So technically, in this case, the above sentence means the exact same as "Hon äter hennes smörgås." right? Although the two sentences don't say the exact same thing -- "her sandwich" vs "her own sandwich" in the above sentence -- her sandwich is her own sandwich, so in sentences like this, sin can be used interchangeably with hessen/hans?
Sin, sina, sitt = Belonging to the subject
Din, dina, ditt = Your (belonging to to a single person)
Er, ert, era = Your (belonging to multiple people or a business) (technically also a formal singular "your", but this is so incredibly rare these days and also kind of controversial from what I've heard, so it's best to assume it refers to multiple people unless context tells you otherwise)
technically also a formal singular "your", but this is so incredibly rare these days and also kind of controversial from what I've heard
Just wanted to add in case you're interested that we also actively discourage using er/ni as a formal you, mainly since it's largely a myth that it was ever used like that. Most older formal Swedish used the titular system ("Vill grosshandlar Karlsson ha lite mer socker i kaffet?"), and ni was frequently something the upper classes might use to address the lower classes.
Yes you would.
Sin doesn't specify whether it is his or her... it's more "their own". Whether to use sin or sitt depends on the object (in this case, the sandwich). Whether to use sin/sitt or hans/hennes depends on who the object (sandwich) belongs to.
Mary eats Peter's sandwich = Hon äter hans smörgås.
Mary eats Alice's sandwich = Hon äter hennes smörgås.
Mary eats Mary's (own) sandwich = Hon äter sin smörgås.
Peter eats Peter's (own) sandwich = Han äter sin smörgås.
Hope that helps!
One thing I've found that really helps me with this is to try to learn the word in the definite form, rather than in the indefinite form. For example: flicka (girl) - I learn it as 'flickan' (the girl) ... or ... hus (house) - I learn it as 'huset' (the house)
That helps me to get the gender and endings thoroughly attached to the word.
Agh! That's so much smarter... I'm keeping a notebook and I've already written down the indef. forms without the article. My next issue is knowing how to write down the adjectives, since they have different forms depending on the gender, number, whether or not it's definite, etc.
It is similar ( not posession but still signifying themselves) to "sich" in german and "zich" in dutch and "se" in latin.
Sin means their own. it is used to make a distinction so their is no confusion who you are referring to ( in a sentence like she lost her money, did she lose her own money, or that of another woman... makes quite the difference) In english that distinction IS made in sentences like; he loves him/he loves himself. But not for possesion (as far as I know, not my native language)
Here's a conjugation table: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%A4ta#Conjugation
They should allow "her own" to be an acceptable translation, as that is one way to distinguish the reflexive in English.
But if someone asks you "what is she eating?", would you really say "an open sandwich" instead of just "a sandwich"? Compare Google results, for instance:
- "eating a sandwich": over three million hits
- "eating an open sandwich": thirty hits
I really don't think it should be accepted, even though obviously correct.