Is it more common to use the -a suffix than -en for female definites? On a similar note, is ei preferred over en for those words?
It depends on the region I think. There are three ways to do it:
en kvinne - kvinnen - kvinner - kvinnene
en kvinne - kvinna - kvinner - kvinnene
ei kvinne - kvinna - kvinner - kvinnene
The second one is the one taught in this course.
Takk! Aren't all three taught? Because I get multiple-choice questions now and then that have ei that are the right answer.
Multiple choice questions may have them, as they show many of the alternative translations, even if they're not common.
It also depends on the word. For example, many people (including me) would use -en for “kvinne”, but -a for “jente”. It might be possible to rank words depending on how likely people are to use -a with it. “Ku” is a word where it’s quite common to use -a.
In general it’s more common to use -a endings than to use the article “ei”. That is, everyone who says “ei”, also uses -a with the corresponding noun. Bit it’s also ok to use “en” and still use -a.
Oh - that's a little confusing, but no matter. I wonder how the -a endings came about... Tusen takk!
Very helpful! Id rather just use the neuter or masculine for everything & will since Im american and we like to butcher foreign languages
Both are possible. Usage varies depending on region, personal / political preferences etc. I think more people use the masculine version these days, but you are free to choose.
You should preferably be using the -a ending in feminine nouns, because it will be the most common ending for that word.
So, I know "kua" is "the cow", what would be the indefinite form; "ei kua" or "en kua", or both are acceptable?
"the water" has a different meaning from "water" - in this case, it's talking about the more general "water"