Nouns and gender in Swedish

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Lesson 2 | Nouns and gender

Today we are going to talk about genders in Swedish. It’s a bit special. Let’s get it started!

In most languages, when talking about gender, we typically come up with a masculine, a feminine and a neuter but not in Swedish. We have only two choices in Swedish: every noun is either an ett or en noun.

I recommend you to memorise the gender of each word. It will help you with the creation of the definite form of the word as well as with other grammatical issues (adjectives for instance).

Let’s make it more clear and check out what it looks like in practice.

“En” nouns

en KATT — a CAT
en TOMAT — a TOMATO
en POJKE — a BOY
en FLICKA — a GIRL

“Ett” nouns

ett DJUR — an ANIMAL
ett HUS — a HOUSE
ett PIANO — a PIANO
ett ÄPPLE — an APPLE

If you add en or ett in front of a word it is the equivalent to English a and an. And how do we make a the word in Swedish? In most cases you add en/ett at the end of the word or n/t if it ends with a vowel. Check it out:

“The” nouns

KATTEN — THE CAT
TOMATEN — THE TOMATO
POJKEN — THE BOY
FLICKAN — THE GIRL
DJURET — THE ANIMAL
HUSET — THE HOUSE
PIANOT — THE PIANO
ÄPPLET — THE APPLE

We have learned Swedish genders of nouns in today’s lesson. It looks pretty simple, right? But it wouldn't be that nice if there weren’t any exceptions. For sure there are, it’s grammar. We will take a look at these exceptions later on in one of the up-coming lesson.

Now you have new vocabulary to study so what are you waiting for?

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