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  5. "Mannen läser dess tidning."

"Mannen läser dess tidning."

Translation:The man reads its newspaper.

November 18, 2014

143 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bookrabbit

Maybe the man reads the town's newspaper, its newspaper


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

Exactly! "Dess" is not very common and it is hard to find a good example, especially in a short phrase like this. Like you did, one has to imagine a noun that has been mentioned earlier which "dess" is referring to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpoopDaWoop

Here's a good one: "Hunden ater dess kott"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

And even better if you expand the sentence a bit: "Hunden hittar ett kadaver och äter av dess kött"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

Or "Hunden går med i Kennelklubben och läser dess tidning" :).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chryssakis

what does this mean??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

its = dess. A pronoun refering to a previously mentioned noun, not being personal like 'his' or 'hers', but something belonging to sth unpersonal, lika an organization or an animal or something inanimat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matthew583808

Why not mannen läser hans tidning? Then its not so confusing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Your sentence means "The man reads his newspaper". But that is not what the Swedish here means. The Swedish here means "The man reads its newspaper".

In other words, the newspaper belongs not to the man, but to "it". (We do not know who or what "it" is, but we do not need to know that in order to translate the Swedish sentence into English.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nephulim

Yo wisecrack, what he was trying to ask is why doesn't the sentence give the newspaper a possessor. That way instead of making the sentence confusing with the word 'it' the replaced it with 'their' or 'his/her'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

If they take this sentence away because it's confusing, then we won't get this excellent chance to really learn what "dess" means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hr.solei

Or maybe the newsstand of the the town :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ETBubs

I put "the man reads his newspaper" and the friendly folks making this course added, "we know this is a strange sentence" in explaining my error. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Aw, it doesn't do that any more.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyjo77

It is nice of them, but not really conducive. ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3SfVXnZ0

It helps to know they think it's as strange as we do, that our instinct is generally correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mattheworb

For example, the man is reading its [the town's/the hotel's/whatever you're talking about's) newspaper.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyjo77

Actually, nobody uses an ellipsis like that in the colloquial sense, does it one?
Anyway, it sounds very nice - I like that. Moreover, it reminds me of the German possessive relative pronoun "dessen", resp. "deren" here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

I think this sentence should be left in as is. The English and the Swedish are accurate translations of each other. And that is what matters, not whether the sentence is weird or unusual. Don't let your preconceptions blind you! This type of sentence keeps us on our toes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon290265

Have to say, I like that the construction is not always as one would expect as it forces me to learn rather than to take a guess at the answer. No point learning half the words and not even bothering to look at the others. Great job guys.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhwaggon

It puts the lotion on its skin


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SkepticOwl

lol! Glad I wasn't the only one that thought that ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Queen_Ziga

Shouldn't it be: Mannen läser sin tidning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

Mannen läser sin tidning - the man is reading his own newspaper
Mannen läser hans tidning - the man is reading someone else's newspaper
Mannen läser dess tidning - "dess" is refering to something else, e.g. an organization

"Dess" is typically used in the title of an academic paper: "Sjöfarten och dess påverkan på havsmiljön" (On shipping and its impact on the marine environment)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spanishbionerd

This comment helped immensely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deleinee

An organizations newspaper...that brings sense to the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steven_Dorey

Yeah but, as a stand-alone sentence out of context, everyone will assume the intent is for "his" newspaper rather than "its".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deleinee

Agreed. It needs context or the pronoun should change.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

We'd change this if we could, there's just no way right now. But it's on our list for when we get the opportunity to fix things in the tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

What concernes companies like IKEA, I would treat it as a plural in Swedish, so It would be: "Jag tycker om att läsa deras katalog" (their catalogue, not singular 'dess'), here singular 'dess' would sound weird.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PLLumsdaine

“Ikea advertises often. I like reading its catalogue.”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruffboi

seconded. while i think it's important to teach us this pronoun, I think it might need to be moved to a place where we have enough vocabulary to give the sentence a bit more context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

I don't think it should be changed or removed. This sentence helps us learn that that "dess" is always related to an "it". Nearly everybody gets it wrong first, but that's a good thing. We learn the most from having our mistakes corrected, not from getting things right the first time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusieLloyd

But we're not supposed to be guessing what sentences mean based on our assumptions, we're supposed to be learning what the words actually mean and translating


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusieLloyd

But for those who need more information, we have enough language now to add some. Maybe the sentence could be "restaurangen har en tidning. Mannen läser dess tidning"

Then we're still practising that construction, and people might be more comfortable with the meaning.

