If you learned how to manage your time well, you'd be surprised how many things you can accomplish. That person likely almost never rested for himself. If we assume he slept and worked for 17 hours of the day, he still has 7 hours to do whatever he wants. Even if he spends 3 hours with friends EVERY day and 1 hour eating, he will still have 3 hours for Duolingo. Add 8 more hours for the weekends (no work) and he has 11 potential hours for Duolingo on Saturday & Sunday. We can all develop amazing skills if we skip out on things like Netflix and lengthy scrolling through social media!
- jag (I) - du (you) - han/hon/hen/den/det/man (he/she/it)
- vi (we) - ni (you) - de (they)
I'm probably unnecessarily muddying the waters here, but while Du is always the singular you, Ni can technically refer both to the plural you and the formal singular you, as with Sie in German or Vous in French.
However, the formal singular Ni has all but completely fallen out of use in both written and spoken Swedish so you should always, always use and interpret Du as singular and Ni as plural you, unless you encounter it in old texts or extremely formal writing, where the context will determine the meaning.
There is never any need to use formal singular Ni in modern Swedish or use titles like sir (herr), even if you're speaking or writing to someone who is senior in rank, title or age.
If anyone wants to find out more about ni, its history and the controversies around it, we usually refer them to this thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5591933
This is also a very good article about the history of the word, which is not known to most native speakers: http://www.sydsvenskan.se/inpa-livet/inget-genomslag-for-niandet---forran-nu/
Thanks for the links, that was an interesting read.
I have never heard a young person say "ni" and having grown up in the 80s and 90s associate it mostly with salesmen and marketing brochures trying to convey a false sense of importance and formality before selling you something. Even for those of us not old enough to associate it with negative class status it is not an altogether pleasant way to be addressed.
If we take French as an example, they also routinely use the plural form as a polite form: vous can either be used to address several people , or to address one person more politely.
While it is possible to use Swedish ni this way, it is not standard usage. Some people can even be offended by it. Most people in Sweden probably only use du for one person and ni for more than one person. (Using ni as a formal form of address is less controversial in Finland, but it's not obligatory there either).
Verbs conjugate for tense and active-passive but not person or number as in done other European languages. So "äta" is the infinitive and "äter" is the present active conjugation. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%A4ta#Conjugation
It's supposed to be pronounced like "Ni äter", but if you say it fast it sounds like "Niäter". You usually hear the 'i' in 'ni' too, I don't know if the robot voice is bad or if it's just something you get used to when hearing a lot of swedish.
If it actually sounds more like two words, aka "Ni äter" (instead of "Niäter") it's usually to point out that it's 'ni' (you in plural) who's eating. Like if it's written in italics, or with capital letters, NI äter. You want to point out who's eating. "NI äter trots att VI är hungriga" (You're eating even though we're hungry)
Does this help at all? :)
Every time I see or hear "Ni," I think "We." It's a frustrating hump that I can't get over. Maybe I'm just too old to learn a new language. It doesn't help that my hearing isn't very good, so "Ni" and "Vi" sound alike.
"Kvinnan äter ett äpple"
"En pojke äter ____" (there is a sentence before like that, I forgot what the boy is eating)
So, that's how to conjugate that verb to the third person singular, then in second person plural it looks like the same? What is the infinitive form of this verb?
Also, could someone send me a site that shows conjugation of Swedish words? I'm new here from the Romance family tree, eh?
The infinitive is äta.
Swedish doesn't change verbs based on number. If you know the form for "he" you know the form for "I, you, she, it, we, plural you, they" as well, etc. :)
English Wiktionary is usually a great resource for Swedish verb conjugation. For instance, this word äta: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%A4ta#Conjugation
It's plural, yes, but it's not formal. Swedish doesn't use separate "you" words for formal and informal. You can even say du to the king. :)
- du äter = you eat, and "you" is one person
- ni äter = you eat, and "you" is more than one person
But you also write "they eat" and that doesn't include "you" at all. That'd be de äter.