"A letter"

Translation:Ett brev

November 19, 2014

42 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

How do I distinguish the difference between Ett and En?

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ericzim

you can't, it's completely random. some words are "Ett" and some are "En"

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/David7697

In general, the plural form of nouns that end in -or or -ar are common nouns (en nouns).

Also, about three quarters of all nouns are 'en nouns'. That might help to narrow it down a bit. ☺

December 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TuckerMaus

Unfortunately, it seems to be completely arbitrary. You just need to memorize it.

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mikaylametz

Will people still be able to understand if you use the wrong one?

December 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Yes. It sounds very broken but people usually understand anyway. There can be misunderstandings with plural/singular. Since brev is an ett word, brevet means 'the letter' and breven means 'the letters'. Of course people are likely to misunderstand you if you use the wrong form in cases like this.

December 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew1971

Even though I understand that the 'v' is ever so soft at the end of this word, to my ears, it sounds a lot like 'bre(əm)'... (?)

June 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/strmzzz

What is the difference between "Ett brev" and "En bokstav" ?

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wotintarnations

bokstav = alphabetical character (bok = book, stav = rod, in this case it hails from the vertical rods people used to write runes in stone! :) and the verb "att stava" = "to spell" is also related)

brev = mail/post (etymology: a little connected with english "brief" - short message)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

Also the plural of bokstav is bokstäver.

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OwainLlyfr

Yes, and "bokstavar" also excists as a word - but meaning the rods that were used to print the letters in a book/paper. :-)

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bambam320

Thank you

May 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

Until now Ett brev has been taught for "a letter" the answer shown here is "ett brev" but when I wrote it I was told it had to be "en bokstav". How is that possilbe that the correct translation as seen above is not accepted?

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

The machine tries to match your input to the closest accepted answer. If you pick the wrong article and type "en brev", it will unfortunately think that the closest answer is en bokstav rather than ett brev. At least this is how it works at the moment.

If you really did type ett brev and didn't have that accepted, there must have been some bug/glitch.

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16

Now I can't remember. I might have typed "en brev" but I would think that it would accept the noun and correct the article. That is interesting how it works. Well, now I'll remember it's "ett brev" and "en bokstav" and that's a good lesson. Thanks for the explanation.

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/akg112002

so it doesn't matter what context it's in, it just is the way it is with ett and en?

April 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Yes, it depends on the word, not the context. All nouns are either en or ett nouns. There are some tendencies, but mainly you just have to learn the gender along with each word.

May 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zamNat

why do both apear if one is rong?

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Anrui
Mod
  • 15

The hints only tell you which words a certain word could be translated into. That does not mean that all the words listed under hints are correct. After all they are just hints, not answers.

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/zamNat

okay thank you

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Liseduif

Yea, to me it sounds like that too, but I think it's actually the correct pronunciation... Wouldn't know what else it could be.... Waaait, idea: Maybe Google Translate can help. If they pronounce it exactly the same, it's probably the right pronunciation.

July 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Don't trust Google translate, listen at forvo.com instead where natives upload soundclips.

July 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nick207738

So how exactly do i pronounce "brev"?

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Wispie

b-r-eh/ey-v

The eh/ey is a sort of mix between eh and ey, like eh but with a y sound tucked in there.

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/OwainLlyfr

Usually b-r-eh-v. Only specific provicial accents use b-r-ey-v (mainly in the southwest).

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Wispie

Wait, doesn't bokstav mean letter as in the alphabet? I was raised speaking Swedish and English, so I learned Swedish verbally, and I've always used bokstav to mean a letter (like a, b, c, etc.)

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

Sure does, that's why en bokstav is another accepted answer here.

December 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Garrett991141

So i guess we don't start sentences wi "En"

March 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/patrick174538

I think in most cases the En is mostly used classifying living things like man and animal while Ett is mostly used when classifying non living things like letter, books etc

May 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

That's a bit too simplified. About 70-75% of all words are en words, so most non living things are en words too. But it's true that most living things are en words, with some very notable exceptions. This post lists some tendencies: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6329293

May 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeBurns0

this also gives bokstav as an answer

May 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti

en bokstav is 'a letter' as in A, B, C… 
ett brev is 'a letter' as in 'I wrote a nice letter to my mom'

May 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Richard470855

Why does "a letter" suddenly go from being en brev to bokstav?

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

It can mean either. :)

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LenaKlier

what is the difference between ett and en ?

September 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

All nouns have a grammatical gender in Swedish. You use en or ett depending on the gender. Just like e.g. ein/eine in German or un/una in Spanish, but they're not masculine/feminine.

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/IsobelNesh

Is brev pronounced brem? Cause it sounds a lot like it, I just can't distinguish

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

No, sorry - it's distinct from that.

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/keven235246

what is wrong with en brav

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

brav isn't a word - it's brev. And that's an ett-word, so: ett brev.

January 12, 2019
Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.