I like it as it is, it challenges me to really learn the words and not guess, but everyone learns differently.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hobomonkey990

Tack så mycket, man!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JA_Khan

Maybe the newspaper was originally meant for the man's dog, and not for him. So he is not reading "his" newspaper, but "its" (the dog's) newspaper!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidmajor

It is not the best phrase to be able to translate so that the result is that the newspaper does not belong to the man, but to another person or organisation. It is very difficult to arrive at English translation without a more detailed sentence providing information as to who owns the newspaper. The logical English for the given Swedish is "the man is reading this newspaper" or a different sentence where "the man" is replaced with something like "the members".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

this newspaper = denna tidning. But aside from that, I agree with you, that this sentence ought to be replaced.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eilish445908

Referring back to a colour might be easier to make this understandable. Because a colour is always part of something. You wouldn't say 'She doesn't like her colour'. It would almost always be referred to as 'its' in the case of a colour: 'she doesn't like its colour'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eilish445908

Especially since we are missing part of the information to make sense of the original sentence...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KirkSolo

So I would assume: "Barry found out that GeneriCo had over 50,000 employees, he was reading its magazine." is an example of the use of "dess".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vicki_33

So, I've gathered from comments that the newspaper isn't "his", but why can't it be "their" newspaper?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

their = deras


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SkepticOwl

For some reason this sentence reminded me of The silence of the lambs. It will put the lotion in the basket!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RynoLawson

Surely if you had to translate it to " The man reads their newspaper" it still refer to a 3nd party? "Its " refers to an object which cant be possesive where "their" refer to another person of organisation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dddinham

I understand the transition, but this is probably the most extreme example of missing context I've thus far encountered on Duolingo. I have found the occasional lack of context to be the biggest challenge to learning in this format.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dddinham

》translation《 not transition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-Alex_Film-Guy

It's funny the places people go when considering this sentence. I agree that "the library's" is a good explanation for why the possessive pronoun in this sentence would read as "its".

Personally, I imagined "its" as "the restaurant's", as in: "He walked into the restaurant and, while waiting to be seated, read its free newspaper."

Very few in the discussion seem to immediately attach to an interpretation along such lines.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel98B

Lived in sweden all my life, never heard anyone use the word dess. It would make more seen if it would have been "mannen läser hans tidning" than "dess". I have heard of "dessa" but never dess. I belive it is either a dialect thing or something else


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

dess is a very common Swedish word. It is not dialect. Honestly, I find it very hard to believe that you've never heard anyone use it, though it's more common in text.

Note that dess doesn't mean the man here. It means that the newspaper belongs to some other thing, like a library, for instance. Hence, you can't use sina or _hans.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarah298505

You need something better than that stupid sentence! How about; "hunden letar efter dess leksak." The dog searches for its toy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Funny you should say that, we have a sentence where a dog is called "it" and people are complaining about that as well...

That said, I agree that there are better ways of teaching this word. I expect it to change for the next tree version.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaPengitore

Not a very good sentence. It should say the man reads his newspaper. I suspect a typo here!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Diana, you are mistaken. Read the other comments on this page!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LearnSilliness

The sentence "The man reads its newspaper" does NOT work in English without first providing context. You cannot be expected to use the possessive for "its" without knowing what "it" is.

Duolingo should have provided something like this:

"The man reads the newspaper." "The man reads that newspaper." "The man reads their newspaper." "The man reads his newspaper."

OR given a more extensive sentence in English?

The newspaper has to belong to someone or something. If you want to say "its newspaper" you have to specify like a city or an establishment.

For example:

"I love The Daily Planet, printed in Metropolis. It's the pinnacle of journalism because it has the most reliable coverage of Superman! I know I don't even live in that city but I read its newspaper."

"I don't live in that city but I read its newspaper" *


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mesvensson

Have to agree with other comments about this being a really weird sentence. Correct. But unneccesarily weird.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ararat-tempest

since we have a highly educated duck from Norway, a boy and a revengeful bear from Denmark, it's not strange that the man reads a newspaper of an animal lmao.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Howtomakestuff

This is super confusing to me still, after I read the comments. Not the reason"dess" is being used, but why duo would use this word without adressing it first. I was never previously showed what this word was until level 4 of the lesson. But now that I know its not to hard to understand. I know there are many examples, but here are the ones I think of: "dess" refers to: the press', the school's, the dog's (lol).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alan26964

In english, newspaper and magazine are two different forms of publication. With the use of tidning, how do you know which is being spoken about?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

We can use tidning for both, though I'd presume a newspaper without context.

