Fönster: Fönsterna vs Fönstren
I was looking at Fönster on Wiktionary and it has two different forms listed for the plural definite. What's the difference between the two?
I checked SAOL which says:
fönster... ...best. plur. fönstren äv. -na
This means that they recommend "fönstren" but that "fönsterna" is accepted as well.
If they think that two forms are equal, they write el. for "eller" which means "or".
If the first form is preferred over the second, they write äv. for "även" which means "also".
By the way, SAOL means Svenska Akademiens Ordlista and it is the glossary of the Swedish Academy, the ones who award the nobel prize of litterature.
Sorry for nitpicking but SAOL is the glossary and Svenska Akademiens ordbok (SAOB) is the dictionary.
I did look up the translation of ordlista but then I thought that glossary sounded wrong :). Now, after googling glossary, I realize that it is indeed the right word. I will modify my original post!
I don't know the answer here but maybe it's kind of like how a few words in English have more than one plural form in use - octopuses, octopi, octopodes.
Everywhere I look seems to either only list fönstren, or to list both of them with fönstren ahead of fönsterna. A Swedish dictionary entry has them both listed (with fönstren first) and several examples using fönstren but none with fönsterna. This leads me to believe that fönstren is definitely preferred and that fönsterna is either outdated or infrequently used. http://g3.spraakdata.gu.se/saob/show.phtml?filenr=1/77/152.html
"ett fönster" is "a window " the singular indefinite form.
This stays the same for indefinite plural: "fönster "can also be "windows " This is similar to English "a deer" (singular) and "deer" (plural).
fönstret is "the window" the definite form and the definite plural is: fönstren which is "the windows" "The" in Swedish is added to the end of the word. Some nouns get "et" others get "en". Some plural get "na", but as you can see here the neutral nouns that end in "et" in singular get "en" for plural. Be careful, because common nouns can end in "en" for singular and "na for plural. So "en" ending is not enough, you must also know if the word is neutral or common to know if it is singular or plural.
Common words that end in a vowel, keep that vowel and just add 'n', so "flicka" "girl " becomes "flickan" to mean "the girl ", and becomes "flickor" for "girls " and "flickorna" for "the girls " http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/flicka
The wiktionary also shows the genitive forms which are actually the possessive forms, but in Swedish you just add s instead of apostrophe s which is used in English possessive.
Cool, so some dictionaries also accept fönsterna? Thank you HelenCarlsson and albernegiraffe.