1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. "Ett brev, flera brev"

"Ett brev, flera brev"

Translation:One letter, several letters

February 10, 2015

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PachaTchernof

I would like to say «thank you» for these sentenses with «Ett… flera…». It's helpfull.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/katt64

Why do I get wrong when I answer "many" instead of "several" for "flera"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HugoCalend

Because, apparently, someone in charge of this section, who is a rigid thinker, is sure that "flera" only equals "several", and saw in OED that several is specifically less than many. Yet, I have spoken both Swedish and English since I was two, and I agree with your translation. So does this wiktionary page: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/flera


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GhislaineF10

I put "many", thinking it was a synonym for several. This was marked wrong, but I was told "more" is correct, not several.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

flera generally translates either to "more" or "several", and we find that it's more confusing to a much larger number of people to accept them as synonyms. We distinguish between many / several and många / flera throughout the course. Making the distinction is far more common than not in both languages, but especially in Swedish, to the extent that most natives will consider flera as a synonym of många plain wrong.

Unlike in Hugo's rudely put assumption, it's not like we decide how things should be and never change them. Things like these are evaluated over and over again. Actually, there are some inconsistencies in the course because we used to treat them as synonyms but stopped doing so because it was detrimental to learners in general.

And in this specific case, it's not like only the OED uses the "more than two but fewer than many" definition. So do Cambridge, Merriam-Webster, and Random House. I didn't bother checking more. MW does list the "many" usage as "chiefly dialectal", which I think sums it up nicely.

Wiktionary is an amazing resource, but far from an absolute authority. In fact, its entries on flera are incorrect in both English and Swedish: flera in the sense of "many" is a pronoun, not an adjective (as claimed by the Swedish page), and not a determiner (as claimed by the English page). When Wiktionary contradicts multiple of the major established traditional dictionaries, I would use caution in adhering to their suggestions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GhislaineF10

Thank you for explaining it to me.

Många hasn't come up yet, but google translate gives "fler" as "more" and "flera" as "several", so, with hindsight, confusing when "more" came up for "flera".

Swedish is still very new to me and I'm sure the way it works will become clearer with time.

Thanks again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fengor

i dont get it either why many isnt accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Al-TahoorB

I was wondering the same thing - in English I would interchangeable use "several" and "many".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RisingErin

Technically, 'many' is used for countable nouns and 'several' for an unspecified number of things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CalliGader

Same!!! I put "many" on instinct, but it is actually "several!" annoying...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flikker1

I typed ,,some" and it was wrong... Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

That'd rather be "några" or "lite".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jstallin

Is this the partitive use, as in some soup, some sugar? If so, then flera seems better translated as some when not referring to a portion, yet several is accepted as the only answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

No, this is just a normal plural.
ett brev, två brev, sextio brev...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnFeileacan78

It sounds like in "brev" the "v" is pronounced as an "m" when the word is at the end of a phrase or sentence. Am I mishearing this or is this true?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

Mishearing. It's a V regardless.


[deactivated user]

    I hear the same...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elin.7-1

    I heard that here and in another sentence. Glad it's not just me. Those two instanced of "brev" in this sentence sounded different.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Osebrand

    I hear the difference, too, and very clearly at that, though to me the pronunciation in the plural sounds more like an "n". Like Elin.7-1, I heard this before in another example sentence with "brev". But I dimly remember that on that earlier example's talk page a native speaker stated that they could not hear the difference.


    [deactivated user]

      Why does the V sound like an M?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MagnusBoiv

      It shouldn't. The V should always make the v-sound.


      [deactivated user]

        Thanks Magnus, did you hear the robot though, it really sounds like an M... so confusing.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RohanSoni8

        Is flera the only word for 'several'?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

        You can say "ett flertal" but that sounds quite formal.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shoppingdude702

        I just found the answer to my question. I.e. brev is an ett word and ends in a consonant, therefore no change or addition for the plural


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Skidbladner

        A good rule but there are exceptions.

        ett salt - salter : a salt - salts

        ett museum - museer : a museum - museums


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreaCisne04

        Why is "brev" twice? Can someone help me?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

        Normally, plural = singular for ett-words where last letter is a consonant. More examples:
        ett djur - två djur (animal)
        ett hus - två hus (house)

        For ett-words where last letter is a vowel, you normally add an n:
        ett äpple - två äpplen (apple)
        ett foto - två foton (photo)

        Example of exceptions:
        ett öga - två ögon (eye)
        ett öra - två öron (ear)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bigswedeej

        I think you mean vowel, not vocal


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SalmanBinHabib

        is bokstav another word for letter? reference: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5886811


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

        Yes, but "bokstav" is a letter of the alphabet :).

        en bokstav - flera bokstäver


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johninbigd

        Confusing. The translation says, "A letter, more letters." I typed "A letter, many letters". I still think I'm right, or at least closer to right than that translation. Or no?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

        more than = "fler än" (or "flera än")
        several = "flera"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dyselxic

        Can flera translate to many


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

        No, not normally. That'd be många. Some dialects do equate several = many, though.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nautic1

        Why is 'ett' used here?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

        Well, some nouns are ett-words and some are en-words and "brev" is an ett-word. The en-words are more common though.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nautic1

        Yeah I see that, is there any pattern to it or do you just have to learn which nouns use which?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

        Normally, you have to learn it separately for each noun.

        You can find some patterns here (in Swedish).


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevenGola

        Why 1 and not "one" is accepted?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arnauti

        One is accepted, it's even the suggested answer as you can see on the top of this page, but Duolingo has the bad habit of sometimes generating answers with 1 wherever we wrote 'one'.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DariaFlo

        Why "a " letter is incorrect?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel

        "a letter" is fine, but your error report says "s letter". I know they're next to each other and that typos can be easy to miss, but please proofread your suggestions before sending in error reports.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hugginsjl

        Is there a difference between a letter in the alphabet and a written paper letter when it comes to using "brev"? /If not, what is the Swedish word for the other?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mesvensson

        A letter of the alphabet = en bokstav (several letters = flera bokstäver)

        A letter (in the mail) = ett brev (several letters = flera brev)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaximilianoVidal

        I wrote... One letter, many letters. Why not "many"?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/devalanteriel
        • several = flera
        • many = många

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen874691

        There us a fine line between 'A' letter and 'The' letter in English and this is not clear here. Yet the system condemns 'The'


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmrzlina

        Ett brev = a letter. Not "the letter", that would be "brevet".

        Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.