in Swedish, including the Swedish version of this article. If you ask someone who is the appropriate age, they will also tell you they learned four genders. If so many Swedes have learned Swedish grammar with four genders, how can anyone claim that "Swedish has never had four grammatical genders"? A modern, English reference about Swedish grammar is not appropriate in this case since this issue is about a subject that no longer applies to modern Swedish. –panda (talk) 05:11, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I know that it's very common, especially for laypeople, to claim that Swedish once had a full-fledged four-gender system (I believed so myself before I started becoming interested in linguistics), but it's somewhat of a misunderstanding. I should again stress that Thorell doesn't make any claim about a development from three genders to four and then to just two. There's only a description of the "article genders" and a comment about the older gender system. What Thorell is describing, and which is often misunderstood as meaning Swedish has once had four separate grammatical genders, is a description of different aspects of gender. Han/hon is about natural gender, ei whether something is of a female or male sex, whether it be humans, bears or spiders. As you describe, the other is about "article gender", and refers to the two grammatical genders of modern Swedish. Only the pronouns han/hon/den/det are actually interchangable, which means it is only used in a very limited grammatical context and is fairly irrelevant to nouns.
I don't see anything inappropriate in replacing Thorell with Holmes & Hinchliffe, though, since both are modern grammars and neither are histories of the Swedish language.
Peter Isotalo 10:33, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
The Swedish version of this article makes it clear that there are several ways to define gender in Swedish, which should be mentioned in the English version, instead of being completely removed.
According to definition 1 of gender in M-W:
1 a: a subclass within a grammatical class (as noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language that is partly arbitrary but also partly based on distinguishable characteristics (as shape, social rank, manner of existence, or sex) and that determines agreement with and selection of other words or grammatical forms b: membership of a word or a grammatical form in such a subclass c: an inflectional form showing membership in such a subclass2 a: sex <the feminine gender> b: the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex
So it really doesn't matter if the han/hon gender "is only used in a very limited grammatical context" or "is fairly irrelevant to nouns" since it "determines agreement with and selection of other words or grammatical forms". Thorell (1973) gives several examples of how it affects nouns and adjectives. Svenska skrivregler (2000) §85 also comments on how the male/female genders affect the inflection of adjectives. So even if Swedish grammar is no longer taught as having 4 genders, the han/hon genders are still in use.
Thorell is not a modern grammar book -- it was published in 1973 and contains aspects of Swedish grammar that are no longer taught while Holmes & Hinchliffe was published in 1997, 24 years later, after several changes were made to the way Swedish grammar is taught. So its clear that Holmes & Hinchliffe is not an appropriate reference for this issue, although it may be a useful general reference for modern Swedish grammar with the added benefit that it is partly available in Google Books. –panda (talk) 16:52, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
The fact remains that the four genders only affect certain specific aspects of grammar and is not really a relevant morphological category for nouns, but rather for adjectives, articles and pronouns. We're also speaking about two entirely different aspect of gender, grammatical and natural gender (also called semantiskt genus in Swedish). The main issue, though, is not to extrapolate facts that aren't actually stated in the sources, like claiming that there has been a four-three-two gender development. I'm not really sure about the details concerning changes Swedish grammar between 1973 and 1997, but the idea that Thorell's book somehow isn't modern seems like a slight exaggeration. Just like the claim about the gender development it's a conclusion that has been made by (apparantly) comparing the sources rather than finding sources that actually comment historical changes in grammar analysis.
Peter Isotalo 13:02, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not disputing what you're stating about the four genders, I'm just stating that they are genders. If the correct term is "natural gender" vs "grammatical gender", then that part should be clarified, but the entire text should not be removed. There is an entire generation of Swedes that were taught there are four genders in Swedish.
The text never stated there was a three-four-two gender "development", only that "Formerly, Swedish had four genders (maskulinum, femininum, reale and neutrum)" and before that, "An even older system used three genders (maskulinum, femininum, neutrum)", without stating whether they were grammatical genders or some other kind of gender. The four-gender and three-gender systems are facts that are stated in Thorell's book. So a simple clarification of the text should resolve this issue while still keeping the four-gender system in the article. –panda (talk) 15:19, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Thorell does not claim there is a general four gender system. What he does is explain the difference between the two genders in a section dedicated to pronouns. He says nothing about Swedish formerly having four genders, but describes the the natural and semantic genders as they apply to pronouns. Neither does he say that there was a three gender system before the four gender system, but merely that there used to be three genders in Swedish. Making a general statement that Swedish has four genders is about as accurate as claiming it still has three grammatical cases or that it's a tonal langauge; it's describing a marginal aspect of as something general and is largely misleading.
Peter Isotalo 13:33, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Um ... I thought this was resolved. You've already stated that the four genders are considered natural genders instead of grammatical genders. Perhaps it would help if you re-read what I wrote.
Regarding Swedish formerly having four genders, this is simply what people were formerly taught vs what they are taught today. (An indication of how Thorell's book is not modern.) I never said the book stated it -- I only stated that "The four-gender and three-gender systems are facts that are stated in Thorell's book." I've also never claimed anything about a general gender system. Please try not to extrapolate more out of what I write than what's written. Any specific reason why this shouldn't be put in the article now? –panda (talk) 14:30, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
There are only two natural genders, masculine and feminine, and in modern Swedish they are basically only applicable to things that actually have gender in the biological sense. When referring to inanimate objects, and very frequently to plants and animals that actually do have natural genderes, the grammatical genders prevail. In some cases even young (or unborn) children whose gender is unknown might also be refered to den or even det (when refering to barn(et), "the child"). Among the only true remnants of applying older grammatical genders are when referring to time (or rather klockan, "the clock") and humankind are refered to as hon, "she", since both words once had a feminine gender in the old three gender system.
As for people formerly having been taught a four gender system, I'm not sure it's actually applicable. For one thing, I'm pretty sure it's really just a misunderstanding where school teachers taught students something they didn't actually grasp or that people simply misinterpreted the issue. Either way, if this information is to be included it needs to be very clear about separating the natural genders from the grammatical genders. Whether you believe you haven't claimed anything about a general gender systme or not, this is exactly what the text you introduced said.
Peter Isotalo 18:24, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
No, the text I introduced didn't say whether or not it had to do with a general gender system or some other gender system, but I can see how it could be implied. Now you're stating that "There are only two natural genders, masculine and feminine". With all of the confusion over the different types of gender, it would be much simpler to write about genders in the same way it is described in the Swedish version of this article, that is, to state that there are several ways to define gender in Swedish and then to present the different ways it has been done. That would make more sense than trying to put all of this into the "Nouns" section. Your thoughts? –panda (talk) 18:51, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
The confusion is no more than my forgetting to explicitly state that there are only two natural genders, which led to an accidental misinterpretation of my statements. The Swedish article is more detailed, and I do agree that a more detailed description of the genders would be appropriate here to clear up any confusion, but I would like to add that I find the Swedish article is also slightly off the mark in some aspects. For example, in the four gender system, it simply ignores the fact that feminine and masculine nouns are referred to collectively as den when definite articles are used. Some of the examples also range from the slightly conservative världsmästarinna ("(female) world champion") to the downright archaic åsninna ("jenny"). It's a good start, but it needs a cleanup. I should also add that there appears to be no clear reference as to the source of these facts.
Peter Isotalo 19:27, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
There's certainly no need to do a direct translation of the Swedish version to English. Anyway, we have a reference (Thorell, 1973) about the different definitions of gender in Swedish. So it looks like we've reached a consensus about adding a new gender section to this article and we'll be able to cite it appropriately. –panda (talk) 22:11, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Here's another reference that discusses the four-gender system:

