"Vintern är den vita årstiden."

Translation:The winter is the white season.

November 21, 2014

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It is den vita årstiden instead of den vit årstiden because årstiden is a definite noun. Adjectives for definite nouns, irrespective of gender or number, always get the -a ending (except for naturally masculine words, who get -e). This wasn't explained yet but can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_grammar#Adjectives


Thanks for explaining ahead of time... I took a look at it and raised a solitary eyebrow!


Men vilket ögonbryn?


Here, have a lingot!


Tack så mycket!


Why not årstid? "Den vita årstiden" sounds redundant.


This is another peculiarity of Swedish - sometimes the definite is formed both with the free standing article (den/det) as well as the ending (en/et). You're right that it sounds redundant - the closest direct translation in English would be 'The white the season', which is kinda weird!


I think the Semitic languages do that too.


Yes, adjective agreement is a feature of Arabic.

As for the purpose, I suppose its to help in listening, two definite markers are better than one in lossy conversation!


could i omit the den?


No. This is a feature of Swedish which is called double determinacy. You can even say that the determinacy is triple, since both the article, the adjective, and the noun show determinacy. You can think of it as a kind of harmony between the words, where they all express the same grammatical feature.

There are a few expressions where the article isn't needed. These are special cases that are perceived more or less as names. Vita huset for 'The White House' is one example – if we're speaking about the house where POTUS lives, not if we're speaking about some other white house.


thank you for the detailed answer. Beside some Swedish stuff I learned what POTUS means :) Just to put a cherry over the cream cake - if I say "jag vet det svaret" and "jag vet svaret" - what is the difference between both?


You would not say "Jag vet det svaret" for "I know . The definite article is only used when there is an adjective on the noun. Though - of course - there are exceptions, as Arnauti has mentioned in a reply below.

So to be complete:

svar (ett-word)

Jag vet svaret = I know the answer.

Jag vet det svåra svaret = I know the difficult answer.

Jag vet ett svar = I know an answer.

Jag vet ett svårt svar = I know a difficult answer.

fråga (en-word)

Jag vet frågan = I know the question.

Jag vet den svåra frågan = I know the difficult question.

Jag vet en fråga = I know a question.

Jag vet en svår fråga = I know a difficult question

p.s. Vet/Know here does not mean 'I know the answer to the question' but only 'I know of the (existence of) question'. Again, see Arnauti's comment down for more.


It is actually possible to say det svaret, it means that answer.

On the other hand, we normally use the verb kan with svar and particularly with fråga. There is an important difference in meaning too: if I say jag vet en fråga, that means I know of a question, i.e. I know what the question is, but if jag kan en fråga, that means that I know the question, i.e. know the answer to the question. (it could also mean that I know a certain question by heart, though less likely)

The important thing is that you can not say 'jag vet den här frågan' to mean that you can answer this question. It's Jag vet det här, but Jag kan den här frågan.


amrjunior1 yes, I'm a native Swedish speaker from Sweden. I'm one of the people who helped create this course in the first place and I sometimes hang out here to answer questions.

It is possible to say Jag kan det svaret, it means 'I know that answer'. It's a bit hard to think of a context for this sentence, but it is correct.


I see. But with a här it is possible, right? though there is no adjective Like " jag vet det här svaret" - I know this answer


Ah yes, det här svaret means this answer. In these constructions there is also a definite article. Again, for completeness sake:

svar (ett-word)

Det här svaret = This answer.

Detta svar = This answer.

Det där svaret = That answer.

fråga (en-word)

Den här frågan = This question.

Denna fråga = This question.

Den där frågan = That question.

frågor (plural)

De här frågorna = These questions.

Dessa frågor = These questions

De där frågorna = Those questions


makes no sense in English to say 'The winter' imo.


We would never say that in English!


That's because we never get that much snow! But it's definitely a thing that could be written in a poem.


It should be 'winter is the white season' which is translating exactly from the Swedish anyway. p.s. you don't have to have snow to acknowledge that Sweden does have snow :) just as I have never seen a moose in real life but they'd be pretty common in Sweden


I also think it's more natural to say "winter is the white season" (without an article before winter) than to say "the winter is the white season". But maybe duolingo was just going for a direct translation and not a more idiomatic one.


Not in my country, though :D


So, why is it that this is "den vita årstiden" (two definite articles) but earlier there was "de gula byxorna"... is there a difference between den and de when used in this way?


Both are the same. They both have a definite article and a definite ending.

Den is the definite singular (common gender) article.

De is the definite plural article

Årstiden is the definite singular form of årstid (which is of the common gender).

Byxorna is the definite plural form of byxa.


Why " den" is there. What if i say vintern är vita årstiden instead of vintern är den vita årstiden


see my answer to amrjunior1 below


You can't omit the "den". The sentence would be grammatically incorrect without "the"


I like when Duo turns poetic


Would "vinter" instead of "vintern" be correct?

[deactivated user]

    why not årstid instead of årstiden.??


    Because it's THE white season.


    Are seasons basically always written in the definite form?


    is it wrong to say "vinter är en vita årstid"?


    Vita is either used with definite adjective or plural


    I am confused when i use den in colors


    When used with a definite noun, the noun also gets den/det/de before the adjective (i.e. color).


    This sentence gets me every time, because it's such a weird thing to day.


    It is actually not that weird to say, since Sweden get snow during winter. The sentence refers to the snow.

    (Then again, early spring is a wet and horrible season, due to all of the snow that's melting)


    Should't 'the winter is the white season of the year' be accepted as correct?


    Does den have a ett word


    Marked me wrong when its exactly what it was supposed to be ..


    The Winter is the white season of the year.


    "The winter" is very awkward to say and not something a fluent English speaker would say, perhaps it should be changed to "Winter is the white season".

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