"Det lilla barnet"

Translation:The small child

December 14, 2014

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hahhhah I was gonna translate it like The purple kid....


I translated it like that! (And thought it was a Game of Thrones thing.)


Me too... Though its easyer when you remember "little"


Seems so strange that it's barnet instead of barn. I'm sure it will make more sense the more I learn.


ett barn = a child • ett litet barn = a small child • barnet = the child • det lilla barn = the small child

To make a noun definite when there is no adjective, you simply attach the definite suffix (-en, -et, etc.). When there is an adjective, you have to do three things:

  1. use the appropriate definite article (den, det, or de)
  2. use the definite form of the adjective (usually identical to the plural form, but in the case of 'liten' the definite singular form is 'lilla', while the plural form [definite or indefinite] is 'små')
  3. attach the definite suffix (-en, -et, etc.)

Hope that helps.


You have a typo in your list for det lilla barnet.


Killing it, son! The pupil teaches the teacher!


How do I give you Lingots?


It is helpful, thanks. This concept, however, is tricky for us English speakers. The way it's written, it appears to say "The small the child." So, if someone had asked me to guess how to say "The small child" in Swedish, I would initially have guessed "Det lilla barn."


Why isn't it 'det lilet barnet?' Is it because it's definite? Would it be 'ett lilet barn?'


Yes, the definite form of liten is lilla. Ett litet barn - Det lilla barnet.


Thanks a million!


Is there a rule that explains when det and den mean 'the' or 'it'?


Seems to be 'the' when there's an adjective between 'the' and the definite noun, I seemed to have missed that explanation somewhere.


oh my god I literally translated it as the purple child and got it wrong!!! I wasn't even thinking.


Små vs lilla? What is the difference? Thank you!


små is the plural. It's an irregular adjective. The whole paradigm looks like this:

en liten mus 'a little mouse'
ett litet hus 'a little house'
små hus 'small houses'

den lilla musen 'the small mouse'
det lilla huset 'the small house'
de små husen 'the small houses'

musen är liten 'the mouse is small'
huset är litet 'the house is small'
husen är små 'the houses are small'


why can't you say: huset ar små


Thank you Arnauti,


AWESOME explanation! Thanks so much!


I’ve got books on swedish grammar, spent 10 struggling on adverbs (only because of ‘little’ the rest was fine) on duolingo but this is the best explanation I have seen on this.



Does 'lille' also exist? I thought there were two options when you use 'small' with definite nouns: 'lilla' and 'lille'. Is this true and if so when do you use which one?


Isn't "det" supposed to be used only when the noun is plural and you have an adjective? I'm confused T_T


It's used when a definite noun also has an adjective describing it, regardless of number.


Arent little and small same thing? This make no sense. I am angry


How come "the" is said twice? In my head i read The small the child... How come you cant say Lilla barnet or Det lilla barn?


It's called double (or even triple) definiteness. You can tell that the phrase is definite from the front article, the adjective, and the noun ending. This is how nouns work with adjectives in general in Swedish. It's hard to give a real "reason" for it but you can think of it as a sort of harmony between the words. Also, redundancy is typical of natural languages, which is practical in many communication situations where you may not hear everything clearly.


Heh not to be confused with lila


Why is "The small children" not valid (plural)?

Is there a clue / giveaway that makes this definitely singular?


Doesn't sound like Det, more like Du.


Hey guys, i have a question here; for instance i know that små means little in the plural form, but my doubt here is: Then what do lilla and lite mean? are they different? Is it the same whichever you use? Thx :)


Thank you Ezkertia! I didn't understand the use of lilla! Big Help! I give you 5 Lingots


Why is there a det here? Is there always an extra word before adjectives even if swedish has the "the" already in the word itself?


How can I distinguish lila and lilla in listening exercises?


OH i tried to translate it and i got the purple child but i see the trasnlation xD

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