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  5. "Sie spricht mit den Schweden…

"Sie spricht mit den Schweden."

Translation:She is talking to the Swedes.

June 26, 2014



Why is it "den Schweden" not "die Schweden"?


Plural and dativ!


mit always requires Dativ


I believe "die Schweden" refers to Sweden as a country (nomative). "mit den Schweden" means "to the Swedish people"/ Swedes (plural, dative), " mit dem Schweden" - "to the Swede" (singlular, dative) and "der Schwede" means the swede (singular, nomative).


not quite. The country is simply "Schweden" (without any article).
"Die Schweden" refers to the Swedish people ("the Swedes"). This is indeed nominative case. "mit den Schweden" means "with the Swedes" (dative plural). dative singular, however, is "dem Schweden".


The voice definitely sounds "sie sprichts" (as in "du sprichts...) and should be corrected


I agree (The voice sounds a little strange, such as if the woman is lisping). But "sprichts" is not a german word! (It would be "Du sprichst")

Also, since you can get the conjugation by context ("Sie" indicates "spricht"), I don't think it's imperative to change it.


Is Swedes singular?


No, plural. "swede" - "Schwede" would be singular.


Deutsch ist eine lustige Sprache! :)


By the way, "Alter Schwede!" ("Old swede!") is a common german term for "Gosh!", "Jeez!". ;-)


Cool, like Toki Wartooth in the German dub of Metalocalypse. <3 (He specifically in the German dub says, "Alte Schwede!". XD)


I enjoyed that! Have a lingot :) I'd suggest that a similar (though perhaps slightly coarser) phrase in English is "Gordon Bennett!"


Haha! Good to know!


Deutsch ist ein ((schwerige) i think that's correct context) Sprache?


"eine schwierige Sprache"


but it makes me cry cause i found it too hard to learn :D


The Swede is not accepted for singular, Duo suggests the Swedish instead.


Because the German is plural, so you can't use the singular. "The Swede" in German dativ would be dem Schwede for masculine and der Schwedin for feminine.


So easy to misunderstand . . . but for an "n" or "m" the number of Swedes we're talking about is impossible to say . . . unless, of course, they're female!


Actually it would be "dem Schweden" in dative singular. "Schwede" is a so-called weak noun, which always ends with -en except in the nominative singular, similar to "Automat" and "Neffe" for example.


And that is what I heard! ;-(


why not "you are talking to the swiss"?


Swiss = person/people from Switzerland, Swedes = people from Sweden.


So are we saying -

mit den Schweden - is to the Swedes

mit dem Schweden - is to the Swede

It is confusing.


Why do you consider this confusing? Case, gender and number is unambiguously marked by the article. It has to be dative anyway after "mit", "dem" is dative singular masculinum, "den" is dative plural.
Btw., in both languages (English and German) there is only a difference of one letter between the two phrases. There are even examples where you can't find out the difference at all in English, e.g.
mit dem Schaf - with the sheep (one sheep!)
mit den Schafen - with the sheep (several)


I don't think it's confusing, but I can't quite hear the difference on my phone


Why is this dative?


"mit" takes dative.


Why it is "den"? When is it appropriate to use "den" in the dative case?


Mit=with, but "mit" can also be used as "to"?


In this sentence, yes, you can also translate it as "She is talking to the swedes" but "She is talking with the swedes" should also be correct.


i do not get this , how can you determine if she is speaking to one swede or it is plural from this sentence ? the next question in this lessen uses this word but it becomes singular , i am confused about this , could somebody please explain?

  • 2357

See comments from tstrick and JohnWycliffe (above). It's all about the dative. Mit takes dative which for singular masculine would be dem, den for plural.


I am finding anything with the word Swede or Sweden very difficult. How would one say 'she is talking with the Swede' (singular).


Sie spricht mit dem Schweden.


Or Sie spricht mit der Schwedin (if the Swede is female).