"1 Gender in Swedish
The Modern Swedish gender system has been analysed and re-analysed several times during the last 100 years. A four-gender system has been proposed, and also a two-gender system and a double system of "grammatical" and "semantic" gender (see Källström 1995 for an overview). As example (1) and (2) show, the agreement of attributes and predicatives provides ample evidence that Swedish has at least two genders. (Gender markers are highlighted by means of boldface.)
(1) a. en ny bil b. ett nytt hus
a new car a new house
(2) a. Bilen är ny. b. Huset är nytt.
car+the is new house+the is new
Let us call the gender in (1a) and (2a) non-neuter and the gender in (1b) and (2b) neuter. When it comes to third person personal pronouns, there are four of them in the singular. Their main uses are the following: det 'it' is obviously neuter and is used to refer back to inanimate noun phrases containing neuter nouns as heads. Han 'he is used to refer to male referents, hon 'she' is used to refer to female referents, and den 'it' is used to refer back to inanimate noun phrases headed by a non-neuter noun. See example (3) below.
(3) (huset) Det är nytt
(house+the) it is new
(bilen) Den är ny.
(car+the) it is new
(pojken) Han är snäll.
(boy+the) he is good
(flickan) Hon är snäll.
(girl+the) she is good
The question is whether the so called pronoun genders should be integrated into the gender system, and if so, how they should be integrated. ..."