There are also words you can use to be more specific, e.g. dagstidning = daily newspaper, veckotidning = weekly, magasin = magazine. And though tidskrift can be either, we tend to use it for magazines.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexanderSayers

Could "The man reads its journal" also be a valid answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Not really, a journal isn't that synonymous with a newspaper - we might call it a journal in Swedish, even.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotheaPa6

"Mannen läser dess tidning" müsste doch eigentlich übersetzt werden mit "the man reads his newspaper.... und nicht "its newspaper" - oder?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Keineswegs, Dorothea. Bitte Lesen Sie diese Seite! Zum Beispiel, die Bermerkung hier von HelenCarlsson: "The man is not reading his paper, but the paper of an organization for example".

dess = its


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NLmam

I'm getting used to neutered men thanks to duolingo :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, it is not. Please refer to the many other comments in this thread.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, yes you should. It's an integrated and essential part of understanding the course well, since Duolingo lacks other teaching tools that would help you understand nuances. You don't learn by osmosis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasRodh

Kolla up Dess med Deras (Plural vesus Singular)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thomgunn

This would never occur in English. There must be a better example!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

This is a perfect example. Because it seems so strange at first, we will never forget that "dess" means "its". And indeed, it occurs in English in exactly the same situations it occurs in Swedish: when the man is reading the newspaper of some organization.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Very well stated. Have a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanHild

VERY strange use of the word "dess". Better examples: Vad tycker du om dess nya utformning? Innan dess fanns endast smala gångvägar. Alla ska vi dö men tills dess ska vi leva.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanHild

Very strange use case for the word "dess". Better would be to use one of these examples:

Vad tycker du om dess nya utformning? Innan dess fanns endast smala gångvägar. Alla ska vi dö men tills dess ska vi leva.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Sure, the sentence is much better off replaced by a more suitable one.

That said, two of your examples are actually a very different sense of dess, which I think does display nicely why it's so hard to teach well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexandre146678

The man reads it newspaper = O homem lê o jornal. Ele lê um jornal e nao uma revista= He reads a newspaper and not a magazine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John271009

I don't know how often this sentence would come up in Swedish but it would almost never occur in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Salva265354

An estimate of its probability puts it more or less on a par with the more famous sentence "My hovercraft is full of eels" that can be rendered in swedish as "Min svävare är full med ål" also an accepted translation can be "Min svävare är full med ålar".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Friedrichv6

This should be changed. The sentence makes little to no sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter292948

On the flip side it does mean that to answer this question correctly we can only use our language skills and not our common sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Howtomakestuff

That's what i thought, but its supposed to be a sentence referring to a previously mentioned subject with no gender. (i.e the press, the school's, the dog's)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenJ.Sacco

The man reads ITS newspaper?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, please refer to the many other comments on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RedsignDarkside

This doesn't make any sense. "The man reads its newspaper." I don't get how it makes sense in Swedish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Read the comments on this very page. They will help you understand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/continuum2063

Why wouldn't 'their' work here? Their doesn't necessarily refer to a plural it can be non gendered singular


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

dess = its
deras = their


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

That's only for people, not for an "it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SolarSunburst

The man reads its newspaper? Slow down on the feminism, Duo :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Funny ... but read the whole discussion. The "its" doesn't refer to the man.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toothgritter

this is not good english - I'm not sure what is intended


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122
  1. The English is fine.
  2. Read the other comments on this page if you are having trouble with it.
  3. Admittedly there is no context for this sentence. But you can translate it acurately nonetheless, if you will just go ahead and do so and not worry too much about what is intended.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitko739

I love how you have to reply to everyone because they don't even bother checking the comments.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

To be fair, the Android app is a little buggy, and very frequently simply doesn't display the comments on first load. So there are lots of people in the forums who intend to read the comments only to get a blank page, and simply don't realise their question has been asked twenty times before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/celebrim

It should be "mannen läser sin tidning/the man reads his newspaper"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Please refer to the many other comments on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rafa716466

How can you say ITS when talking about a man? It should be HIS.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

We are NOT talking about a man here. Please read the comments on this page for a further explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blob981761

Incorrect English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

So you keep writing, but it's perfectly correct. This thread - and others in which you've written the exact same thing - contain sensible examples and explanations. If you have no intention of reading them, please don't just post "Incorrect English" over and over again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsabellNie

