"Den lilla flickan"

Translation:The little girl

December 5, 2014

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/illumillama

"Den" is needed here because of the adjective "lilla", right? I'm still a little confused. Could someone explain why the sentence isn't "den lilla flicka" (lit. "the little girl") and why you stick with "flickan"?

December 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lundgren8

In Swedish, you show definite (the) by an ending, right? So ”the girl” = ”flickan”; we have no need for an English ”the” word. However, when we combine it with an adjective, we have to not only show that it’s definite in the noun or the adjective, we also need an article similar to English ”the”. So:

  • En liten flicka = A little girl.

We put ”flicka” in the definite: ”flickan”. Then we put ”liten” in the definite, which is irregular, so it’s ”lilla”, and then we need an article similar to English ”the” as well. So you need to show it in three places!

  • Den lilla flickan
December 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/illumillama

Tack för hjälpen! :)

December 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Noctivigant

You never disappoint, thanks.

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Talei16

Dang! Each language is uniquely weird.

June 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

Fascinating, and a major difference from Danish, it seems to me.

November 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JonEnMiljon

Yes indeed, it's a conspicuous grammatical difference from Danish (but not from Norwegian)! There are remnants in southern Swedish from the Danish times, e.g "Stora Torg" for "The Main Square" where Standard Swedish would have "Stora Torget or Stortorget" (we usually exclude the definite "det" when it comes to names, in Swedish as well as in Danish)

January 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122

What is the difference that you are talking about? Are you saying that Danish and Norwegian do not use the -en/-et system? Can you give me an example of a Swedish sentence and then the same in Danish?

January 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils

Regarding this difference, we would not need a sentence. Translated into Danish, this phrase would be "den lille pige." Without the adjective, "flickan" in Swedish is "pigen" in Danish. The Danes either make the noun definite or, with an intervening adjective, use a definite article, but they do not do both at the same time. As JonAbelli points out, while Norwegian is often more like Danish than Swedish, it does the same as Swedish in this case.

January 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Fantomius

Thank you for the very helpful reply!

April 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sandeepa2

Tack snälla ni.

January 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/joseph_lh

Difference between lille and lilla?

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

The -e ending is strictly masculine. It's a remnant from when Swedish still made that grammatical difference, but today can only be used for actual masculinities. Thus, you might perhaps adress me as "käre moderator" to say "dear moderator".

The -a ending can be used for anyone, though, and is by far the most common. I recommend sticking to it if at all unsure.

February 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/photodiarist

So it would also be correct to address you as "kära moderator" and to refer to a little boy as "den lilla pojken"?

June 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Yes. It's the most common way.

June 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/baconmater

Why is there a den when flickan is the definite form already?

February 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Swedish marks definiteness doubly when a noun is described by an adjective.

April 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dddanilo

Tack så mycket för hjälpen! :-)

July 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/takozz

why has 'd' in 'den' suddenly become silent?

October 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

I don't think it is. It's a little faint, but definitely audible.

October 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/takozz

Your reply hadn't showed up in my notifications, I just saw it. Thanks!

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NoodleInhaler

How many words for small are there in Swedish?

February 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

Well, there's only one, really. But it's highly irregular. For reference, here is the English Wiktionary's declension table: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/liten#Declension

February 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Minwoo1234

Why does "den lila flickan" work when you don't use "den flickan"? Is it because of 'lila'? HELP!!

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ion1122

Minwood, read the rest of the comments on this page, starting with the very first one. It answers your question.

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Minwoo1234

Thanks, I thought he/she was talking about something else. Have a lingot.

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/HerMyKneeGinger

Ok, I know that "lilla" is the correct form here, but in the audio I clearly hear "Lille". Is the audio wrong or should it be pronounced like that?

November 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel

You're right, the audio is slightly off here. It should be pronounced lilla - especially since lille is a masculine form, and flickan a feminine word.

November 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderR152794

Okay- hands up who typed in "The purple girl?"?

January 8, 2019
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