How does "Sie spricht mit den Schweden" differ from "Sprechen Sie mit dem Schweden?"???

Why does one sentence use "den" while other "dem"?


"mit dem Schweden" is "with the Swede" (singular).
"mit den Schweden" is "with the Swedes" (plural).


To add to what other have said:

You have to use dative with mit.

The dative of plural die is den.

The dative of der is dem.

This means that if you see "...mit den Schweden" that your talking about plural Swedes.

And if you see "...mit dem Schweden" it means you are talking about a singular male Swede.


I am hoping to be able to soon.

~Swedish and German learner


I listened to the Duo voice repeatedly and it sounds like "dem" even though I knew (in this example) the answer was "den". Since the only difference between "with the Swede" and "with the Swedes" is whether it is "dem Schweden" or "den Schweden, this should be corrected. The voice needs to be crystal clear in this example.I listened to the Duo voice repeatedly and it sounds like "dem" even though I knew (in this example) the answer was "den". Since the only difference between "with the Swede" and "with the Swedes" is whether it is "dem Schweden" or "den Schweden, this should be corrected. The voice needs to be crystal clear in this example.


So, does "den Schweden" mean "The swedish Guy"? or "Sweden" the country? I'm confused :/


the Swedish people

[deactivated user]

    Why is "She speaks with Swedes" not correct? Why there is a need for "the" for nationality. I've never seen it used in such a case. If want to show that she speaks with particular Swedes, then one can use "these" or "those".


    I suppose here it means a particular bunch of Swedes! In that case, you would need 'the' in the English statement (as well as the German Satz).


    What would this sentence be like in singular form?


    If she was speaking to a male Swede, it would be sie spricht mit dem Schwede, while if she was speaking to a female Swede it would be sie spricht mit der Schwedin.


    Duo lists "Swede" as one of the possible translations for "Schweden". I've used this singular translation in other questions and it said it was right. Now for this one, it says that it's wrong, and is demanding it to be "Swedes". Why?


    Because mit requires Dativ, and in Dativ the masculine singular "the" is dem, but it uses the plural den here.

    Edit: also Schweden is only singular if it's genetive, otherwise the singular is Schwede for masculine and Schwedin for feminine.


    JohnWycliffe's answer is correct.

    It all comes down to the cases, and the gender of the noun. For information on adjective endings, I recommend the following website:


    For more information about which prepositions are dative, accusative, or "two-way", I recommend this website.



    without deliberate pronunciation, it's next to impossible to tell den from dem. if at least the noun ending was different...


    Maybe this is because you're not used to listening to that. Germans have no problem here at all.


    Why is it mit den Schweden and not mit der Schweden? I thought, if it is plural, die transforms to der in dativ. Or is that just for feminine?


    Plural is the same for all genders. And it is "den" for dative plural.
    You probably thought of dative singular feminine. This is indeed "der".


    I'm disappointed that Duo doesn't know that "She converses with the Swedes" means the same as talks to

    • 2357

    Not necessarily. "To" is key here. "Talks with" is the equivalent. If she were to say to the Swedes, "You can't park there." She'd be talking to them, but not (at least yet!), conversing with them.


    Here you use 'mit den Schweden' but in another sentence you write 'Sprechen Sie mit dem Schwede?' Why in one sentence you use 'mit den' and in another you use 'mit dem'???????


    I thought this has already been explained in another comment.
    But here we go again:
    It is never "mit dem Schwede", maybe you mistyped and meant "mit dem Schweden".
    "mit dem Schweden" speaks about one swede (dative singular masculine)
    "mit den Schweden" speaks about several Swedes (dative plural)


    So what's the problem with She talks to the Swede? sie spricht means she talks, is that not so? And Swede is listed in the drop down menu as acceptable. Hmmmph! X(


    "mit den Schweden" is dative plural (singular would be "mit dem Schweden"). So it is "She talks to the Swedes".


    Why not "speaking with"?


