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?
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
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
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.
ok thanks...that makes sense. So a simple example might be "den vita hästen" versus "hästen är vit".
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.
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.
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."
The black duck says "quack!" to that. :) [ Den svarta ankan säger "quack!" (maybe have that right? De or Den? ]
what disturbs me is "den" in the sentence, why not say " vargen äter svarta ankan, as we speak here of a definite noun (ankan)?
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!
What if is "the dogs are black" it would still be "hunden är svart" ? Or it would be svarta?
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.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean - svarta is the definite form, it's "the" duck that's being eating. Not an indefinite.
I thought svarta is the plural form. ?
And it looks as though I misread an earlier comment, and I thought svarta was indefinite.
Yes, but it's the norm for Swedish adjectives to have the same word form for the plural as for the definite.
svart is the indefinite form so I assume the sentence was about an indefinite then.
I tried to translate the sentence in google translate, and den svarta ankan apparently means The black widow...
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.
You made it clear not only for native English speakers but as well for those who learn both English and Swedish ;)
Is it correct to say "Vargen äter de svarta anka"? So you use "de" instead of "den"?
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.
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"
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.
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?
Yes, that's correct - the definite doesn't change, and it's usually the same as the plural, for all adjectives.