Translation:The child

December 8, 2014



Makes me think of bonnet, a hat for babies.


Or a hood of a car in England!


Or Barnet FC, also in England


Or even the end of the good old Northern line!


So ett words can take the 'et' sound on as a suffix to indicate a definite article? ie "ett barn" and "barnet" are similar/equivalent?


Ett barn means ’a child’ whereas barnet means ’the child’, the definite form is expressed through a suffix, yes.


So weird, "barn" means child in Old English too.


Why is that weird? The fact you know it's similar in Old English (the more established spelling is actually 'bearn'), one would expect that you also know that both share the same Old Norse roots surely?


Rather the same Germanic origin. Bearn wasn’t borrowed from Old Norse. It also existed in Gothic and Old High German, so it’s a common Germanic word.


It resembles the English word "born".


They are indeed assumed to be remotely related.


It's more like a barn


That's... confusing. Not the definite suffix thing -- that's the same as in Danish, of course.

I'm referring to how only one 't' appears after the word rather than two, because of course there are two in 'ett'.


Don’t see the suffix as the same thing as the indefinite articles en/ett because they’re different phenomena.


Well, I would argue about it. I haven't yet begun studying Old Norse :), but I suspect both forms are related to the endings of demonstrative pronouns (and hence definite articles) and adjectives, which are the same, compare in German: einen - diesen, den; eines-dieses, das; eine - diese, die. But Swedes finally chose to put the latter at the end, that's all. Another guess, in many Slavonic languages demonstrative pronouns (which never became definite articles ) can be put either way - after or before the noun


Yeah, historically the definite endings come from the Old Norse demonstrative pronoun hinn, hin, hitt (barn hitt → barnit). It’s related to the German word jener etymologically.


That must be to differenciate them.


I find it interesting that the scottish word 'bairn' obviously comes from the same root. Helpful for remembering it too!


Which Scottish? Scottish Gaelic or Scots? Scots originates from Northambrian Old English, it is Germanic and this word is common for all if them.


Not Gaelic, unless perhaps it's found its way there as a loanword. It is fair to say Scots and the Scottish dialect of English shade into each other, and in any case 'bairn' is also commonly encountered in Northern England.


is this wrong that ett is the number one and ... well i dont know what the difference between et and en. ps.Plz reply


Think of it like 'a' and 'an' in english. Both also mean 1 'an apple, a car..' Each word in english has to be either 'an' or 'a' if you want one of that word. And they are not interchangable. You can not have 'a apple or an car' it has to be 'an apple and a car'. We have a good rule for that in english (if the starting SOUND {not letter} of the word is a constanent then it's a-somthing if the starting sound is a vowel sound then it's an-something.

In swedish there isn't a good rule as to why words are 'en' or 'ett'. But which ever one they are they are stuck with that and all of the gramatical changes around that word are based on them being either 'en' or 'ett' words.

The 'en' or 'ett' before a word is the 'an' or 'a' Ett barn - a child En pojke - a boy

The 'en' or 'et' at the end of the word signifies 'the' Barnet - the child Pojken - the boy

Hope this helps explain things a bit


Is it just me, or is the 'r' in 'barn' not trilled like the 'r' in 'dricker'? Will there be any notes on pronunciation coming up?


That is correct - rn forms a retroflex sound in Swedish. To be honest, I'm not completely up-to-date with what our notes say everywhere.


Is the R really pronounced in here?


No, not exactly. It creates a retroflex consonant with the n to make a retroflex n sound.


Interesting... thanks ;)


It's also another way of saying hair :P


What is? ett barn? Not that I am aware of. Where did you see/hear it used this way?


He's joking - "barnet" is slang in England for hair or a haircut/hairstyle


"En barnet" is A child?


No, "ett barn" is "a child"


Is the pronunciation correct? It has 't' at the end being pronounced, and I'm used to Norwegian where, unless it's past tense verb or a participle, the 't' at the end is silent, particularly with definite neuter nouns.


Yes, the t is normally pronounced. It might get softened into a d in practice, or half swallowed, depending by the speaker - but in isolation, I would consider any pronunciation that doesn't clearly use the t incorrect.


Is barn a neuter word? If so, would et be the neuter definite-making suffix, just like en and an for gendered nouns?


Yes.. but a correction.. Neuter is a gender too. There is no such thing as 'gendered nouns'. All Swedish nouns have a gender, either neuter or common.


EN is a/one but I can't remember what pronoun AN is. Please remind me.


I think common words that end with a consonant use en, and others just -n.

Hunden, kvinnan, skon, sjön.

Same with the neuter words, although neuter words ending with vowels are I think less common:

Vattnet, hjärtat.


If this is 'the child' and "Ett Barn" is 'a child'. How would you say "child"? In for instance the sentence 'O poor child, what have they done?' Or something like that.


Stackars barn, vad har de gjort?


How would you say children?


Which one? Definite or indefinite? Definite - 'barn', indefinite - 'barnen'. You will learn it in later lessons. Or you could look up a dictionary.


Why are there definite and indefinite forms of children?


When you say "some children", for example, that's indefinite, you don't know or don't care about the children you mention. "The children" is definite, because you know which children you're talking about.


Singular indefinite:

  • (a) child — (ett) barn

Plural indefinite:

  • children — barn

Singular definite:

  • the child — barnet

Plural definie:

  • the children — barnen


Hey, I don’t get the difference between Kvinnor, kvinnan and kvinna but I know they all mean woman

  • kvinnor = women
  • kvinnan = the woman
  • kvinna = woman


Is this just a coincidence or are the indefinite and definite articles related? I mean if the article is ett is the ending automatically et instead of en and en?


Not always, but that's usually how it works, yes.


Hej! Love this wonderfull language and all Sweden actually, I started learning a month ago and I really enjoy It! But, I have probably stupid Question☺️... It is a Basic but, why ett barn enstead en barn? I Don't still get It even though I am more advanced now


Please have a look at my info post here, specifically the second question: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26420394/Answers-to-some-common-questions-on-grammar-that-beginners-have

Hope that helps!


Tack! It is very very helpful, I almost got It..... But still little confused, I thought that,, en,, is for mostly nouns and persons (en man, en kvinna, en menu etc...) but child is person, so why,, ett barn,, and for example,, ett brev,,


It's true that almost all living things are en-words, but it's not true for all nouns. The word barn is the most obvious exception, though there are a few others.


Tack så mycket! Are You native Swedish or also self-learning? Tack!


I'm a native Swede. :)


I typed bornet and it was correct, is that really correct or not?


No, definitely not. It should have let you through with a typo warning, but it seems to be doing more such errors lately.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.