"You have a letter."
Translation:Du har ett brev.
@hpfan5 Could be some glitch or even bug, in that case if you could share a screenshot we'll report it to Duo. Most likely though the two alternatives weren't exactly that but you missed some sneaky detail. The wrong answers are computer generated and can be really tricky in unhelpful ways sometimes.
It is "the" when it is attached to the back of the word "-et" or "-en" or "-an". It is "a" or "an" when it is separated and in front of the word: "ett" for neuter words and "en" for common words This is a combined category which includes words that are not neuter. (Originally masculine and feminine, but now one group.)
It is rather arbitrary, but because common includes 2 genders, more often if you have to guess, try common, especially if it ends in -a. I prefer to look it up in a dictionary when I don't know. Words that are the same in singular and plural are more often neuter, but it is not likely that I know that if I don't know the gender. The following don't make it much clearer, but they use different examples which helped me memorize some. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_grammar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_gender http://blogs.transparent.com/swedish/dogs-and-houses-swedish-gender-and-articles/ http://jagfattarinte.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/swedish-language-analysis-part-i/ http://blogs.transparent.com/swedish/the-logic-behind-swedish-noun-gender/ http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t11494.htm http://www.conservapedia.com/Swedish_language http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Simplified_Grammar_of_the_Swedish_Language/Part_I/Articles http://aboutworldlanguages.com/Swedish http://www.everything2.com/title/swedish
This youtube was clear to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1p4qXO9ekI
The following lists (n) after words that are neuter and nothing after words that are common. http://www.ielanguages.com/swedish3.html
The dictionary: http://www.ord.se/oversattning/engelska/
No, en and ett have nothing to do with the first letter of the next word so they don't work at all like "a" and "an" though they have the same meaning.
En goes with common gender words like pojke (boy), apa (monkey), penna (pen). En pojke, en apa, en penna.
Ett goes with neuter gender words like barn (child), äpple (apple). Ett barn, ett äpple
It depends on which type of question it gave you. If it's multiple choice, you must select both correct answers. English you translates to both du and ni because we don't know if it's singular (du) or plural (ni). If it's not a multiple choice type of question, it will accept either answer (if you don't make a typing mistake). If it's asking you to translate either of the Swedish words, you will be accepted.
My problem was that I entered "Du har en brev." The app proposed the correction "Du har en bokstav." I think it's more reasonable when the app proposes the correct article instead of introducing a new noun. I'm german, I know the difference between bokstav (Buchstabe in German) and brev (Brief in German). That's why I was puzzled.
Ah, yes I see. Well, the program tries to guess a close match when it sees your typos. It sometimes does a bad job and guesses wrong. It doesn't actually prefer bokstav over brev. It just was confused on which accepted answer it should suggest to you based on that particular typo. The algorithm is imperfect.
No, I don't think so. Brev is in the primary accepted answer. It probably accepts the other as an alternate answer. If it suggested bokstav, it's probably just because it thought your answer looked more similar to that accepted answer than the other accepted answer. The other comments have talked about this.