"Den lille pojken"

Translation:The small boy

January 8, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Why is it lille for the boy pojken, and lilla for the girl flickan please? They are both 'en words' aren't they? (and singular)


Also, why is it "Den lille pojken" and "Det lilla flickan"? Does the 'den' or 'det' matter? Tack.


Both are en-words, so it is
en liten flicka - den lilla flickan
en liten pojke - den lilla pojken or den lille pojken

"Lille" is a special male form which is optional. It's used a lot in some parts of Sweden and very little in others.


Tack så mycket Helen! Also... I thought that one question had read "Det lilla flickan"? Maybe I mis-read...


Det lilla flickan is not possible :).


Thank you very much Helen, you've been very helpful :)


Does it mean that you can also say "det lille barnet" if the child is a boy? (Referring to an earlier excercise)


No, only 'det lilla barnet' because it is a neuter word.


So this special male form is available for "en" words only. Thanks!


Duolingo told me I was wrong when I put den lilla pojken. Is it because they're using a part of Sweden where it is mandatory? Tack!


No, we accept both equally. Was it a "type what you hear" exercise? Because those need to be entered exactly as spoken.


Why can't you just say "lille pojken"?


If you have an adjective, you need an article before as well.


We use double defiteness in Swedish and you can read it about that here.

The Danes don't use double defiteness by the way, so when we say "det lilla huset" they say "det lille hus" (the small house).


It already say "den" why its need to say pojken instead of pojke....?


See my old post four steps above!


I wonder how would sound "Den lilla lila skjortan" (the little purple shirt). What would the pronunciation difference for "lila" and "lilla"? Thanks in advance


As a general rule, a double consonant after a vowel makes the vowel have a short sound. In this case, the double l after the "i" in "lilla" means the "i" becomes short. In "lila" it's a single l after the "i" and thus the "i" takes a long vowel sound.

There's a very good video on YouTube by AcademiaCervena regarding long and short vowel sounds. It's a complicated video, but I've seen it about three times and I still benefit from it every time I see it.

Hope this has helped mate, have a good one.


Thank you, it really helps


No worries, just be aware that this may not be a hard and fast rule so there could be exceptions, otherwise it'll apply in most cases.


Have found another nice example about almost similar words pronunciation difference: "En vägg på en väg". I can hear the difference clearer here. Huh seems like a lot of work here to speak it correct


Don't worry mate... after a while, you'll get used to whether you need a short or long vowel sound just by exposure to a lot of words.


I put "den lilla pojken" and it was rejected, but having read the comments here, it seems that it should be correct?


As a translation exercise from English to Swedish, sure, and it is. As a type-what-you-hear type exercise, well, she does say lille, not lilla.


Oh okay sorry, think I got a bit carried away there haha.


what does the den do?


It's part of the process of turning a noun from the indefinite form into definite form. As mentioned in previous posts on this thread, Swedish has a property in which the noun in question is made definite "twice" in some sense. Whereas in English we would say "the little boy", in Swedish it's "den lille (or lilla) pojken", which, when translated directly, would be "the little the boy". This isn't necessarily something intuitive, so it's probably best to just accept this as the way that Swedish deals with definites.

By the way, the adjective that describes the noun must also be agreed, where the plural form of the adjective must be used.

For example, if you wanted to describe a house as large, you would say "ett stort hus" (stort being the adjective "stor" agreed in the ett- form). To make that sentence a definite, you'd then have to say "det stora huset", where "stort" has become the definite form "stora"

Hope this has cleared it up a little buddy.


Den lille havfrue (ok, that's Danish but who knows xD)


Do you know that "lilla" in Danish means purple :)? (Compare to Swedish "lila".)


Lilla pojkor, den lilla flickorna, correct? I want to say small boys, the small girls


I think that would be "små pojkar" and "de små flickorna."

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