Does brev mean letter as in a letter that would you write to send home, for example, or as an one of the elements that makes up a word? I hope this question makes sense.... I don't want to get to Sweden and ask someone how I can send individual letters to someone in the mail :)
Letter like a, b, c is en bokstav, bokstaven and plural bokstäver, bokstäverna in Swedish.
If you find it hard to hear the sentence because the voice is too fast, add a period mark after each word in google translate. Its the same TTS and will make everything slower and separated. like so: https://translate.google.com/#sv/en/Barnen.%20l%C3%A4ser.%20breven.
Funnily enough I just found that the Google translate reads it slightly slower and more clearly than on Duolingo, even without putting the period after each word. Interesting.
If you click the speaker button a second time, it reads it slower for you (in Google Translate)
Yeah, it was just at the time I thought it was weird, but you're right, it's not that bad.
I thought -en after an ett-word indicated plural indefinite. How is this sentence 'The children are reading the letters' and not 'Children are reading letters'.?
No, -en after ett-words indicates the plural definite. Barnen = the children. Barn = children. (singular barn = child, barnet = the child). Brev = letter, brevet = the letter; brev = letters, breven = the letters.
So brev means letter and letters at the same time? How am i supposed to distinct them in present simple?
Context, I would guess. Like fish, both singular and plural it's still fish.
I just want to point out that this confusion is very understandable: after an ett-word that ends with a consonant, plural indefinite is the word itself and -en indicates plural definite. And for ett-words ending with a vowel, the required plural endings are -n for indefinite and -na for definite. However, if you have an ett-word ending with the vowel "e", when adding the -n of plural indefinite, it gives something easily taken as -en. Especially since duolingo uses a lot of phrases with ett äpple, äpplet, äpplEN, äpplena!
I've struggled with barnen for months, but I think I've got it.. Barn = child AND children? Barnet = the child. Barnen = the children. Is this right?
Barn without an article is 'children'. When barn=child, you would always see 'ett barn'. In English, you also don't say 'child eats bread'. The rest of your comment is correct :)
I see that the alternate version is "the children are reading" but the swedish sentence doesn't have an "är"
If there was an "är" in the sentence, would that make a difference ?
In swedish we do not have the distinction between present simple and continuous. So both "The children are reading" and "The children read" translates to "Barnen läser". If one were to direct translate the former (so you find your 'är') i reckon it would turn out as "Barnen är läsande" which is a contrstuction only used in poems, rare and formal cases etc.
I understand this well I feel, but you could say barnen läser brev and it would mean the kids are reading letters? Essentially the same thing though, ja? Or is there any significant difference between barnen läser brev and barnen läser breven? I feel like there's not but it doesn't hurt to be sure
It's ett brev, brevet; brev, breven.
The difference between Barnen läser brev and Barnen läser breven is the same as between The kids read letters and The kids read the letters. If it's the letters, the speaker supposes that the listener knows which letters, otherwise it's just some letters.
Cool, sorry for such an odd and obvious question but I don't think I can be too careful with learning a language
There's nothing obvious about definiteness to people who don't have it in their native language. I'm getting ready to teach Swedish to native speakers of Russian, so I'm thinking quite a lot about this right now. :)
Mistake in my favor.. I wrote "barnet", i believe it should have counted as an error and not a typo.
Breven sounds like BRENNEN.
Sorry about this, but is The children, the same as The child, or are they just very similar?
It's actually the same in the indefinite form, but not in the definite form. Like this:
- child = barn
- children = barn
- the child = barnet
- the children = barnen
I listened to this four times, hoping I was hearing "breven," but it kept sounding like "brennen." In cases like this, when the "v" is essentially silent, does it turn into an "n" sound?
No, it does not. Actually, the sentence sounds about perfect to me.