Källström, Roger "On gender assignments in Swedish" pp 151-167 in Ottósson, Kjartan G. (ed) et al (1996) "The Nordic Languages and Modern Linguistics: Proceedings of The Ninth International Conference of Nordic and General Linguistics", University of Oslo, January 11-12, 1995, Oslo: Novus Forlag.

Källström 1995 is the following reference:

Källström, Roger. 1995. "Om svenskans genussystem. En diskussion av några analysalternativ." Meddelanden från Institutionen för svenska språket 9, Göteborg.

(Källström seems to be a two-gender system promoter and was/is in the Dept of Swedish Language at Göteborgs universitet.) Anyway, it seems that linguists did argue that Swedish had a four-gender system before. –panda (talk) 00:39, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Two more references describing a four-gender system that was used to describe Swedish:

  • "Swedish gender has been interpreted in terms of four traditional genders (Tegnér 1892; Källström 1996), two separate gender systems (grammatical vs. semantic) (Teleman 1987) and individual gender distinctions (Dahl 2000). This nicely shows that different models can be applied – more or less successfully – to a description of the problem."

Source: Not arbitrary, not regular: The magic of gender assignment, Marcin Kilarski and Grzegorz Krynicki.

Källström 1996 is the above reference, Tegnér 1892 is: Tegnér, Esaias (1892) Om genus i svenskan [On gender in Swedish]. Stockholm: Svenska Akademiens Handlingar.

The 2nd reference:

  • "The modern Swedish gender system has so far not been described in a unified way. Applying Corbett's (1991) gender typology, Källström (1995) has provided the most detailed analysis of gender in modern Swedish, suggesting a four-gender-system in his "standard" analysis. In the 1970s the traditional model he followed was replaced by a model suggesting two different gender systems for Swedish, a "formal" and a "semantic" one (cf. Andersson 1980, 2000)."

Source: Gender Across Languages: The Linguistic Representation of Women and Men, vol 3 by Marlis Hellinger, Hadumod Bussmann, 2003, p 342.

panda (talk) 18:53, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

The very common noun, "människa", meaning human or man in the sense of mankind, has not been mentioned. This noun is rather odd because it has a feminine grammatical gender in Swedish. Traditionally, when this noun is the antecedent, the feminine form "hon/henne" of the third person singular pronoun must be used regardless of the actual gender of the human that is being discussed, whether it is male, female, unspecified, or mankind in general. I don't know what the rule is in more modern Swedish, but I think "han/honom" would be more likely to be used for someone whose gender is known to be male. In any case the masculine -e form of an adjective could never be used with this noun. (talk) 01:29, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Traces of a former case system[edit]

Regarding this edit:

"There are traces of a former case system for nouns evidenced in that pronouns have subject (nominative), object (accusative) and genitive forms. Nouns make no distinction between subject and object forms, and the genitive is formed regularly by adding -s to the end of a word. This -s genitive functions more like a clitic than a proper case and is nearly identical to the possessive suffix used in English."

