Harry Potter och De Vises Sten

In the title "Harry Potter och De Vises Sten" why is it De and not Den/Det?

August 8, 2019


De Vises is plural genitive.

Swedish ( and German: 'Der Stein der Weisen' ) does not ascribe this legendary stone/substance to a single Philosopher but to multiple wise people.

August 8, 2019

Thank you! I was confused at first because in English it's "Philosopher's Stone" (both singular). I still don't understand why it is the plural "De" though, because I thought the "De" refers to the definite "sten" and not "vises" which is not definite?

I'm bad at explaining things lol. What is going on in my head is basically "the stone of philosophers" in this case, which made me think it was still the singular definite form. It feels like if the philosophers were definite then it would just be "Visets Sten"

August 8, 2019

I will try to answer you.

  1. It should be noted that de vise is the old form that is used because it is a set name/phrase. In modern Swedish the plural definite form is de visa.

  2. Vis is originally an adjective but is here used as a substantive. A substantive that is then put in the definite form of the old plural genitiv: de vises.

  3. When making the definite form of a substantive that is 'actually' an adjective one uses den/det/de with -a, or in some cases -e, at the end.
    Ex: De gamla - 'the elderly', det bästa - 'the best',
    Den gode, den onde, den fule - "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly".
    (The last is of course the movie title. The Swedish here uses the optional -e ending in singular for a male person.)

  4. The "owned" objekt is put in the indefinite form: sten.
    (If one uses plural '-genitive and avoids the of-construction when thinking about it in English, it may hopefully become a bit clearer.
    With multiple philosophers one should think of "The Philosophers' stone", and not "the stone of the Philosophers ".)

I could probably have expressed this better, so don't hesitate to ask if something is unclear.

August 9, 2019
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