"There are several bakeries in the small town."

Translation:Det finns flera bagerier i den lilla staden.

April 2, 2015

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I do not understand why it is "lilla staden" instead of "liten staden". I've been confused by liten vs lilla before, can anyone help?


Lilla is the irregular definite form of liten. You also have to show that the noun is definite in the adjective. So it’s en liten stad but den lilla staden.


That makes sense, tack!


So is liten the regular definite or the indefinite form? I still do not understand


‘liten’ is the singular indefinite form for use with common gender nouns (‘en’ words).

Most adjectives have distinct forms for singular common gender indefinite and singular neuter (‘ett’ words) indefinite, and then a shared form that is used both for definite forms, and for plurals. For ‘regular’ adjectives, the neuter indefinite form is formed by either replacing the final consonant with a ‘t’ or ‘tt’, or by adding a ‘t’ if it normally ends with an ‘l’, while the plural/definite form is usually formed by adding an ‘a’ to the end, and possibly shifting the final consonant if it would normally end in an ‘l’ (see gammal/gammalt/gamla for an example of the rules with a final ‘l’).

Liten/litet/lilla is a bit special because it has different plural and definite forms (the plural is ‘små’, while the definite is ‘lilla’).

So, with an ‘en’ word you have:

  • A little cat = en liten katt
  • The little cat = den lilla katten
  • Little cats = små katter
  • The little cats = de små katterna

While with an ‘ett’ word you have:

  • A little house = ett litet hus
  • The little house = det lilla huset
  • Little houses = små hus
  • The little houses = de små husen


So a definite article appears before an adjective. I noticed that pattern but never confirmed it. So if I was saying the blue wolf it would be Den blå vargen?


Den blåa vargen. Definite articles use the plural form of the adjective.


Technically, they use the definite form, which is usually (but not always) identical to the plural. Also, "blå" and "blåa" are both acceptable plural/definite forms of "blå".


Why den lilla stan is not accepted here?


Interesting question. Maybe "stan" is only accepted in set expressions like "gamla stan"?


It told me den lilla stan was the correct way when i made the mistake of saying den lilla stad


Why is the indefinite plural of bageri "bagerier" while it's still an ett-word? Shouldn't it be "bageri"?


The rule is that neuters ending in a consonant go like this: ett hus, huset; hus, husen
but the ones that end in a vowel are like this: ett äpple, äpplet; äpplen, äpplena.


Thx, Arnauti :)

Maybe it's childish to go on like this, but following your rule it should be "bagerien"?


You're right. I have a faint memory of having heard some additional rule for this, but I just can't remember it right now. We'll have to hope someone else comes by and sorts it out. :)


The rule you cite is for neuter nouns ending in an unstressed vowel; neuter nouns ending in a stressed vowel typically have a plural ending in -er.


@Arnauti and @as2907: I asked my Swedish teacher today in the university and she answered that the conjugation of "ett bageri" is completely irregular/ oregelbunda ;)


I think neuter nouns ending in (stressed) -eri belong to the 3rd declension.


Thx, I look it up, if I can find something in the internet :)


Like those ending for instance in -eum (museum) -i (parti) -ium (observatorium)


Shouldn't it accept "den lilla stan"?


"Stan" is mostly used in set expressions, like "gamla stan" the old city and "i stan" in town.


Det här kanske är slang från min sida, men "flera bageri" känns som det mest naturliga för mig att säga, flera bagerier känns jätteklumpigt. En snabb googling verkar visa att jag inte är ensam i att säga så. Borde det räknas som rätt?


Is it possible to use byen here instead of staden.


That would be village. Would be understood as even smaller than a small city.


I tried inputting "små staden" but it got corrected to "småstaden". Is that something idiomatic?


"Små" is only plural, but, apparently, it can be used to make compound nouns.


I thought the plural of an ett bagerie.. would be bagerien. not er. Is this just an irregular word.


Not really. All neuter nouns ending in -eri, -eum, -ium, -i belong to the third declension, not to the fifth. It's "bageri", btw.


Quite a few others have asked, but shouldn't "Stan" be accepted here? My swedish teacher said that very few people would bother saying staden in most contexts.


See Lundgren8's entry above.


Why is "Det är flera bagerier..." not accepted?

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