The above implies that since pronouns have an nominative, accusative, and genitive forms, then all nouns (not just pronouns) formerly had a nominative, accusative and genitive form that were all different from each other. What is the reference for that claim? And what would the nominative and accusative forms of a noun (e.g., bok, book) have been in the former case system? –panda (talk) 05:38, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, there were four cases in the past: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. I believe some dialects still retain them (like Elfdalian, though not sure how many of them) but otherwise the only traces are expressions like till sjöss ("at sea", where the preposition till, "to", requires the genitive form) and lagom ("just enough", an old dative form of lag, "law"). I don't think most linguists today call the various declinations of the pronouns nom/acc/gen anymore, though, but rather subject and object forms with a more or less clitic genitive, but both sets of terms are commonly used.
For the word bok, which was feminine, the Old Swedish singular form were the same as the nominative except for the genitive which was boka. The plural forms were böker (nom.), bok (gen.), bokum (dat.) and böker (acc.). There are plenty of tables on this and other declinsion types in Gertrud Pettersson's Svenska språket under sjuhundra år.
Peter Isotalo 10:00, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Then the text should state that there were formerly four cases in the past and list them, preferably with examples, instead of implying there were three cases in the past. It goes without saying that a reference should also be added. –panda (talk) 16:48, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Regarding this edit:

"There are traces of a former case system for nouns evidenced in that pronouns have a subject, object (containing traces of both dative and accusative) and genitive forms."

As stated in the edit summary, just because pronouns today have a subject, object, and genitive form does not mean that they are evidences of traces of a former case system. Also, not sure why "nominative" was no longer associated with "subject" so I've added that back plus some wikilinks that got removed. –panda (talk) 15:59, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Any language history would say otherwise. I added a reference to Pettersson to make it perfectly clear.
Peter Isotalo 18:24, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
"Any language history would say otherwise" about what? Perhaps you don't understand the problem here. The issue isn't about whether or not there has been a former case system. It is about the wording that has been chosen. What you've written is like stating:
"There are traces of a former gender system for nouns evidenced in that nouns have a grammatical gender of common (utrum) and neuter (neutrum)."
Sorry, but that is not "traces" of a former gender system, it's simply what the system is like today. Also, are you now stating that subject form is not nominative form, since you keep removing that? And please explain how plural and definite forms of adjectives are not the same. –panda (talk) 18:58, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Grammatical genders are technically traces of an old three gender system since the masculine and feminine genders have merged into the common gender. The difference is that the gender system is still applied to all nouns, and forces congruence in other word classes, while the case system is largely dismantled for everything but personal pronouns. The term "nominative" for subject form is best described as left over from the old case system and isn't really applicable when it is gone. It is still used to some extent, but never as a primary term. As a general comment, please don't ever remove statements which are very clearly referenced without providing an alternative reference of your own.
The statement about adjectives comments the differences between genders, not the various other forms of adjectives. It's very clearly stated in the sentence that begins with "Differences between masculine and feminine nouns are today only expressed...". The plural definite form of adjectives are the same no matter whether the noun is feminine or masculine.
Peter Isotalo 19:15, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
What you still don't understand is that this isn't about whether or not there was a former case system. It has to do with the wording of the text. I see nothing wrong with removing the reference since, according to you, the reference wasn't about the current system, but rather the former system and the text was reworded so that it only discussed the current system. Thus, the reference no longer applied.
Is there some special reason why you no longer want to associate nominative with the subject form? You were the one who first put it there, after all, and you have just stated that "it is still used to some extent". Are you just disagreeing for disagreements sakes? And why do you keep removing the wiki-links?
Are you now saying that there is a difference between the plural form of an adjective, the singular definite form of an adjective, and the plural definite form of an adjective? Which form of the adjective do you call it then when it's used in this context:
  • min lärda/lärde kollega Oskar
panda (talk) 19:32, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
And which form of the (masculine) adjective do you call these:
* de värnpliktige (vs den värnpliktige)
* Tre Kronors okände guldmakare
* Värnpliktige Tobias får 150 000 kronor
* två amerikanske forskare
* Ändå blev han förste artist
All of the above come from current articles. –panda (talk) 21:13, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Guessing what sources contain based entirely on vague assumptions of what editors who have read the source is bound to fail in most cases. Pettersson describes historical change and that makes it very relevant.
There is no difference between the plural form of adjectives in the standard language. The only example that refers to the plural form appears to be två amerikanske forskare ("two American scientists"). It might be dialectal, but it could just as well be a typo.
Peter Isotalo 05:47, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Um ... it seems you're arguing just to argue. I never said Pettersson does not describe historical change nor that it was not relevant for that reason. Nor did I ask about the "difference between the plural form of adjectives in the standard language". Please try reading what I write before commenting. –panda (talk) 15:34, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


