"A girl eats a sandwich."

Translation:En flicka äter en smörgås.

November 23, 2014

This discussion is locked.


Why is "en" used for smorgas vs "ett"?


You can’t find logic in the genders. They’re often arbitrary. In this case it’s because -gås means ”goose” and living things tend to be ”en”, but normally there is no logic.


Wait so we've been saying Smores Geese?!


No, "butter goose". :)


Don't you just love how the word "smörgås" looks? It's so beautiful with that ö and that å ^^ hahaha


Is this from where the English word 'smorgasbord' comes from?

[deactivated user]

    Yup! The ancestry of smorgasbord goes directly back to Swedish (guess you'd even call it a loan word?). The Swedish "smörgås" meaning sandwich, and the Swedish "bord" meaning table become combined to form the English word smorgasbord which generally means a large spread of food (typically on a wide table unsurprisingly).


    Yes, it's not even a question of whether it's a loan word, it's 100% a loan word straight from Swedish. There are others, such as "ombudsman", and, although not exactly Swedish so much as Old Norse, "saga" - among many more.

    [deactivated user]

      Thanks for the info! It seemed obvious to call it a loan word, but I didn't know if the term had some stricter definition when it came to linguistics so I decided to convey my own uncertainty, lol


      I worte ett in place of en.. And the app said it was wrong.. Why i thought both mean one!


      Both words mean one, but you can't use them randomly with nouns. You'll need to learn if it's en or ett for each noun.


      The meaning of "macka" and "smörgås" is "sandwich"?


      what is the different between flicka/flickor


      Why is Flickan wrong?

      • en flicka = a girl
      • flickan = the girl


      Is it en macka, or ett ?


      To my english ear, both vowels in smögås sound almost identical. Anyone able to help distinguishing ö from å?


      As very rough approximations, the ö in this word sounds like the vowel in "birth", and the å like the vowel in "boss".


      ... or (most likely depending on accent) å would be like the 'o' in "horse".

      Using my own accent in Swedish and English the word "Smörgås" could almost be transcribed as "s-m-(h)er-gorse", as long as you stick to a Brittish accent where the 'r's in "her" and "gorse" don't make too much sound. Almost...

      (Both vowels are long in "Smörgås" where I live, but there are variations between different parts of Sweden - some use short ö and lång å, some use lång ö and short å, and some use short versions for both.)


      The pronunciation with two short vowels is actually overwhelmingly more common, that's why I use it as a main example.


      Quite possible, yes. I don't really know, as I only hear that version when watching TV. My mother's relatives (southeast) use long-short and my father's relatives (living on some of the islands outside Gothenburg) use short-long.


      Is there an indicator of whether to use "ett" or "en"? Or is this something that needs to be memorized?


      There are some indicators, but mostly a case of memorisation. I've written a little more about it e.g. here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26420394

      Be sure to check out the link in that post as well.


      So apparently ett words are for inanimate objects and en words are for animate objects (google said so, so it must be right haha) so why are there words such as en smörgås or en tidning?


      Because that's wrong. Nearly all living things are en-words, because en-words are the result of the old masculine and feminine genders merging. But that's about the extent of it. It's not a very good rule at all.


      Why not ett flicka?


      All Swedish nouns have grammatical genders. These aren't masculine and feminine, though. Almost all living things are en-words, including flicka.


      Except "a child" is "ett barn"... Do u ever say en barn?


      Nope. Swedish used to have masculine and feminine a long time ago, but they merged into what are now en-words. Hence why barn is an ett-word - a child is inherently gender-neutral if you don't specify.


      I’m not able to type in the little circles above the vowels on my iPhone.

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