Use ett finger. It's very much more common. (I've never even heard of anyone saying "en finger".)
Yeah, that's where my confusion originally came from: There was that one sentence Barnen räknar på fingarna but then I saw this sentence and wasn't completely sure anymore. But that clears up a lot of questions. Thanks to the both of you :)
I think it works the same way with "paraply". Both genders are accepted, but most people say "ett paraply" but still use the utrum plural "flera paraplyer".
But so far I thought this rule only applies to substanives that end with a long vowel. Like ett batteri, batteriet, batterier, batternierna. Or paraply for that matter. I know ett-words tend to be a real pain in the bottom because 1. you have the "regular" ones (hus, huset, hus, husen) 2. those that end with a long vowel as showed above and 3. those that end with a short vowel (ett äpple, äpplet, äpplen, äpplena) . And then there are en-words which are 99% regular. At least that's what I wrote down on my sticky in my vocabulary-booklet. I guess ett-words will always be black magic to me :D
Ha ha, it seems like you know the rules better than I do :). I just know if it sounds good or bad, but I am sure you're right about the paraplyyy/batteriii rule.
Neither have I, but I was curious, so I checked SAOB:
Ehuru av maskulint genus redan i fsv. träffas ordet ända fram mot början av 1800-talet jämförelsevis sällan i till detta genus hörande böjningsformer. Numera föredrages (utom i bet. 3) över hela Sv., säväl i tal som skrift, i pl. formen fingrar. I sg. däremot behandlas ordet, åtminstone i skrift, över stora delar av landet fortfarande normalt ss. n. Dock synes böjningen (en) finger, best. fingern, vilken företrädesvis tillhör Götaland alltmera vinna terräng. Icke sällan förekommer i en o. samma persons tal såväl fingern som fingret.
I have no idea when that description was written but it sure wasn't this millenium. :p
Strange. Historically, it’s masculine (cf. the other Germanic languages). The word has remained almost entirely unchanged across the sub-family for at least a couple of millennia, and then went neuter in Swedish.
Do fingers have their own names?
In Portuguese: polegar (thumb, "polegar" related to "polegadas", "inches"), indicador (index - "indicador" could translate as "pointer", too) médio (middle), anelar (ring) and mínimo (pinky).
Or, in reverse (and child-ish) order: "dedo mindinho (some altered version of mínimo, I guess, and this version is also used in "adult" world), seu vizinho (it's - mindinho's - neighbor), pai-de-todos ("father-of-them-all), fura-bolo (cake piercer) e mata-piolho" (flea killer)
Sorry about the who-cares-about-Portuguese-I'm-here-to-learn-Swedish comment, but I just found it interesting and more entertaining than merely asking the names of the fingers. :)
- thumb = tumme
- index finger = pekfinger (lit. pointing finger)
- middle finger = långfinger
- ring finger = ringfinger
- pinky = lillfinger
That phrasing isn’t at all natural in English (at least, not that I’ve ever come across).
One may often come across 'My finger hurts' (I have put one possessive pronoun too many :) ) Would that be acceptable?
That's perfectly fine English and indeed an accepted translation. :)
What is the difference between "Jag har ont i ett finger" and "Jag har ont i fingret"? Can they both be translated as: "My finger hurts", and if so, do they mean exactly the same?
"Ett finger = a finger" and "fingret = the finger". I guess both work, but since you (normally) have ten fingers, "Jag har ont i ett finger" makes more sense :).
It's odd that you would say "ett finger" over "fingret" since "fingret" translates more closely to "my finger". Wouldn't "ett finger" be like saying "I have pain in one finger"? That sounds a little too specific to be a common phrasing.
It's more like "a finger" than "one finger" in this case, with en/ett being able to mean either. I think the loss of idiomatics in translation mostly stems from Swedish prefering to say "have pain in a" while English largely considers that silly.
You have ont, but you feel smärta.
smärt means "slender", though. :)
We're generally reluctant to change POS. In this case, I'd say that's closer to jag har ett smärtsamt finger.
Please have a look at the above comment chain started by Malgosia007.
I think that changes the sentence constituents a bit too much. You could say e.g. jag har ett smärtande finger in Swedish. But I can see the argument going either way.