(reflexive) - sig sin/sitt/sina

Shouldn't there be a "en" where the dash is, or is it dialect? "En ska tvätta sig varje dag, annars luktar man illa." Mindcooler (talk) 03:14, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

"En" as a pronoun is the object form of the pronoun "man" (translated as "you" or "one" in English, depending on variant and context, "on" in French). In dialects "en" is also used as the subject form. This example is inconsequent since it uses "en" as subject in the first clause but "man" in the second clause. In standard language one would say "Man ska tvätta sig varje dag, annars luktar man illa" ("One shall wash oneself every day, otherwise one will smell"). The reflexive form of "man" is "sig", as it is grammatically a third person, even if it is frequently used about the speaker himself. (talk) 10:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Should this not be, "Man ska tvätta sig varje dag, annars luktar hon illa"? — Robert Greer (talk) 23:02, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Nope, because that is a switch from 4th person to 3rd person and becomes a reference error, so that sentence is malformed in all possible interpretations and should require a prefixed * typical for such. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 08:15, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

suppressed relative pronouns[edit]

I seem to remember reading that relative pronouns can be suppressed in Swedish in the same way as in English, or is that wrong? Please see Talk:Relative_clause#copyedit_necessary --Espoo (talk) 14:47, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Cardinal numbers[edit]

I don't know what the section Cardinal numbers is about, but it seems to be mostly about some non-grammar issue, such as what number standards Swedish follows. From Higher numbers include: most of the text treats long and short scales used, and so should be removed, except one example of a number composition, f.ex.: 100557 etthundratusen femhundrafemtisju etthundratusen femhundrafemtiosju. From The basic operations include: the content becomes weirdly irrelevant, what the h*ck has trivial arithmetics to do with Swedish Grammar?? A few samples of part numberings (rational numbers is a term of mathematics AFAIK) could be kept, but for the rest, the too numerous examples should be dropped. This is an encyclopedia. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 08:24, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Selective changes made accordingly. Feel very free to continue fixes/cleanups! ... said: Rursus (bork²) 10:24, 30 June 2009 (UTC)


Contains far to many examples. This is not a Swedish course, for that ref to Wikibooks! Prepositions don't affect the inflection of the noun case applied onto, with the following rare examples, still somewhat productive in the language:

till havs, by the sea (travel), as opposed to till havet, to the sea;
till skogs, in the wood (travel), as opposed to till skogen, to the wood;
till fots, by feet (travel), as opposed to till foten, to the foot;

There could be a list of prepositions, the above example is an anachronism that might not survive further language development, but the current list of examples should be moved to Wikibooks, just keeping one or a few. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 09:25, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