The man reads his newspaper.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

And the user reads the rest of the comments. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tentsmuir

This is surely an error. The man does not read its newspaper


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Please refer to the many other comments on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Steve, the "its" here does NOT refer to the man, so there is no error. See the other comments on this page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Salva265354

"Its" newspaper !?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Please refer to the many other comments on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonHaga

Unnatural sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDLW

Isnt the man a "he" not an "it"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

The man is not reading his paper, but the paper of an organization for example :).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/signe346759

the man is reading his newspaper or towns, as suggested below, as the man is not it, its alive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abbie_wolf03

This makes no sense. Horrible grammar


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Actually, it does make sense, and there is nothing wrong with the grammar. See the other comments on this page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasRodh

"dess" is maybe complicating things, you could say "hans" Keller "sin" tidning. Who says "its" newspaper, normally you say "his" newspaper"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Please refer to the many other comments on this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patrick889093

Duolingo still makes mistakes on correct Answers Mannen läser des tidning is not Mannen läser dess tidning


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JBbassoon

Someoen best learn to speek english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Somoen best learn to read the other comments on this page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GailRapoza

Oh my! This sentence says it translates to "The man reads its newspaper"! How can that be correct? We do not refer to people as "its".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

"it" doesn't refer to the man.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ion1122

Gail, consider the following sentences: "It is the biggest company in Sweden. It even publishes its own newspaper. That man reads its newspaper every morning." Do you see that "its" here refers to the company, not the man reading the paper?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GailRapoza

Yes, I can see that it. However, when there is no prior reference to a company, how are we supposed to assume that theory?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Because "dess" only applies to things, not people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GailRapoza

But the only thing in the sentence to translate was the newspaper.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

I would like to help but I really don't understand where the confusion comes from. The Swedish dess is always about a thing, or an organisation, or similar - it's never about a person. So it can't refer to mannen. English works much the same way - you don't refer to people as "it", so it's obvious with or without context that "its" refers to something other than "the man".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Plentbeest

Very helpful. Tack så mycket!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/manbusbeef

why does it refer to him as it, that's quite rude!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

It doesn't, the "it" refers to something else.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanieMuell

In English the possessive pronoun refers to the preceding noun which in this case is "man". Therefore, there is no plausible way to use this English translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Not always. "The little girl was crying. The man found her doll, and she stopped crying."

It's the same in Swedish. Here, "dess" doesn't refer to the man; we know it refers to something other than the man because if it referred to the man, it would be "sin tidning".

(I thought the same thing as you when I first had this sentence, but I found some good explanations in the discussion.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/codewritertom

Non-sensical, needs to be revised.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GailRapoza

Learning a new language is always a difficult process for me, especially at 69 yrs. of age and having memory problems. Perhaps I've missed something that explains the differences between "dess", "din", "dina", etc.. I'm trying hard to understand all the nuances of language...even in English classes in school I had a hard time with understanding the "proper" way to describe sentence structures and all that. It's the terms that I stumble on...present participles, pluperfect, indefinite objects, etc., etc., etc..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter292948

Din = your + singular noun ("en" type noun)

your car = din bil ( a car = en bil)

ditt = your + singular noun ( "ett" type noun)

your child = ditt barn ( a child = ett barn)

dina = your + plural noun

your dogs = dina hundar

dess = its

more: https://blogs.transparent.com/swedish/swedish-possessive-pronouns/

Learning the words used to describe words means that you could be said to be learning 2 languages. Because of this it is normal to progress more slowly. Knowledge is often related and reinforcing, I think grammar words, grammar rules and vocabulary are like this. In the beginning it will make learning slow but after a while it will make learning faster and more profound. I hope/don't believe that age is a barrier at all; perhaps it makes learning slower. From my experience the trick is finding the motivation to persevere. Eventually it always gets easier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marty212779

Thank you for the nice summary and link!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

If you click on the lightbulb-in-a-circle beside the "Start" button for the "Poss" (Possessives) lesson, there's some discussion of these words. (It says that "dess" is the possessive form of "det" and "den".)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanieMuell

The man reads its newspaper. This is horrible English! Who is translating this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Please read the discussions before posting a question. This question has been asked and answered more than once in this discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexandre146678

O homem lê o jornal. He is not reading a magazine. He is reading a newspaper.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria299959

the possesive pronoun for a person is "his" or "hers" not"its". He is not a dog or another animal


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

The pronoun is not referring to the man. For instance, it could be a library. Please have a look at the other comments in this thread.

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