Using additional definitive articles

I have seen several cases where definitive articles, such as den and det, is placed in front of an adjective, followed by a word, despite the fact that the word already has its definitive indicator. For example, even though there is already an '-et' at the end of 'huset,' there are several cases when 'det' is placed in front of an adjective for 'huset,' thus forming 'det lilla huset(the purple house).' My question is, if definitive articles such as den or det, is used in front of the verb without any adjectives. For example, if I wanted to emphasize the fact that a house is very special to me, can I say 'det huset' instead of just 'huset'? Tusen tack in advance.

August 17, 2019


To add on to Skidbladner's comment, this only occurs when an adjective precedes the definite noun. For example, "The house is green" would just be Huset är grönt. But, if you want to say, "the green house," you must say det gröna huset. There are three steps to creating this construction:
1. If the noun is an en-word, add den. Ett? Add det. Plural? Add de.
2. Add -a to the end of the adjective.
3. Add the definite suffix to the end of the noun.

The den/det/de is mandatory, except for a few set constructions with specific adjectives. You only use double-definiteness when the adjective is placed in the construction "the adjective noun." As Skidbladner mentioned, without an adjective, den/det/de before a noun means "that."

August 17, 2019

Thanks! But one more question... Is it common in Swedish to use den/det/de as that? Especially when compared to den där/det där/de där?

August 18, 2019

Native Swede here.

The short form is being used, but less often. Especially in spoken Swedish.

I would recommend always adding "där", since I can't think of a situation where it sounds odd.

From a feeling point of view, I thing that using the short form by itself feels odd, you need something more in the sentence:

  • Vilket hus bor du i?
  • Det huset, där borta. / Huset där borta. / Det där huset.

Just answering "det huset" feels a bit weird or maybe like you're a grumpy teenager wanting to minimise conversation.

August 18, 2019

In the presence of adjectives Swedish uses 'dubbel bestämning', both definite article and definite ending:

  • Det gula huset -- The yellow house.

Without the adjective it becomes:

  • Det huset -- That house
  • Huset -- The house

(Note that det där huset also is translated as 'that house'. )

August 17, 2019

Tusen tack! :)

August 18, 2019

Incidentally, 'det lilla huset' means 'the little house' not 'the purple house.' That would be 'det lila huset.' It took me ages to distinguish between these two!

August 17, 2019

Oops... Thanks for pointing out!

August 18, 2019
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