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"Vargen äter den svarta ankan."

Translation:The wolf eats the black duck.

December 27, 2014

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rach_jules

why is it the plural 'svarta' instead of the singular 'svart' here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Svarta (and other -a forms) are used in plural and definite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oh_Stylo

Why is "Hästen är svart" correct for "the horse is black" when "the horse" is a definite, but in the case of this sentence it's "svarta" when "the duck" is definite? Is it just the use of "den" in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UneJamKuqEZi

Whenever it is a predicative adjective (ig. The horse is black.), it is svart, but when it is a descriptive adjective for plurals and/or definites, (ig. The black duck[s].), it is svarta.

Hope that helped! :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian11e

So you are saying that for "The duck is black". Black is svart. But for "The black duck" black is svarta. I think I get it now. Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

Back to (hopefully) get things right, because one month ago me was slightly incorrect. When there's an adjective before the noun in definite form, den and det must be used and the adjective takes the plural form. If the adjective is later in the sentence, it is in singular form and is either en or ett form based on the gender of the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jstnc

ok thanks...that makes sense. So a simple example might be "den vita hästen" versus "hästen är vit".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MicheleFla1

and why is 'a white wine' - 'ett vitt vin' and not 'ett vita vin'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

Because that's an adjective before the noun in indefinite form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

If it's like German, I think it's that "svart" uses the ett style because it's at the end of the sentence as opposed to in front of the noun. At that point, if I'm correct, all the adjectives take an ett form. Google Translate doesn't seem to agree with me, though. I don't see this in the Adj 1 or Adj 2 explanation sections, so if it's a special rule, perhaps it should be added there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jstnc

Think you're probably right...maybe a native speaker could please clarify this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tatianandreeva

This seems to be another common feature between Swedish and Dutch which are not numerous but seem to be somewhere quite deep in the language history.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephenbal4

Why is it "den" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gramphos

When you use an adjective together with the definitive form of a noun you generally need the definitive article den/det before the adjective.

  • "The wolf eats the duck." - "Vargen äter ankan"
  • "I eat the read apple." - "Jag äter det röda äpplet."
  • "I eat the apple." - "Jag äter äpplet."

There are a few exceptions where den/det may be left out.

  • "Jag tar stora vägen till staden." - "I take the large road to the city." (It is till right to say "Jag tar den stora vägen till staden" in this case.
  • Jag tar gröna linjen. - "I take the green line."

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devianart

@gramphos, what is the rule for this exception?
Can we write, "Jag äter röda äpplet" instead of "Jag äter det röda äpplet." OR "Jag läser röda boken" instead of "Jag läser den röda boken" OR "Jag läser röda böckerna" instead of "Jag läser de röda böckerna"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Whenever you have an adjective describing a noun, you also need either an article or a pronoun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devianart

So, formerly or actually there is no exception in this situation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Ah, sorry, I didn't realise the above post was talking about exceptions. It's mostly a few words like hela, nästa that don't take the article. Also, if an adjective is part of the name of a noun, you don't need the article (e.g. högsta domstolen).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grokestray

How do you know when to use det and when to use den? Does it depend on whether the word is an ett word or an en word?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/newduvan

Yes, isn't it like a double "the" in the same sentence to type -den and -ankan?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Triple, actually, since svarta is also the definite form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JMikkola

I think that black duck is actually a crow


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blauerKobold

The black duck says "quack!" to that. :) [ Den svarta ankan säger "quack!" (maybe have that right? De or Den? ]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guppigrace

what disturbs me is "den" in the sentence, why not say " vargen äter svarta ankan, as we speak here of a definite noun (ankan)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amsyarzero

gramphos already commented about this, but the reason we use "den/det" is because there is an adjective before the definite noun.

"Vargen äter ankan" = The wolf eats the duck (no adj.).

"Vargen äter den svarta ankan" = The wolf eats the black duck (adj. before def. noun).

Hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/newduvan

In that sense if I just want to say "black duck" I would say -svårt anka


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

svart anka, yes. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vanessachanice

What if is "the dogs are black" it would still be "hunden är svart" ? Or it would be svarta?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

It'd be "hundarna är svarta".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dddinham

I still don't understand the use of svartA here. That duck certainly seems definite to me. I don't understand how something indefinite could be eaten.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

I'm not entirely sure what you mean - svarta is the definite form, it's "the" duck that's being eating. Not an indefinite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dddinham

I thought svarta is the plural form. ?

And it looks as though I misread an earlier comment, and I thought svarta was indefinite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, but it's the norm for Swedish adjectives to have the same word form for the plural as for the definite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaneV88

I am so confused. Earlier in in this lesson (I'm in level 1) there was a something doing something to a BLACK SINGULAR (I remember that much lol) and it was "svart".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

svart is the indefinite form so I assume the sentence was about an indefinite then.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rogerwtje

I tried to translate the sentence in google translate, and den svarta ankan apparently means The black widow...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

Nah, that's svarta änkan. a and ä are totally different letters.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/onlycookie

It annoys me, that English based services ignore that 'a' and 'ä' (and others) are different letters. To make this clear to English natives - it's like saying 'horse' and 'house' are the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lagolas2010

You made it clear not only for native English speakers but as well for those who learn both English and Swedish ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TiagoPraze1

Is it correct to say "Vargen äter de svarta anka"? So you use "de" instead of "den"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

No, de is the plural of the article. If the wolf eats two ducks, you can say Vargen äter de svarta ankorna. 'The wolf eats the black ducks'. But for one black duck, you can only say den svarta ankan.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TiagoPraze1

Oh, i understand. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sumayyah3030

so if it was 'the black ducks' would it be 'de svarta ankorna' instead of den?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pouncingpuma7

Will you sound dumb if you get the plurals/word genders wromg while speaking?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Maybe if you're an adult native consistently getting basic grammar wrong. Obviously learners have a lot more leeway. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Belldannie

After working on German articles/genders for so long, the introduction of using "den" here gave me whiplash.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ddusica

Ok, hope my conclusion will help. When "the black duck" is subject (predicative) it will be "den svart ankan" but when "the black duck" is object it will be "den svarta ankan". "The black ducks" being subject or object will translate to "de svarta ankorna"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

No, that's not true at all. It's den svarta ankan in both cases, since that's the definite. You're right about the plural version, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ddusica

Thank you! So definite form is all the way "den svarta ankan"? Ex. Den svarta ankan simmar. Do we use the plural of all the adjectives in definite form or it's just the case of color adjectives?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

Yes, that's correct - the definite doesn't change, and it's usually the same as the plural, for all adjectives.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ddusica

Ook, thank you! And do you know where the lessons are? Can't find...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

It's the one called "Definites", I guess. Sixth skill in the tree.

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