Dialogue - Swedish

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Vocabulary

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min my, mine
mitt my
att ta to take
mamma mamma, mom
vad what
att se to see
där there
biologibok biology book
att ligga to be, to lay
pennskrin pencil case

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson is to Learn How to Express Ownership
Har du sett mitt pennskrin?

"Have you seen my pencil box?"

 


 

 

The purpose of this lesson is to learn how to express ownership. Expressing ownership can of course be done in many different ways. But in this lesson, we'll focus on how to use the pronouns min and mitt correctly. Both min and mitt were used by Anna in this lesson's dialog when expressing ownership. Let's have a look.

Examples from this dialogue:

  1. Mamma, har du sett min biologibok?
    "Mom, have you seen my biology book?"
  2. Har du sett mitt pennskrin?
    "Have you seen my pencil case?"

As you might have noticed from the sentences presented above, both the pronouns min and mitt correspond to the English pronoun "my." This leads us to the question: Why do we sometimes use min and sometimes mitt if they both correspond to "my"? The difference between min and mitt has to do with the noun that they are referring to. In Swedish, nouns are either common gender nouns or neuter gender nouns. Common gender nouns are sometimes referred to as en-nouns since the prefix en- precedes them.

Examples of en-nouns or common gender nouns are:

  1. en biologibok
    "a biology book"
  2. en mamma
    "a mom"
  3. en hund
    "a dog"

Neuter gender nouns are, on the other hand, sometimes referred to as ett-nouns since the prefix ett precedes them.

Examples of ett-nouns or neuter gender nouns are:

  1. ett pennskrin
    "a pencil case"
  2. ett hus
    "a house"
  3. ett barn
    "a child"

In Swedish there are, unfortunately, no rules for how to tell the common gender nouns and the neuter gender nouns apart. So a good thing to do is to always try to memorize the nouns that you learn as either an ett-noun or en-noun.

Now let's return to how to express ownership with the help of min and mitt. We'll use a simple sentence structure such as Det är min/mitt + [noun] ("It's my [noun]") to exemplify how to express ownership, depending on whether it's a common or neuter gender noun in its singular indefinite form you are actually referring to. We'll look at how to do that when we want to refer to common gender nouns (en-nouns) such as en biologibok ("a biology book"), en mamma ("a mom"), and en hund ("a dog"). Because we want to refer to common gender nouns (en-noun), we have to use the pronoun min. Let's look at some examples:

  1. Det är min biologibok.
    "It's my biology book."
  2. Det är min mamma.
    "It's my mom."
  3. Det är min hund.
    "It's my dog."

Now, if we instead want to express ownership by referring to a neuter gender noun such as ett pennskrin ("a pencil case"), ett hus ("a house"), and ett barn ("a child"), you'll have to use the pronoun mitt ("my"). Let's illustrate this with some examples:

  1. Det är mitt pennskrin.
    "It's my pencil case."
  2. Det är mitt hus.
    "It's my house."
  3. Det är mitt barn.
    "It's my child."

Cultural Insights

Education in Sweden


The Swedish education system consists of nine years of compulsory comprehensive school, or grundskola as it's referred to in Swedish. After grundskolan, you have the Swedish counterpart of high school, which in Swedish is known as gymnasieskola. There are a large variety of different programs offered to the students who start gymnasiet. These programs are both of a practical, as well as of a more theoretical nature, and while some will provide the students with an education that they can put into use directly after graduating, others are more designed to be a stepping stone to further studies at university. The education offered at Swedish high schools is voluntary, but most Swedish youth still attend. In fact, statistics show that as many as ninety percent start high school, but quite a few drop out or graduate with grades that are too poor to get accepted to universities or colleges.

