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  5. "Hon äter sin smörgås."

"Hon äter sin smörgås."

Translation:She is eating her sandwich.

December 10, 2014



I'm a little confused, what's the difference between sin and sitt? I thought sitt would be feminine and sin would be masculine, or does it have to do with the plural?


Or is it about it being en and ett words??


Exactly, it's about en- and ett-words. So it's sitt hus, sitt paraply, sitt bord but sin hund, sin bil, sin mat. The plural for both en- and -ett-words alike is sina. E.g: Sina barn (singular: sitt barn), sina hus, sina äpplen (singular: sitt äpple). I hope this helps!


Thank you! This helps a lot, I got a little confused when I saw sina in there as well so thanks for clearing that up for me too! :)


That's normal :) but don't worry, all in all Swedish grammar is pretty easy when compared to other European languages. There are only a few particularities, but most of it is regular.


I still don't get it. :/


This is fantastic. Thanks.


Is their a way to distinguish between ett and en words ? Or do i have to just memorize them ?


By level 7 you should know :) There are a few helpful general guidelines, but in the end you have to memorize them.


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?


Or does hennes mean her [who isn't the subject]?


Yes, the latter, Hon äter hennes smörgås means that the sandwich she is eating is not her own, but some other female person's sandwich. So it's unambiguous in Swedish. sin always points back to the subject in the same clause.


Right so if you wanted to say that she is eating "his" sandwich, you would have to say "Hon äter hans smörgås"? As we have already started with "Hon," and "sin" is reflexive, in this case "sin" can never be his or its? Tack.


Can somebody help me? When we use 'sin', 'sina', 'sitt'? And when 'din', 'dina', 'ditt', 'er', 'ert' and 'era'?


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.


it helps a lot, thanks


just so i get it clear you can't use sin as his because the first word of the sentence is hon, so if I want to say she eats his sandwich i'd have to say hon äter hans smörgås?


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.

To clarify.....
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!


I tried "she eats their sandwich." Why is this grammatically incorrect?


sin always refers back to the subject, – meaning that the thing is being 'owned' by the subject of the sentence. When she is the subject, it will have to be her in English. If she is eating their sandwich, we would say Hon äter deras smörgås.


Just as clarification; I used "sin" on a masculine sentence and it works on a feminine sentence. Is 'sin' both genders?


Yes, and for plural too: sin can refer back to han, hon, and de.


Is there any way to remember the en-words from the ett-words? Or would one have to memorize the words with their article? I personally find it rather difficult to put the right possessive pronoun with their word because I forget which article the noun takes. :/


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.


There's no other way than to learn every noun together with its gender. There are some general rules to help with that, but otherwise it's a must.


Whats the difference between sin, sina and sitt?


Metlieb answered this earlier. Sin is used for en-words, while sitt is used for ett-words. Sina is used if the noun is a plural. I.e., "sitt hus," and "sitt paraply," but "sin hund," and "sin mat," then when the noun is plural, "Sina barn" and "sina äpplen."


Is 'sin' pronunciated as "gin"?


The combination R+S makes a SH-sound.


The reason this is sin and not sitt is because it is a female and not a male? Or is it sin and not sitt because sandwich is a feminine noun?


Read the previous comments; we've already discussed the difference between using "sin," "sitt," and "sina." Quick Recap: sin is used for en-words, while sitt is used for ett-words.


Okay, thank you! I did read through the discussion, I guess I don't understand it fully but I will keep practicing.


I don't understand how sin can be used for a woman but also for a man


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)


I am having problems with determining the verb tense for ater. Is there a way to know if it is present tense- is eating, or past tense- ate, or for that matter, future tense - will eat?


I hope this can be helpful to anyone:

"Hon äter sin smörgås" -- She eats her own sandwich (She's eating a sandwich she either made or bought, anyhow the sandwich belongs to her)

"Hon äter hennes smörgås" - She eats her sandwich ( She is eating another girl's sandwich)

[deactivated user]

    They should allow "her own" to be an acceptable translation, as that is one way to distinguish the reflexive in English.


    That would rather be sin egen in Swedish however. You can add the ’own’ in English if you want to emphasize that it’s really her own. However, sin is the non-emphasized version and corresponds better to just her.


    is 'sin' and 'sitt' prononced as though it has a 'sh' sound and 'sina' without?


    No, s can turn into a retroflex when the previous word ends in an r, depending on your dialect.


    I was taught smörgås meant “open sandwich”.


    It usually is, but that's not a requirement. And most people would just translate it as sandwich anyway.


    Yes, but "open sandwich" should be accepted. It wasn't.


    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.


    Why would it be "Hon ater sin smorgas" over "Hon ater hennes smorgas"?



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