https://www.duolingo.com/Ali.Zeineddine93

Joining words together

When do you join two words together in swedish? Is there a rule for this? Or there exist a number of words that are joined?

What I mean is: - Midsommarnatt - Ostsmörgås - ...

Why not? : - Midsommars natt - Smörgås (med, på, av) ost (I don't know which is the proper proposition here)

3 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush
Hashmush
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I can't answer this completely, so I'll comment on your examples.

In both cases you have a noun describing a noun and in that case you can't write them separately. (In English you would)

Ostsmörgås, fotbollsplan, språkkurs etc.

In English you'd write: cheese sandwich, football field, language course

Sometimes, the word you would create might carry a different meaning. In that case, you might need to take a detour and explain the word in a different way. Here's an example: Let's say that someone built an ice hotel. This hotel has a hallway. The Swedish word is hall. Since it's made of ice, is, you'd probably call it an ishall. But that's something else entirely.

Did that answer your question?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ali.Zeineddine93

Yeah, what I got is that you join words together when you have a noun describing another noun. Sounds reasonable for me... Thanks :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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I've only just started with Swedish, but I'd assume that it's the same as in German- if a number of words are used to express a single concept, they are compounded into a single noun.

For instance: 'bomull' in Swedish and 'Baumwolle' in German translate literally as 'tree-wool', but stick them together and you get 'cotton'.

Without the compounding, I'd guess that 'midsommars natt' would just mean any night in mid-summer, whereas the compound refers to Midsummer's Eve, the festival.

I'm afraid it'll take somebody with a little more experience than me to give you some hard rules, though.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skalpadda

Yep, this is correct. Many Swedes get this wrong now and then as well, and it can lead to some pretty weird changes in meaning, such as gift orm = married snake, as opposed to giftorm = venomous snake.

Smörgås med ost is a perfectly acceptable way of saying sandwich with cheese, but for the concept of a cheese sandwich you'd have to use ostsmörgås.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush
Hashmush
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The changes in meaning usually happens when you have homonyms. In your case, giftorm = noun + noun, gift orm = past participle + noun. If you want to use gift as in venomous to describe the snake you'd either write it as giftorm or giftig orm.

Nouns describing nouns are always written together, adjectives (or similar) describing nouns are usually not written together.

(Sorry about the rambling, it's 2am. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joel__W
Joel__W
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Well, you can also make compounds of an adjective and a noun. Then you would always use the undeclined form of the adjective. E.g. civilpolis, sjuksköterska, djupdykare, lättfil, tjock-tv. But otherwise you are right I think!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hashmush
Hashmush
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Good point!

3 years ago
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