The colon here is similar to how we sometimes use the apostrophe to make plurals of acronyms in English, only here we're making the definite form. TV's, CD's DVD's; tv:n, cd:n, dvd:n.
(Some comments below point out that even though the apostrophe is commonly used to pluralize acronyms, it is more acceptable to simply add an 's' unless this creates any sort of ambiguity.)
You don't use an apostrophe to make plurals of acronyms in English. You write CDs, TVs, DVDs.
According to most style guides, pluralizing initialisms and acronyms with an apostrophe is acceptable. Individual lower case letters (such as "p's and q's") are usually formed by adding the apostrophe, while capital letters use just the s.
Agreed. Here is some advice from the Grammar Monster (http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/apostrophes_show_plural_of_abbreviations.htm)
AVOID USING AN APOSTROPHE
Some grammar pedants claim that apostrophes cannot be used in any plurals. This is an outdated, dogmatic view. If you have an awkward abbreviation, number, or letter and using an apostrophe to show its plural assists your readers, then go for it.
APOSTROPHES IN PLURALS FOR UPPERCASE ABBREVIATIONS
When writing titles, you are sometimes compelled to use just capital letters. This makes it difficult to show a plural of an otherwise normal-looking abbreviation. Remember, if it assists your reader, you can use an apostrophe to show a plural. For example: CD'S ARE OBSOLETE
TWO LRS'S PER PROCESSOR
Thanks Mr. Aardvark. I loved this:
- Some grammar pedants claim that apostrophes cannot be used in any plurals. This is an outdated, dogmatic view.
And I consider myself a grammar pedant. LOL.
To those of you who didn't get AxeKitty's joke, see this: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6191706$comment_id=10994126
Except that that's incorrect in English. But Finnish does use a colon in the same way for case endings with abbreviations.
It is not incorrect in English. It once was, but it has become so ubiquitous as to be accepted by most style guides. Find me one that says otherwise, and I'll find you three that support this statement. Here's one: http://www.public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/acronyms.html
Yeah! Here's a sentence from Finnish Wikipedia: "Väestötiheys EU:ssa on 115,6 asukasta/km²" ("The population density in the EU is 115.6 inhabitants per km²"). The inessive case ending "-ssa" is separated from "EU" by a colon. Whereas "kala" ("fish") is written "kalassa" in the inessive case :)
It is actually "the '80s" because it is a contraction for 1980s. The apostrophe goes where the missing letters would otherwise be, just like in "don't".
What you say obviously makes sense, but it's a little more complicated than that - for instance, Cambridge list "80s" and "80's" as acceptable spellings in US English.
That colon is cool. Does it also work for the definite plural form? e.g. Tv:arn? Also, I have seen a related word, tvspel (video game) which I think may be pronounced tevespel
If so, then it's tv:arna. It does not look good though and I would probably say (and write) tv-apparaterna.
What do you mean :)? Why there is an n? TV:n is the definite form:
a TV = en TV (teve)
the TV = TV:n (teven)
Ah that makes sense, but what does the colon signify if what I'm really trying to get at here. Just an extended gap, like a comma or semicolon? Why not spell teven?
It probably helps in the pronunciation, imo. "Teven" would be pronounced as two syllables (/te -ven/), whereas TV:n makes the speaker almost separate the /e/ of the ve from the /e/ of the :n. That is, /te - ve - en/. What do you say, Helen? You're the Queen of Forvo... =D
Ha ha, I guess the TV:n writing is a bit misleading for a non-Swede. It is pronounced exactly like teven :). If you prefer to write it out, it works fine for this acronym but not for all. You mustn't write veden instead of VD:n (the CEO) for example. It's the definite of "ved", which means firewood, and here the pronunciation of VD:n, the CEO, and veden, the firewood, differs.
No, the gap is only in the mind of you all who are shocked by the colon :).
In "VD" (Ve De), both e:s (!) are long and this is kept of course when you make it definite.
But the definite ending -en of "veden" has a short (and unstressed) e.
[TV:n] is pronounced exactly like teven <
Well, not exactly; it would be more accurate to say "like tevén".
It Is! I googled "tv:n" and "teven" and the former is much more common.
Wow... Are there any other cases where Swedes use colons in the middle of words?
Well, in all definite forms of an acronym I guess :). For example VD:n (the CEO) and dvd:n.
Looks at the bottom of this section on Wikipedia for more examples of this:
Think of it as an apostrophe in English - we will goes to we'll in much the same way.
Never ever so a colon in the middle of the word in any language... you have a brave linguists there in Sverrige!
Well, Finnish also uses the colon to attach grammatical endings to abbreviations; e.g. EU-ssa = in the EU.
Incidentally, in Swedish it is in occasional use too in such contractions as S:t Johannes kyrka = St John's church.
Funny how tv:n is pronounced as "teven" which in Spanish would mean "They see you." Conspiracy theories yay!
Are apostrophes ever used in Swedish for any reason? Apparently not in this case, nor for possessives, but are there any instances where one would be used? Or is it not even on a Swedish keyboard?
Only rarely. As in English, we can use it to show a contraction, e.g. sta'n for staden which later turned into just stan. It's also used when there's risk of confusion, for instance to show possession after a name ending in s, such as Tomas/Tomas'. Again, though, these are both very rarely used.
So this 'helt' means the subject is completly new, as in brand new. If I had a plural subject and I wanted to use it as an adverbe, so "the apples are all green" (100% green in colour) as opposed to "the apples are all green" (100% of the apples are green) Can I make this distinction in Swedish?
We differ between all/completely (= helt) and all/every (= alla) so that would simply be
Äpplena är helt gröna.
Alla äpplen (or äpplena) är gröna.
Well, the reason for adding only n here is that TV is pronounced teve, so it works like en gubbe - gubben for example.
I would never say "TV" in English. I know millions do, but in some circles (clearly my own) it is considered a poor substitute for "telly". I'm now amusingly forced to say it in Swedish!
Duo writes this as "TV :n" (space before colon) but I suspect it should be "TV:n" (no space)?
That is correct. Duolingo's apps all seem to have a quirk where non-letters will be considered word dividers. So you'll also find that words like "it's" get divided into "it 's", for instance.
Does "tv" in Swedish mean the object for watching television programmes? Why was "the television set" wrong then?
I think it wasn't in the list of initially accepted translations, so it needs to be added manually for every sentence containing "tv". In this case, we accepted "tv set" but not "television set". I've fixed that now.
I second the motion for the English translation being "brand" rather than "completely" or "wholly" new.
under "helt " as a given translation are as follows - absolutely, completely, entirely ". none of which can be accepted as a correct answer. Hmm...
Those are all accepted, but your error report only says "tv" where it needs to be "the tv".
Put simply, it's because the adjective comes after the noun. I've written a little more about it e.g. here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26420394/Answers-to-some-common-questions-on-grammar-that-beginners-have