    I wrote, "Sie spricht mit dem Schweden" and got it correct. However, shouldn't the translation for this be, "She is talking to the Swede," instead of "She is talking to the Swedes" ?


    Indeed. It should not be accepted.


    "Sie spricht mit dem Schweden" translates to "She is talking to the Swede" - but Duolingo says the translation is "She is talking to the Swedes". The Swedes (plural) would be "den Schweden" right?


    Yes, and that's the given sentence. "the Swedes" is "die Schweden" in nominative case. But after "mit"" you need a dative. And the dative plural is "(mit) den Schweden". Dative singular is "(mit) dem Schweden".


    Right, but that's exactly what I mean. The audio says "mit dem Schweden", but then DL gives the translation for that sentence as "with the Swedes", which is incorrect. "Mit dem Schweden" is dative singular, not dative plural.


    I can check only the male audio, and this one is completely alright.


    I understand the grammatical difference between "Sie spricht mit den Schweden." and "Sie spricht mit dem Schweden.". But phonetically they seem almost identical. Does anybody know any way to tell one from the other?


    One ends with an "m" and the other with an "end". That's a clear phonetical difference.


    What is wrong with *She is speaking with the Swedes"?


    That was a mean one! Den sounds similar to dem which would mean with the swede (singular)


    I thought it said "deM" and so I wrote that and it counted it correct.

    I was confused why it wouldn't be "deN", and now I know that it's supposed to be.


    I find the examples of "den Schweden" and "dem Schweden" interesting. I don't find it difficult to understand why it is "dem" in masculine singular dativ and "den" in the plural. On the other hand I find it really difficult to guess whether she says "dem" or "den" when I can't see lips moving (because everything else in the sentence would be identical). Or should I perhaps try to hear a subtle difference in the "e"-sound, between "dem" and "den"?


    No, the "e" is the same. You should get use to identify the difference between an "m" and an "n, because this occurs rather often in German. It is similar to "lame" vs. "lane", only the vowel is different.


    shouldn't the translation be "She is talking WITH the swedes"?


    I typed what I heard which was: "Sie spricht mit dem Schweden." Duo translated it as "She is talking to the Swedes," and marked it was correct. After "mit" one always uses the dative. The plural dative is "den," be it masculine, feminine or neuter. I think it is Duo that is confused here. Kara


    Not that I know for sure, but I've noticed sometimes that Duo allows a typo (perhaps if it's only one "wrong" letter) without marking it incorrect, and I presume it is in this instance the m instead of n in den. The translation Duo gives is for the intended sentence (with den). That said, I fully understand you wrote "dem" because at least for me it was impossible to exclude "dem" when listening to the audio. - Apologies if I'm stepping in the way of a moderator who can provide a better answer.


    Hello Aalgeir, You make a good point. Duo often overlooks what it assumes to be users' typos. Although in this case, it is a matter of typo by Duo. I guess we really shouldn't complain because many people use the site for free. But this thread seems to confirm that the dative plural is "den," and clearing things up for people is what really matters. It was wrong of me to point fingers. Kara


    Well said. But I don't think there's a typo by Duo because the audio says "Sie spricht mit den Schweden" (plural) and Duo expects the user to write "den". By the way, in addition to my guess about “m” being handled as a (user’s) typo: Maybe Duo has decided to accept it in response of complaints (cf. other parts of this discussion). Because the singular is used in a written exercise just before this audio exercise, the brain is tricked into thinking “dem” while hearing “den” and some may find it unjust to be led in such a trap (not to mention the confusion). But coming to think of it, I admit that by this Duo has made this lesson hard to forget. And that’s a good thing.


    Good point, Aalgeir. I think we are all more likely to remember that the dative, plural form of "the" is "den." Kara


    Why mit den Schweden and mit dem Schweden both are correct??


