Both forms exist, and as Dsgoo says, there are cases when the rules aren't always followed. In this case I would say that there is a slight difference in meaning between "en öl" and "ett öl".. "En öl/ölen" = When talking about a can/bottle/glass of beer "Ett öl/ölet" = When talking about beer as a general liquid or type of beer
This looks like a sign of a very deep reasoning. When you need to discuss beer (as a concept, or idea) it is neutral. But when you are going to drink, it gains some amount of vitality by switching to common gender.
Is this because the glass of beer is a "concrete" thing while beer is not? (even if it is a liquid?) Because i've studied that the -en words are related to something masculine, feminine or anyway "concrete" and i found out that some things (like sugar or wine) follows this pattern... Is this the reason or this is just an exception? :)
It's because 'en öl' is seen as 'a serving' of something. You can do the same thing with coffee to some extent, but not as much. But it's more like an exception than anything else, because this is only possible with very few words. You can't really talk about 'vin' or 'socker' in this way.
Wait, are 'En' nouns transformed to -en definite nouns and 'Ett' nouns transformed to -et definite nouns?
I just realized that "öl" is cognate to "ale" (and Duolingo accepts that, at least here).
My native swedish friend says it is en kaffe and not ett kaffe and no one would ever say ett kaffe, only when talking about ett cafe (the place). Are there both versions? Or is one informal or maybe regionally different? or what are the rules for en/ett kaffe?
Kaffe in itself is an ett gender word, but when you are really referring to 'a cup' of coffee, you say en kaffe. The same goes for beer.
It's even possible to use both forms in the same sentence: Ölet är gott här, jag köper en öl. and Kaffet är gott här, jag köper en kaffe = 'The beer/coffee here is good, I'm buying a beer/coffee'.
This means we'll rarely say ett kaffe (since 'kaffe' in general is a mass noun when not measured in cups), which is why your friend thinks it sounds strange. Ask them how they say Thank you for the coffee.
Ok that makes sense. Thank you! I will ask my friend, and from your explanation I assume it's 'tack för kaffet'
But "Thank you for the coffee." is ambiguous in English; it could mean "Thank you for the [mass of] coffee [kaffet].", or it could mean "Thank you for the [cup of] coffee [kaffen].". I think that your first example ("The coffee is good here.") is clearer.
You can't say "Tack för kaffen" in Swedish though. It has to be "Tack för kaffet/kaffe".
It sounds like you want to point out that you only got one cup of coffee… also, we generally avoid using kaffen in the definite. We use en kaffe a lot, but kaffen very rarely, I think maybe it's because it's too small a unit. You often get påtår (a refill) for free in cafés, too.
"Ölet är gott" means that it tastes good, but "ölet är bra" means good in more general way, for example of high quality. When god/gott is used about things you do not taste (or smell), it is often similar to righteous.
I have a really hard time with the word "och"... when listening to the whole sentence it sounds less harsh, almost like "oh", but when you listen to only the word, it's very harsh and sharp, like "oak"... Can someone please tell me which it is?
It's usually said as 'oh' in normal speech, but the word on its own is 'okk' It's pretty much the same as in English.
If you enunciate each word, you would say beer and coffee (pronouncing the D). But if you say it at a normal spoken speed, it would sound like 'beer an coffee'. The hard letter at the end disappears.
Does anyone have a good explanation for the classification of terms / the technical language used e.g. 'definite article' and 'indefinite' etc???? It might help me remember the rules if I understand what they refer to
listening seems to be my weakest point with swedish. I don't register the "er" sound with the "ö" sound. and that a "t" sound before "och" makes "och" sound like it has a "t".
I suppose patiently doing practice is the answer. I'm sure there are googlable resources for listening to Swedish as well. Don't be too discouraged, you'll learn with time and patience. I had the same problem with spoken Dutch for a long time, but once you get over the threshold, all that practice is immensely rewarding.
Its not too easy if it immediatelly starts with "The beer", rather than only normal beer form!
The second "the" is not necessary in English. The first can apply to the entire phrase.
Duolingo accepts an ale as ett öl but not the ale as ölet, only the beer. Is that just a missing entry in the program or is there a reason for that?
Could one use ölet as the ale where one would say ale instead of beer?