 

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Engla: Hej allihopa! I’m Engla.
Gabriella: Hi everyone, I’m Gabriella. Welcome to SwedishPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 1 - Where Is All My Swedish Stuff? In this lesson, you’ll learn how to express ownership.
Engla: Yes, and the conversation takes place at the Olsson family’s home.
Gabriella: It’s between Anna and her mother Kerstin, and they're using informal Swedish because they're family.
DIALOGUE
Anna: Mamma, har du sett min biologibok?
Kerstin: Den ligger på köksbordet.
Anna: Där är den ju! Har du sett mitt pennskrin?
Kerstin: Nej. Jens kanske har tagit det.
Anna: Va? Inte nu igen!
Kerstin: Jo. Jag såg honom med det i morse.
-With English Translation-
Anna: Mamma, har du sett min biologibok?
Gabriella: Mom, have you seen my biology book?
Kerstin: Den ligger på köksbordet.
Gabriella: It's on the kitchen table.
Anna: Där är den ju! Har du sett mitt pennskrin?
Gabriella: There it is! Have you seen my pencil case?
Kerstin: Nej. Jens kanske har tagit det.
Gabriella: No. Maybe Jens has taken it.
Anna: Va? Inte nu igen!
Gabriella: What? Not again!
Kerstin: Jo. Jag såg honom med det i morse.
Gabriella: Yes. I saw him with it this morning.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Gabriella: Seems like Anna is in a hurry to get to school!
Engla: Yes, it sure seems like it.
Gabriella: Tell me Engla, what is Swedish high school like?
Engla: Well, before entering high school, all Swedish children go to what we call grundskola, which is basically nine years of compulsory comprehensive school.
Gabriella: I see, and then you start high school?
Engla: Yes, or gymnasiet, as we call it.
Gabriella: But that isn’t mandatory is it?
Engla: No, it’s not, but up to 90 percent of all Swedish youth go to high school. However, quite a few drop out, or don’t get good enough grades to go to university.
Gabriella: Ah...what kind of subjects do you study in Swedish high school then?
Engla: There are several different programs that focus on different things. Some of them are more theoretical, and aim to prepare you for further study in higher education.
Gabriella: And are there more practical programs as well?
Engla Yes, you also have programs that will educate you in a specific profession, so you'll be ready to start working as soon as you've graduated.
Gabriella: It sounds like a good system.
VOCAB LIST
Gabriella: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is…
Engla: mamma [natural native speed]
Gabriella: mamma, mom
Engla: mamma [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: mamma [natural native speed]
Engla: att se [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to see
Engla: att se [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: att se [natural native speed]
Engla: min [natural native speed]
Gabriella: my, mine
Engla: min [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: min [natural native speed]
Engla: mitt [natural native speed]
Gabriella: my
Engla: mitt [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: mitt [natural native speed]
Engla: biologibok [natural native speed]
Gabriella: biology book
Engla: biologibok [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: biologibok [natural native speed]
Engla: att ligga [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to be, to lay
Engla: att ligga [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: att ligga [natural native speed]
Engla: pennskrin [natural native speed]
Gabriella: pencil case
Engla: pennskrin [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: pennskrin [natural native speed]
Engla: där [natural native speed]
Gabriella: there
Engla: där [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: där [natural native speed]
Engla: att ta [natural native speed]
Gabriella: to take
Engla: att ta [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: att ta [natural native speed]
Engla: vad [natural native speed]
Gabriella: what
Engla: vad [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Engla: vad [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Engla: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we are going to talk about is the Swedish word for “mom.”
Gabriella: How do you say that in Swedish?
Engla: Mamma
Gabriella: Is this a word that's used a lot?
Engla: Yes, it is the most common word.
Gabriella: Isn’t there another word as well?
Engla: Yes, we also have morsan, which is very informal.
Gabriella: And is that used often?
Engla: Some people use it, but I wouldn't recommend you to use it, because some people think it’s too casual or even rude.
Gabriella: I see. What’s the next word.
Engla: The next word is the verb att ligga.
Gabriella: And that corresponds to “to be.”
Engla: That’s right. In this lesson’s dialogue, Kerstin said Den ligger på köksbordet, meaning “It’s laying on the kitchen table.”
Gabriella: Can this verb also be used in another way?
Engla: Yes, it can also be used to correspond to the verb “to be located.”