    "mit den Schweden" means "with the Swedes" (plural),
    "mit dem Schweden" means "with the Swede" (singular).


    ok, for me it was a listening exercise so "den" sounds very much like "dem", which would also be correct if we were talking about one Swede. Just sayin... :)


    It may sound close, but it is important to differentiate between the two, because the difference is decisive in many German word pairs.


    For a second I thought the translation was: "She talks with the Swedish" (Swedish language)... Idk kind of thought that was funny.


    the audio sounds like "sprecht" and not "spricht" - 5th June 2021

    • 2357

    Clearly "spricht" in the audio at the top of this page. Even so, given the subject, "sie", it has to be "spricht" (or maybe sprach" as a stretch). The only other possibility would have been, "sprechen:" They speak....." Maybe it sounds like "sprecht' in the lesson and maybe you’re only pointing out a glitch in the audio, but I often find it useful to err because of a somewhat garbled audio. That way it becomes less of a transcription exercise and more of a learning experience.


    I really hate this word.. I'm totally confused about both the English and German translation of Schweden or Schwedes or whatsoever. :S :S :S What is the word of the country, the nationality (singular/feminine/plural) in both languages please?



    • Country: Sweden
    • Nationality: Swedish (Male / Female)


    • Country: (das) Schweden
    • Nationality: Schwedisch (-er :: Maskulin // -erin :: Feminin)


    Thank you so much for your useful explanation but what about that word "Swedes" written above? And I'm asking also about the same thing for Switzerland :-)


    I suppose Swedes is just a name of the native people of Sweden (Swedish people). Just like how the Germans are from Germany.

    For Switzerland, the country is 'die Schweiz', and the people of Switzerland would be 'Schweizer' (M) and 'Schweizerin' (F). In English, they would be simply called the 'Swiss'.


    Yes, in the US we would say that "He/she is Swedish" or "He/she is a Swede." However, we would say a person from Switzerland "is Swiss" instead of "a Swiss". I could not tell you why we drop the a in this situation!


    We don't use "a" for other nationalities generally, either. E.G. "he is German", "he is British", but you could also say "he is a Brit" - German/British being adjectives and Brit being a noun. As to why we don't have an "a" form for all nationalities as well as a form without a is for more patient men to discover. Technically, German could be a noun referring to an individual, but it is less common and indistinguishable by itself. The adjective form of Swede (which is itself a noun) is Swedish. The adjective form of Swiss is Swiss, like German.


    Out of curiosity, how common would you consider the word "Swede" (as a person, not a vegetable) to be in the US? To me it's not a word I'd ever use in conversation - even though "Swedish guy" is 2 extra syllables...


    @Dylan_Nicholson, it's fairly common in the plural (Swedes) and is used in the singular, but not often. Swedish "_" is also quite common, though.


    Actually, the native population of Sweden is the Sámi-people (https://goo.gl/rfhQtY).

    (Ich wohne in Schweden).


    Why not "She is speaking with the Swiss."?


    because Sweden and Switzerland are two completely different countries.


    Oh yeah, derp! These exercises keep talking about both of them and I managed to get them confused.


    Duolingo has two opposing responses for this sentence. While in this particular aural exercise it is incorrect to use DEM Schweden, in a written exercise for translation it is incorrect to use DEN. What is up with this?


    Maybe you have missed a slight but decisive difference between the two sentences.
    "mit dem Schweden" means "with the Swede" (singular).
    "mit den Schweden" means "with the Swedes" (plural).


    She speaks with the swiss.. why is it wrong?


    Because you picked the wrong nationality. "Swiss" belongs to "Switzerland", which is "Schweiz(er)" in German. "Schweden" is "Sweden" resp. "Swedes".


    Is this correct, SHE IS TALKS TO THE …..


    No, that is not correct English. You can say "She talks to ..." or "She is talking to ..."


    for mit den Schweden... mit pushes Dative and Since it is Plural it become "Den" Which gender Schwedenin Deutsche is?


    "Schwede" is masculine ("Schwedin" the feminine counterpart). But the gender doesn't matter here, because "Schweden" is plural.

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