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The definite form of brand names

So in my native language the definite system is exactly the same, we dont have the word 'the' either, instead we change each word just like in swedish

(en bok ->boken) in my language -> telefoni -> telefonin

And here comes my question, how would it be in swedish if i were to say the iphone? the coca cola? or any other brand. Would it become iphonen/iphonet or coca colan/coca colat?

In my language everything changes ,which i find extremely irritating, I hate it, it does not feel right to change the name of a brand. I hope this doesnt happen in swedish

/ My rant is over :p

March 4, 2015



Yeah, mostly it goes to '-en.' If it were to change to '-et,' I would think it's because of the ingrained phonetic patterns that lead Swedes to intuitively know if something is neutrum or utrum in the first place.

iPhone becomes iPhonen just as 'telefon' also changes to 'telefonen;' they're utrum. As you probably know, most words are utrum anyway, so it's generally the default.

When a brand name is used with neutrum (-et), it's usually because it ends in a word that is neutrum in Swedish already. For instance, 'plexiglass' in Swedish is 'plexiglas,' and is declined as 'plexiglaset' since 'glas' is declined to 'glaset' too.


Totally got it, very easy for me to adopt this, since it is how my language works


Good answer. Still there is something puzzeling going on. For example, I think game consoles tend to become ett-words. It is nintendot and, in my opinion, playstationet and xboxet even though station and box are en-words.


Good eye. It's because modern loanwords in general tend to become ett-words at a higher ratio than non-loanwords. And the reason for that is likely that foreign words may be slightly harder to fit into the en-word conjugational format.

I say Xboxen myself, but either way is fine. :)


Well, I am sorry but I'm afraid I'm going to make you very disappointed, then. :)

One of the major features of Swedish (and indeed of English) is the ability to very easily change or conjugate words. This makes loaning words from other languages simple, especially when compared to languages such as Icelandic or French, both of which have far more rigorous rules they need to fit the new words to.

And since Swedish also uses agglutinative definiteness, we're kind of forced to use "iPhonen" or "Coca-Colan". I wouldn't consider this changing the brand name. The iPhone is still there - much like it is in English. The difference is that when English puts a "the " in front of the word, we put an "n" or a "t" after.

It's usually "n", but it might be "t" occasionally. Not sure if this follows any outspoken rules, or if it's just a learned ability Swedish speakers share without realising it.


Ouch, I think I'm living a nightmare, I was making fun of that my entire life and now here it is again!

At least you dont change the names right? like Sven - Svenen? That also happens in my language, I cant really explain it in English because there's not such thing as 'The Sven is playing' but it is normal here


Nope, that we don't. I mean, we do use nicknames, of course, but not like you describe.

It's funny you chose "Svenen" as an example, as "svennen" is a slang term for a stereotypical Swede. :)


Ok that's something:) Haha chose Sven because it's my favorite swedish name out of the three I know


No, Swedish doesn't decline names, except for genitive/possessive. You're welcome, haha. 'Sven is playing' just becomes 'Sven lekar.' 'Sven's plaything' -- 'Svens leksak', so there you see the genitive case, but it's just made by adding an s (without an apostrophe like in English).

@devalanteriel Having learned Swedish for several years now, I can't tell why either; you internalize it after a while as with any language. None of the Swedish speakers in my family can tell me why something is -en or -et either.


I think Swedes default to "-en" when using words directly from English and others.

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