This is a problem with multiple sentences in the Swedish course. The effect on native English speaker ears ranges from mild to truly jarring, depending on whether the particular comparative under scrutiny is ever actually heard minus the first as.
Thin as a pen is therefore an egregious example, because no native English speaker would ever say it. Reading it now for the first time, it inevitably parses as thin, like a pen, which is not the same thing as to be as thin as a pen.
Hi Veritas41. I was intrigued by your comment and checked the on-line Spanish Dic. It gives only plural for noodles: -fideos- or -tallarines-. For the expression it gives -Está flaca como un palillo-. What is your Spanish expression? Apologies to people looking for Swedish.
the word ...fideo exists in singular as each single piece of a noodle package and also means a skinny person . There is a famous Argentinian footballer ---Di María who is called .." el Fideo", you can look at a photo of him and you will see how skinny he is. I highly recommend you to consult www.rae.es/. which is the official royal institution responsible for overseeing the Spanish language and use its dictionary.
Hon är en slända person.
I wonder if "smal som en penna" is a common Swedish expression for being thin. If that is the case then I think the translation should be something like "As thin as a rake" In Dutch we would say "graatmager" which literally translated is "fiskbensmal" or "fiskbenmager" and that would be "fish bone thin" in English