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Keeps tripping me up- help please!

Hi guys,

I'm really having trouble with ett and en with Swedish...can't remember being told how to tell which one to use and haven't figured it out for myself yet so thought I'd take the easy option and ask! How do you know which one to use?


January 23, 2015



I was really confused by this at first.

Ett is the neutral gender. En is the general gender. Same difference between un and una in Spanish!

You just have to memorize them. They're the genders of the nouns. So, it is always ett äpple and it is always en hund.

Ett and en both mean "a/an" in English.

  • En flicka = a girl
  • En kvinna = a woman
  • En man = a man
  • En elefant = an elephant
  • Ett ägg = an egg
  • Ett kaffe = a coffee
  • Ett kött = a meat

There's no shortcut for which is which. You just have to memorize it. :D


For the record my Swedish is terrible so I may have made slight errors, but the general information I gave was correct. XD

It gets more confusing when you have to add the "en" or "et" to the end of a noun. Flickan = the girl, kvinnan = the woman, ägget = the egg, köttet = the meat. Then again, although it is annoying to learn, it's a lot more simpler to say "hunden" instead of "the dog". :D


A majority of nouns seem to be general form nouns. I've just learned verbs so I'm not too far and I don't know if its true for more words.


Most nouns are en-words, yes.

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