1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Kvinnan dricker ölet."

"Kvinnan dricker ölet."

Translation:The woman is drinking the beer.

November 19, 2014



Sweeds must love their beer


Probably not as much as they love coffee!


Why is ölet used here over ölen?


"Ett öl" is the actual liquid/beer itself and "en öl" is like regarding it as a unit, so you order "en öl" and that's correct but what you're drinking is "ett öl." The same thing applies to coffee: you order "en kaffe" but you drink "ett kaffe." Super confusing haha but Swedes are very particular about what they're doing so it's logical for the language.


so do you use the neuter in a definite form too? Like since neutral öl(et) means beer as a liquid or concept and common öl(en) means a beer one is drinking or a bottle of beer shouldn't it be ölen here? I mean she is drinking her (bottle of) beer, is she not? Sorry to bug you just trying to figure it out


Technically it should be correct too.. did you report it? :)


Well since you're supposed to type what you hear then it wouldn't be correct technically, but yeah it can sorta mean the same thing ETA: Sorry, I first got this as an audio. See now you could get it as typing too :)


since neutral öl(et) means beer as a beverage or concept and common öl(en) means a beer one is drinking or a bottle of beer shouldn't it be ölen here?


EDIT: This below is incorrect. "Öl" is indeed two seperate words, one in neuter and one in common gender.

No, a word is either common or neuter, not both. So "öl" in definitive form becomes "ölet" since it belongs to the neuter gender. "Ölen" is actually the plural defitive form (=the beers).



Here it says that it exists as both neuter and common depending on the meaning emplozed. Also, this distinction has been confirmed to me by some native speakers here on DL...

(Btw my previous comment is actually wrong, cause öl(et) can be used too in this case, but still one could also perfectly well say that hun dricker ölen, that is, her (bottle of) beer)


Just because of my initial confusion, what's the word for (olive) oil in Swedish?


Ive been very lazy with my accents like ö and è and such when writing but I have a funny suspicion they are very important to use. Am I right in thinking that?


Yes. Unlike in many other languages, they're not just guidelines for pronunciation. They're letters in their own right. The å is as different from a as the f is from p, for instance.

And since they're different letters, mixing them up will frequently change the meaning of a word entirely. For instance, höra = hear, but hora = prostitute.


My Swedish wife said this is wrong it should be ölen. Can anyone prove her wrong?


Yes, any decent declension table will say that it can be of either gender. See e.g. https://sv.wiktionary.org/wiki/öl

That links also shows the difference between the two. :)


I keep getting oil and beer mixed up.

  • 1176

Me, too! I try to think of it as öl is like ale (although Swedish apparently also has an "ale" per comments above), which leaves olja for oil. (As the old Dr. Demento song says [sarcastically] "Big help, Irving")

[ EDIT: Fixed; thanks devalanteriel! ]

  • 1176

Oh, crumbs! And I know they're different letters, I just am very amateur at remembering which goes where, as you can see. Thanks for the correction, and I fixed it.


I know there are differences in types of beer but could Ol be "ale" instead of the generic "beer"?


nope. öl is generic beer


ale is actually ale in Swedish too.


If this means "the woman is drinking beer" how do you say "the woman drinks beer" ?


Same way - Swedish doesn't differentiate between them.


Kvinnan dricker öl


Can öl also be Ale?


No, please see above.


So it's wrong because I left out "the" for beer?


Yes, that's correct.

  • ölet = the beer
  • öl = beer
Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.