https://www.duolingo.com/garren99

Ett and En

So I posted before what ett and en means and I was told that it has to do with masculinity and feminine. I am aware of this, but I am pretty far in my progress with Swedish, but this is holding me back. How do I tell when to use ett or en and how do I learn which words use which? Thanks!

1 year ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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As have been said, it has to be learned with each noun. About 80% of words are en words, but a sizeable portion of common vocabulary are ett words.

It's supplementary knowledge, but Swedish nouns aren't masculine and feminine as such, but common (en) and neuter (ett).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zerr_
Zerr_
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Swedish used to have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Over time, the masculine and feminine genders merged into one gender, the "common" gender, which is why you'll sometimes see the two modern Swedish genders referred to as common (en-words) and neuter (ett-words).

There isn't really any way to tell which is which for most words, but there are in some situations, notably these:

  • Country names are neuter, eg., Sverige är mycket vackert ("Sweden is very beautiful").
  • Infinitives ("to [verb]") are neuter, eg., Att vara här är fantastiskt ("Being here is wonderful").
  • People are common, eg., Anna är snäll ("Anna is kind").
  • "It", when it doesn't actually represent anything, is neuter, eg., Nu är det perfekt ("Now it's perfect").

For most nouns, unfortunately, it's random; you'll have to learn them by heart. However, since the common gender was once two genders, there are far more en-word than there are ett-words, so if you're not sure, guess en.

It's easier to learn the genders than it might seem. Lycka till!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete
psionpete
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It is based on the gender of the noun and you just have to learn a noun's gender along with each noun. There is no easy way.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolinaViking

There is no easy way. You have to memorize each one over time. When in doubt, guess EN as it is more common.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PoneSE
PoneSE
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I have the same problem so this thread interests me.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garren99

thank u all! this definitely helped me out. I guess this will be a long process but I am excited to learn.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eva33964

You learn it by heart. I'm a Swedish native speaker and insofar I know there are no particular rules. You just "hear" when it's right, from the experience of being exposed to the language over and over again.

1 year ago
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