Gabriella: Okay, how would you say, “The store is located beside the pharmacy” using this verb?
Engla: Affären ligger bredvid apoteket.
Gabriella: Okay. What’s the last word?
Engla: The last word we’ll talk about is i morse.
Gabriella: That means “this morning”. I was wondering about that, because I've seen this written as two separate words, as well as one word.
Engla: That’s right. Sometimes it’s written as two words, i, meaning “in” and morse, meaning "morning." And sometimes it's written as one word, imorse.
Gabriella: So are both correct?
Engla: Yes, actually both ways of writing it are correct and the meaning is still the same.
Gabriella: Glad we cleared that up. Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Gabriella: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to express ownership.
Engla: That’s right, and we’ll do that by teaching you how to use the personal pronouns min and mitt correctly.
Gabriella: And both of these correspond to the English “my,” right?
Engla: You’re absolutely correct, and both of these are used by Anna in this lesson’s dialog.
Gabriella: Yes, I remember one line where she says, “Mom, have you seen my biology book?” How do you say that in Swedish?
Engla: You’ll say Mamma, har du sett min biologibok.
Gabriella: Let’s get our listeners to practice that sentence.
Engla: Sure! Listeners repeat after me! Mamma, har du sett min biologibok.
Gabriella: But then Anna also asked “Have you seen my pencil case?”
Engla: Yes, that’s true, and that translates as Har du sett mitt pennskrin. Let’s practice saying that as well. Listeners repeat after me please. Har du sett mitt pennskrin.
Gabriella: Great! So tell me Engla, why is it that we use two different pronouns if both of them actually correspond to the English pronoun “my”?
Engla: That’s a good question! Basically, min and mitt are the same pronoun, but the kind of noun they're referring to determines which we have to use.
Gabriella: Do you mean if they're referring to a common gender noun or a neuter gender noun?
Engla: Exactly!
Gabriella: And how do we know if a noun is a common gender noun or a neuter gender noun?
Engla: Well, that's something you’ll have to memorize when you learn new nouns. But a common gender noun is preceded with the prefix en in its indefinite singular form.
Gabriella: So the Swedish noun for “a biology book” is a common gender noun.
Engla: Yes, en biologibok.
Gabriella: And what's significant about neuter gender nouns?
Engla: They're preceded by the prefix ett.
Gabriella: So the Swedish noun for “a pencil case” is a neuter gender noun.
Engla: Correct! “A pencil case” in Swedish is ett pennskrin.
Gabriella: And which of the Swedish pronouns is used to refer to common gender nouns then?
Engla: Min.
Gabriella: Okay, so if I would like to say “my biology book” how would I say that?
Engla: Min biologibok.
Gabriella: Let’s practice that once. Listeners, repeat after Engla.
Engla: Min biologibok.
Gabriella: And what's the pronoun we use to refer to neuter gender nouns?
Engla: That would be mitt.
Gabriella: How would you say “my pencil case” then?
Engla: Mitt pennskrin. Listeners, repeat after me please. Mitt pennskrin.
Gabriella: Perfect. Now let’s practice using these pronouns correctly by putting them into a full sentence.
Engla: Sounds like a good idea, and we’ll use the sentence structure Det är + [min or mitt] + [noun].
Gabriella: Which means “It’s my + noun”.
Engla: Exactly!
Gabriella: Okay, how do I say, “It’s my mom”?
Engla: “A mom” in Swedish is en mamma, and is therefore a common gender noun. This means that we have to use the pronoun min.
Gabriella: Okay, and how would the sentence sound in Swedish?
Engla: Det är min mamma. Listeners, repeat after me please. Det är min mamma.
Gabriella: Perfect! Okay, how would you say “It’s my house” then?
Engla: “A house” is ett hus in Swedish, and it's a neuter gender noun. So we have to use mitt and say, Det är mitt hus.
Gabriella: Listeners, repeat after Engla.
Engla: Det är mitt hus.
Gabriella: Okay, and if we want to use the same sentence structure and refer to the noun “dog”?
Engla: “A dog” is en hund.
Gabriella: That means that it's a common gender noun.
Engla: Yes, and we’ll have to use min to say “It’s my dog.”
Gabriella: And how do you say that in Swedish?
Engla: Det är min hund. Listeners, repeat after me please! Det är min hund.
Gabriella: What about if we want to use the noun “child”?
Engla: Well “a child” or ett barn is a neuter gender noun, so we’ll have to use mitt.
Gabriella: So how would you say “It’s my child” in Swedish then?
Engla: Det är mitt barn. Listeners, repeat after me! Det är mitt barn.
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Outro

Gabriella: Great! That’s all for this lesson. To reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson, make sure to check the lesson notes. And if you have any comments or questions, leave a post on the lesson page.
Engla: We’re here to help! Great work everyone.
Gabriella: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
Engla: Or hej då, as you would say in Swedish!