Interesting! I felt had to look it up, and I found this article:
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)
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 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.
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".
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.
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)
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"?
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.
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 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'.
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.