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.
And even better if you expand the sentence a bit: "Hunden hittar ett kadaver och äter av dess kött"
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.
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. :)
It helps to know they think it's as strange as we do, that our instinct is generally correct
For example, the man is reading its [the town's/the hotel's/whatever you're talking about's) newspaper.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Yeah but, as a stand-alone sentence out of context, everyone will assume the intent is for "his" newspaper rather than "its".
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.
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.
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!
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".
this newspaper = denna tidning. But aside from that, I agree with you, that this sentence ought to be replaced.
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".
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'.
Especially since we are missing part of the information to make sense of the original sentence...
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?
So, I've gathered from comments that the newspaper isn't "his", but why can't it be "their" newspaper?
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.
The man is not reading his paper, but the paper of an organization for example :).
For some reason this sentence reminded me of The silence of the lambs. It will put the lotion in the basket!
the man is reading his newspaper or towns, as suggested below, as the man is not it, its alive.
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?
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.
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.
This doesn't make any sense. "The man reads its newspaper." I don't get how it makes sense in Swedish.
Not really, a journal isn't that synonymous with a newspaper - we might call it a journal in Swedish, even.
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.
Why wouldn't 'their' work here? Their doesn't necessarily refer to a plural it can be non gendered singular
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
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.
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..
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
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.
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".
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 "it" here refers to the company, not the man reading the paper?
Yes, I can see that it. However, when there is no prior reference to a company, how are we supposed to assume that theory?
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".
Actually, it does make sense, and there is nothing wrong with the grammar. See the other comments on this page.
the possesive pronoun for a person is "his" or "hers" not"its". He is not a dog or another animal