The section Placement of prepositions is bogus/error/false. The "prepositions" refered to are in fact derivation particles attached to the verb in order to change transitivity and meaning, not prepositions. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 09:30, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I retract that for now, maybe I was wrong. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 09:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The first two examples are all right, since both runt and emellan are both (or can both be) prepositions. Runt changes meaning by whether it’s used pre- or postpositionally: riket runt being ‘around [within] the kingdom’ and runt riket being ‘around [outside] the kingdom’. Emellan does not: brödre emellan and emellan brödre mean the same, though the latter is rarer and would be more likely to be substituted for mellan brödre.
The last example, however, is pure nonsense. “Det är Ada jag tänker på” is not an exception of any kind; it’s simple fronting of the object of the preposition. (Whether this is then viewed as a dangling preposition, as in English, or as a disassociated adverb or particle, as in traditional Danish grammars, is a question purely of grammatical consensus. I do not know how Swedish grammars traditionally describe it.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

3rd person plural reflective[edit]

As far as I can tell, we seem to have a problem here. For the singular reflexive personal pronouns, the article correctly lists sig, sin/sitt/sina as the forms, as in "Han tog av sig hatten" (lit. "He took off him-REFL hat-the") and "Han ägde sin bok" ("He owned his-REFL book"). And of course, this must be the case for plural forms as well: "De tog av sig hattarna" and "De ägde sin bok". So why does it say "(use de, dem, deras)"?? I would change this myself but don't know how to edit the table in this way. David ekstrand (talk) 17:24, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

So now I've managed to edit the table to reflect this change. I also removed the part of fn. 1 which said that the non-genitive possessive personal pronouns agree with the item possessed in definiteness. They don't, as far as I can tell. Rather, the fact that a certain item is possessed triggers the definite form of the adjective: En grön bil vs. Kalles gröna bil. But you can't make a distinction between Min bil (my car) and *Den mina bilen (the car which is mine) which would involve making the possessive pronoun agree with the noun in definiteness. (FTR, "the car which is mine" would be Den bil som är min.) David ekstrand (talk) 01:46, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Weakening of verb?[edit]

Again I read this statement in section Conjugating verbs that seems pretty dubious to me:

As of lately, an increasing number verbs formerly conjugated with a strong inflection has been subject to be conjugated with its weak equivalent form in colloquial speech.

No!! I instead get an impression of status quo, although I may be affected by the local language habits of Northern Östergötland, where nonstandard forms such as spika/spek/spikit (instead of spika/spikade/spikat for v. "nail") occur. On the other hand, dö/dödde/dött (instead of dö/dog/dött for v. "die") also occur here. I've heard about this "strong verb weakening" before, but citation verily needed: I believe the statement is incorrect, unless someone provides a source. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Svenska Dagbladet: "Starka verbformer får lättare folkets kärlek" from 27 oktober 2008, slightly contradicts the thesis of strong verbs becoming weak. It instead claims that novel verbs are always weak, while some extablished weak verbs are tending towards strong. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:48, 7 February 2010 (UTC)


I just made this edit. While both are used in spoken language, at least "dens" is never considered correct Swedish, but "våran/eran" might be accepted in some informal situations. That "dess" would be considered awkward seems to be an opinion. Sources are a huge problem here. It seems like a number of self proclaimed experts have put their own thoughts into this article. /Grillo (talk) 20:38, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Plural forms[edit]

I've noticed this: "Certain nouns borrowed from Latin use Latin inflections, or Swedish inflections added to the root after removing the Latin singular ending, such as faktum, the plural of which is fakta." stated in the section about plural forms. Interestingly, facta is the plural form of factum in Latin, so I do not believe the "such as" is proper, having nothing uniquely Swedish about fakta being faktum's plural form. Girondaniel (talk) 16:29, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

More clarified now! /--Danog-76 (talk) 16:36, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

The statement "Nouns of common gender ending in -an do not inflect." under "Plural forms" is not correct I think. Most of the common nouns of common gender I can think of inflect in plural, for example "gran", "kran", "klan", "plan", "indian", "amerikan", "förmodan", even though the statement is correct for for example "gisslan". Of course there are exceptions to rules, but is this actually a rule? Rilfo (talk) 20:43, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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