"His dog does not eat meat."
Translation:Hans hund äter inte kött.
Sorry but I don't understand your explanation, could you give an example. Thank you.
In Swedish, third person genitive can be either hans/hennes/dess OR sin/sitt/sina depending on whether the ownership refers to an aforementioned person or not. If it does, sin/sitt/sina is used.
So hans can refer to someone else's dog if it's used in the middle of the sentence and his own dog if it's used at the beginning of the sentence?
The verb must always be in second place in Swedish main clauses (that are not questions).
A 'place' is a unit of the sentence – not necessarily just one word, but something that could be shortened into one word. Since hans hund is in the first place here, the verb needs to go right after that.
Is what you describe as a "place" synonymous with "clause" in this context?
No, a 'place' is a sentence constituent – roughly something that could be replaced with one word. A clause can be a place, specifically a subclause will (always, I think) be one place in a whole sentence. But a main clause consists of several places.
I see. To be honest, I studied grammar primarily in Spanish, so I get confused on the English terminology at times! Thank you, as always, for your detailed and helpful reply.
I think this term is mainly used to explain Swedish word order – it'll be the same with e.g. Norwegian of course, but for most languages it's probably not needed. At least I'm sure we never used it when I studied Russian.
Hans means "his", but "sin" is a neat little pronoun that means his/her/its while it refers back to the 3rd person subject. Compare:
Han äter hans mat = He is eating his (someone else's) food
Han äter sin mat = He is eating his (own) food.
I wish more languages were so nuanced. I bet distinctions like that make for some great poetry!
What word do you use when you can't tell the subject's gender? For example when you've found a bunch of keys and you would say it's ''their (the owner's) keys'', or when you've called for a taxi and you say ''I'm waiting for their cab to arrive'', or when you've just begun attending a teacher's classes and you would say ''I'm going to attend their classes'' and situations like these, sorry for my English
Could that be another use for "hen" and "hens," as moarcaffeine described above?
why is it hennes for feminine but hans for masculine? Why not hannes or hens?
Hens would be for hen which is quite a new pronoun (and still disputed) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hen_(pronoun) But otherwise: it's han/honom/hans and hon/henne/hennes, so I might think hans has been close to honoms in some point in history but it has evolved? Just a guess!