"A child's lemon"

Translation:Ett barns citron

November 20, 2014

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Wait, a legit question here; in a string of two nouns, which one would the article refer to? When we say a child's lemon, we are clearly having lemon as the subject in the subsequent sentence. So in Swedish should it be,

En citron > En barns citron? OR

En citron > [Ett barns] citron?

Which one is the correct interpretation?


Ett refers to the child only.


Yes I am aware of that. But which one is the grammatically correct construction of article of two strings of nouns? For example,

En kats salt?


Ett kats salt?


It's the former: you're writing [en kat]s salt.

Just as in English, a noun indicated by a possessive (their house's, a cat's, my, your) takes no article of its own; the possessive appears instead.


I think your answer misconstrues the nature of the question. Unfortunately it is difficult to illustrate this in English because of the lack of inflection.

Yes, "a child's" can take the place of specifier that could otherwise exist in an article. But you cannot tell in a simple construction such as this, in English, whether an article belongs with "child's" or belongs with "lemon" without context; "child's" may be serving adjectivally to mean "suitable for a child". Consider "a child's serving" : it could mean a serving belonging to a particular child or a serving of a size suitable for children. This can be seen in other phrases such as "d'Onofrio is an actor's actor" or "it is the professional's choice". In these the grammatical case is genitive but the sense is closer to dative. If English did have inflection you would see that the article would agree with the final noun; you can see this by inverting the genitive to a phrase using "of": "the choice of a professional", where "the" and "choice" would need to agree because it is "choice" that "the" is the specifier for.

So with "a child's lemon" the question is whether in Swedish such a construction could result in "en barns citron" if the intended sense is "a lemon suitable for children", or if such constructions do not exist in Swedish.


Your reply is late, I have found the answer somewhere else but I really appreciate your affirmation. Tack!


No problem! I like to answer unanswered questions because it's likely people in the future will come along wondering the same thing.


I am still waiting for the answer too! I was wondering the same ... Considering the child's lemon example it seems to me that in Swedish the definite article is always referring to the first noun. So probably the correct answer is "en katts salt" - but i am just guessing or concluding ...

Would be great to read answer(s) from natives ...


But ...if I wanted to mean "One of the lemons that belong to the child" ...how would it be in Swedish? Thanks ...


This calls for a wise saying of some kind.


A child's lemon is a grown man's lemonade.


Why is "barns" pronounced "bansh" ?


When can you identify if a word is "Ett" or "En"?


Is the word "barns" pronounced like bānsh?


Yeah, pretty much. :)


May you explain why,and when we should pronounce it that way!?


The rs combines to form a retroflex sound in Swedish. If the r and the s are parts of separate words or syllables, it's generally up to the speaker's dialect. But if they're part of the same syllable, it's always retroflex.


Consider this case:

"A child's lemons" surely has the "a" article for "child" because "lemons" being plural cannot have "a" for its article, i.e. [[a child]'s lemons] is the structure.

Hence even for the singular [[a child]'s lemon].

Same in Swedish.


Are there lemons just for adults in Sweden?


I thought the Swedish "s" is only pronounced as "sh" directly after an "r"? So why is it "barnsh" here? Could someone explain this to me?

Update: It's because this rule also applies when there's a 'n' or 't' in between 'r' and 's'.


So the indefinite article here matches the adjective and not the noun?


Is "child" considered an adjective here?

Anyway, think of the English sentence "A child's apple". Even though it's "an apple", you use "a" because of the "child".


There's no such thing as different indefinite articles for different groups of nouns in English. You don't say "an green apple" because "apple" is a "an-word".

I was also confused by this example because it seems there's no way to tell if we're talking about "ett barn" or "en citron" without context.


Actually, there is such a thing -- English doesn't use indefinite articles for mass nouns at all (http://www.grammarly.com/handbook/grammar/articles/9/indefinite-article-with-uncountable-noun/). But it's not related to this example. :)


I hear the final "s" in "barns" sounding almost like "sh"--is that a regional variant?


Can I say "en [barns] citron" if I mean the word "lemon" as the main subject (en citron)?


No, it's the lemon (note the definite) belonging to "a child".

Let's say there's one child but two lemons. You'd then say "a child's lemons", not "two child's lemons" or "two children's lemons". The same principle applies.


Why does this sound like a really weird play?

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