Swedish Definite Article Question.
So this was in the tips for the animals section:
Hmm... did you spot the definite article at the end? Looks a bit strange, doesn't it? One would have expected "fågelen" and "spindelen". Well, to be honest, you can - in some Swedish regions (in the South for instance).
The en-word endings –el, –en, –er and –ar are very hungry endings so they eat up the following -e-, leaving us with only a consonant.
So is this talking about definite singular? I am wondering because it says that the en-word ending -en "Eats up" the following -e-, leaving only a consonant. but that would mean that en öken (a desert) would be ökenn as definite singular, when it is actually öknen.
It is, but I think there are some exceptions, like vatten- vattnet and socker-sockret
First, words ending with -en in the indefinite form are not so common in Swedish. But you always want to avoid ending a word with "nn" in the definite form.
You either do that like with öken, where you change the order of the letters from "öken" to "öknen" or by keeping the -e- like with the word "gren" (meaning branch) which becomes "grenen" in the definite form.
To be honest I don't know exactly why it is so, but it probably has something to do with the pronunciation just like you say. Grnen would be very hard for Swedish people to pronounce at all! :)
Most words with that I can think of are in the same category as 'gren' actually. Scen - scenen, ren - renen, en - enen, ven - venen and so on...
Some words with -en in the indefinite are also "t-gender" such as: ben - benet, men - menet, sken - skenet...
Aren't the exceptions like this:
1. For en-nouns and ett-nouns ending in unstressed -en, the "e" from the indefinte form should be dropped before adding definite ending:
en öken - öknen (desert)
ett vapen - vapnet (weapon)
vatten - vattnet (water)
socker - sockret (sugar)
2. For en-nouns ending in unstressed -el or -er, the "e" from the definite ending should be dropped:
en fågel - fågeln (bird)
en fjäder - fjädern (feather)
3. For ett-nouns ending in unstressed -el or -er, the "e" from the indefinte form should be dropped before adding definite ending -et:
ett exempel - exemplet (example)
ett finger - fingret (finger)