"Staden ligger i södra Sverige."

Translation:The city is in southern Sweden.

December 16, 2014

This discussion is locked.


When do you use södra vs söder?


Southern = södra. South = söder.


Oh god I can't even make this distinction in English


Can anyone tell me if there are words that specifically identity 'town' and 'city' separately, or are they referred to as the same thing? Thanks.


Well, that depends on how technical you want to get with the definitions, and what you mean by town and by city.

En stad refers to a city. For small cities, you can say småstad if you want to point out that it's small. The other way around with storstad (lit. "big city") works as well.

En by is a (little) village, but rarely used these days. It's very rural in its meaning.

We also have the word tätort which translates quite well to conurbanation. It's defined by Statistics Sweden as an area with as least 200 inhabitants, no more than 200 meters between houses and no more than 50 per cent summer houses.


We still have the -by suffix in place names here in England, such as Rugby, where the sport was invented, damn vikings!


Thank you! Here in Britain 'city' is a specific term for the largest settlements (or, if you get technical, somewhere officially granted city status, usually with a Cathedral or University). Towns can be big, but they are sort of the mid-point between villages and cities - I had no idea whether or not the same specifics apply in other countries, so thank you!


I think the word town is kind of specific to English. I don't think it exists in lots of languages. It's always hard for people who learn English to really understand what it is.


It's about the size. In the US we use the terms "town" for a smaller community, and "city" for a bigger one. "Small Town America" evokes a certain rural experience as opposed to the "Big City", like NYC or LA. Most people actually live in suburbs in the US now, which get less dense as go out from the metropolitan center.


As I understand it (growing up in New England), a town and city are not necessarily demarked by population, but by system of government, so it is possible to have a city that is smaller than a town.

The primary (if not only) difference, is that a town has a board of selectman, and a city has a mayor.

I chuckle to myself when I hear people talking about their "small towns" with populations of over 30,000, while there is only one city (or town) within an hour's drive from me with a population over 15,000 (It boasts 23,000).


Why isn't southern sweden accepted?


If you take a look at the top of this discussion, you can see that the suggested answer is The city is in southern Sweden. Maybe there was something else amiss in your answer?


I still dont understand why not the city is in south of Sweden


English requires the definite for that construction.


When to use södra vs sydlig??


Wiktionary says that 'sydlig' is a Norwegian word. Are you perhaps getting them mixed up?


No, sydlig is a word in Swedish as well. For instance:

  • En sydlig vind sveper över Sverige = A south wind is sweeping over Sweden
  • Huset är sydligt beläget = The house is in a southward location

The differences are far from obvious, but the general rules are these:

  • syd or söder is a noun (or sometimes an adverb - you can probably skip that sense)
  • södra is an adjective, but it only really works with plurals and definites
  • sydlig is an adjective, it works with everything using normal patterns but it's less common and typically less idiomatic


Thank you. Would you say 'sydlig' is archaic?


Not at all, but it's generally uncommon outside established terminology, and rare in informal speech.


I understand now. :)


Hi, I’m having a bit of trouble getting directions correct. Södern - the south, Västern - the west (makes sense!) Norr - the north, öst - the east? I don’t understand? I know Norden means Scandinavia but would it not also mean “the north” and I don’t think Östern is a word? Does anyone know? Thanks for reading.


Norden means Nordic or Northern. Skandinavien means Scandinavia.

Scandinavia refers to the 3 countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Nordic refers to Scandinavia plus Finland, Iceland, and associated areas like Åland, Greenland, etc.

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