"I liked his first wife."
Translation:Jag tyckte om hans första fru.
Partly yes. If it had been a masculine word you could have used "förste" instead of "första". However that change of suffix is optional i modern Swedish so you could still user "första man". Första is a counting word and really means "the first ..." it needs something to count that follows.
When it come to först it is a different word than förste/första. I can only think of it as being used after "vara" or "komma" (as in "Jag är först", "Jag var först" or "Jag kom först") or being used when describing the first step in something. "Först går vi till torget" / "Vi går först till torget" / "Vi går till torget först".
It’s because after possessive pronouns, such as ”his” you have to put the adjective/numeral in the definite form.
- Den stora bilen. = The big car.
- Hans stora bil. = His big car.
Först/a works in the same way.
But först is not an adjective. You can't say "En först bil" but you can say "En första bil".
Fair enough, it’s a numeral, but it follows the same rule, does it not? You can say e.g. ”en tredje bil” (albeit indeclinable).
So the 'a' in 'första' must be used with plurals and after possessives?
I wrote "sina första fru" instead of "hans första fru". I know the difference between hans and sin, but I don't quite get why I can't use sin here.
Jag is the subject of the sentence. sin must refer back to the subject of the sentence, and it can only refer back to 'han, hon, de'.
A new word here- husfru. I know it means housewife, but does it have special meaning in swedish? In english it would mean a wife who doesnt work.
hustru means wife, it's just a more formal word for it.
That's an accepted answer, but husfru isn't, because that carries a somewhat different meaning – a 'matron' or possibly 'wife seen as matron', but not a good translation for wife.