Possessive pronouns in Swedish

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Possessive pronouns

We are going to talk about possessive pronouns in Swedish today. We will be able to use my, your, his/her, our and their in sentences after this lesson. Let´s go!

The Swedish possessive pronouns depend on a gender of a noun and its number (except for the third person in singular). We have already learnt that there are the ett and the en nouns in Swedish. Follow the examples below to see how it works:

EN SKED — A SPOON

jag: MIN sked — MY spoon
du: DIN sked — YOUR spoon
han: HANS sked — HIS spoon
hon: HENNES sked — HER spoon
det: DESS sked — ITS spoon
den: DESS sked — ITS spoon
vi: VÅR sked — OUR spoon
ni: ER sked — YOUR spoon
de: DERAS sked — THEIR spoon

The next table shows how to create possessive pronouns with the ett words. One can notice that possessive pronouns remain the same just like in the en case in the third person.

ETT PÄRON — A PEAR

jag: MITT päron — MY pear
du: DITT päron — YOUR pear
han: HANS päron — HIS pear
hon: HENNES päron — HER pear
det: DESS päron — ITS pear
den: DESS päron — ITS pear
vi: VÅRT päron — OUR pear
ni: ERT päron — YOUR pear
de: DERAS päron — THEIR pear

The third table shows possessive pronouns in a plural form. The third person does not change and remains the same as well.

BILAR — CARS

jag: MINA bilar — MY cars
du: DINA bilar — YOUR cars
han: HANS bilar — HIS cars
hon: HENNES bilar — HER cars
det: DESS bilar — ITS cars
den: DESS bilar — ITS cars
vi: VÅRA bilar — OUR cars
ni: ERA bilar — YOUR cars
de: DERAS bilar — THEIR cars

Reflexive possessive pronouns in Swedish

There is one more extra category that should be discussed. This one is called reflexive possessive pronouns and is only used in the third person. It determines whether the object is the subject’s, or not.

Let me put a little light on it. There is a nice example called “Who is kissing whose husband?”. This one makes this grammatical issue much clearer.

Let’s imagine the following situation. A married couple (Peter and Emma) is going for a walk and meet Helen with her husband, Karl. Emma suddenly kisses her husband. Who was kissed by Emma, Peter or Karl? You wouldn’t have these troubles in Swedish because we have sin/sitt/sina which determines “who was kissed”.

Emma kysser sin man means that Emma kisses the right guy — Peter. But when Emma kysser hennes man it could cause trouble, because she kisses Karl and he is Helen’s husband, oh my God :-).

Please, note that there is a neutral gender hen in Swedish (read more about it here). It is used in order to avoid a preference for male or female, when a person’s gender is not known. Usage: En bil är hens. Ge hen/henom en bil.

The goal of this lesson was to become familiar with possessive pronouns in the Swedish language. Go through it once more and then hit The Next lesson button, there’s a quiz ready for you to test your knowledge.

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