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  5. "Det är den sämsta bok jag ve…

"Det är den sämsta bok jag vet."

Translation:It is the worst book I know .

October 5, 2015



Is there something wrong here? Why is it just bok but not boken?

Some previous examples were like: Han är yngste sonen - He is the youngest son Han är den yngste sonen - He is the youngest son

As far as I understand, we do not always have to use "den" for superlatives in Swedish like we use "the" in English, but can we also use "bok" instead of "boken" all the time? Or, what is the exception here?


My personal observation is that whenever you attach a defining relative clause (i.e. a clause that is essential to pointing out what you refer to) to a definite noun, the suffix disappears. Here it is essentially "den sämsta bok som jag vet", just with the relative pronoun left out.


Right, but the den determiner refers to the comparison, not to the book. English actually works the same. You say "It's the worst book I know", not "It's the worst the book I know".

The det determiner at the start refers to the actual book, which is why you don't need a separate determiner later. You've already grounded the specific book through the very first word.


Still a little confused. I can't see how this case is different from the example, "Han är den yngste sonen" (from the post above by YavusGrgl). Here are a couple of sentences to maybe help figure out where my thinking is wrong:

"Det är den yngste katt" or "Det är den yngste katten"? Do you need to have the relative clause "Jag vet" to be able to use the indefinite form of "katt"?

Also, does this mean that "Det är den samsta bok" is also acceptable (without the "jag vet" relative clause)?


Yes, that is exactly it. Well spotted. :)


Sorry, what is well spotted? Is "Det är den sämsta bok" correct, or does it now need to be "Det är den sämsta boken"?


Sorry, misread the last sentence. :) You do need the relative clause to use the indefinite, and so Det är den sämsta bok does not work without the relative clause.


Is the indefinite form optional in this case, or is it required?


With the relative clause, is the indefinite form required or optional?

And could this be "Det är den sämsta bok SOM jag vet"? Is SOM omitted because it refers to the object in the relative clause?


It's optional, as is the som. So these are all fine:

  • det är den sämsta bok jag vet
  • det är den sämsta boken jag vet
  • det är den sämsta bok som jag vet
  • det är den sämsta boken som jag vet

That said, som here doesn't really sound very natural, even if grammatical.


when to use sämst or sämsta? längst or längsta? etc


To expand on what devalanteriel said: With a superlative, it depends on whether it's attributive or predicative -- its position relative to the noun. Attributive means it comes before the noun (de sämsta böckerna, the worst books), predicative means it comes after a verb (de böckerna är sämst, these/those books are the worst).

There is one other point to consider. It seems for most adjectives the definite superlative ending is +e (e.g. varmaste, svåraste). For irregulars like sämst and längst, it is +a as shown above, but there is an optional +e ending which you might encounter and that is only used for the definite masculine singular (something with a true masculine gender, like an animal or human).

1) is the superlative's placement attributive or predicative, and 2) is it a regular or irregular adjective? I believe those are the two pieces of information to resolve your question :-)


How in the world do I remember that? That is a complicated answer. I cannot be thinking of these rules while trying to form sentences.


The -a suffix is how most definite and plural forms are created.


I wrote "It is the worst book I know of" and it was incorrect. Would adding "of" translate differently in Swedish?


Yes, that's ... jag känner till in Swedish.


Thank you! Do you mind explaining the difference?? I'm still a little confused :)


I apologise, I read that clumsily. "I know of" is absolutely fine and I'll add it right away. In this case, there is zero difference in meaning between känner till and vet, and they're both accepted in the reverse sentence.

Generally, though, känner till means "know of" and vet just means "know".


How about "den värsta bok", does it mean the same?


Not really - sämsta is for things that could be positive but turn bad, whereas värsta is for things that are inherently bad.

You could very well use värsta here, but it would make the statement much stronger because of the above.


when is sämbre and when is sämsta?

  • sämre = worse
  • sämst = worst


When speaking about people, can we say: han är den sämsta man jag vet? Or we have to use känner about people?

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