A Simplified Grammar of the Swedish Language/Part I/Nouns

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NOUNS. (Tingord.)

Swedish Nouns are of three genders, Masculine, Feminine and Neuter; as en fader, m., 'a father;' en moder, f., 'a mother;' ett barn, n., 'a child.'

Nouns are grouped under five modes of declension (böjningssätt), viz.:—

The First Declension.
(Plural termination or.)
Without the terminal article. With the terminal article.
Sing. Nom. blomma, f. flower, blomman, the flower.
... Gen. blommas, ... blommans, of ......
... Dat. Acc. blomma, ... blomman, ......
Plu. N. D. A. blommor, flowers, blommorna, the flowers.
... Gen. blommors, ... blommornas, of ......

To this declension belong all feminine nouns ending in a.

The Second Declension.
(Plural termination ar.)
Without the terminal article. With the terminal article.
Sing. Nom., etc., dal, m., dale, dalen, the dale.
... Gen., dals, ... ... dalens, of ......
Plu. Nom., etc., dalar, ... dales, dalarne, (or na).
... Gen., dalars, ... ... dalarnes, (or nas).
Sing. Nom., etc., socken, f., parish, socknen, the parish.
... Gen., sockens, ... ... socknens, of ......
Plu. Nom., etc., socknar, ... parishes, socknarna, the parishes.
... Gen., socknars, f., ... socknarnas, of the parishes.

To this declension belong both masculine and feminine nouns.

The Third Declension.
(Plural termination er.)
Without the terminal article. With the terminal article.
Sing. Nom., etc., vän, m. & f., friend, vännen, the friend.
... Gen., väns, ... ... vännens, of ......
Plu. Nom., etc., vänner, ... friends, vännerne (or na).
... Gen., vänners, ... ... vännernes (or nas).
Sing. Nom., etc., tryckeri, n., printing office, tryckeriet, the printing office.
Sing. Gen., tryckeris, n., printing office, tryckeriets, of the printing office.
Plu. Nom., etc., tryckerier, ... ... tryckerierna, the printing offices.
... Gen., tryckeriers, ... ... tryckeriernas, of ......

To this declension belong masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns.

The Fourth Declension.
(Plural termination n.)
Without the terminal article. With the terminal article.
Sing. Nom., etc., bälte, n., belt, bältet, the belt.
... Gen., bältes, ... ... bältets, of ......
Plu. Nom., etc., bälten, ... belts, bältena, the belts.
... Gen., bältens, ... ... bältenas, of ......

To this declension belong only neuter nouns ending in a vowel.

The Fifth Declension.
(The same termination in the plural as in the singular.)
Without the terminal article. With the terminal article.
Sing. Nom., etc., krigare, m., warrior, krigaren, the warrior.
... Gen., krigares, ... ... krigarens, of the warrior.
Plu. Nom., etc., krigare, ... warriors, krigarne, the warriors.
Plu. Gen., krigares, m., warriors, krigarnes, of the warriors.
Sing. Nom., etc., namn, n., name, namnet, the name.
... Gen., namns, ... ... namnets, of ......
Plu. Nom., etc., namn, ... names, namnen, the names.
... Gen., namns, ... ... namnens, of ......

To this declension belong masculine and neuter nouns.

In regard to differences of gender it may be observed that the following belong generally to the masculine:—

1. Nouns that indicate the male sex in persons or animals; as, konung, m., 'king;' tupp, m., 'cock.'

2. The names of seas, lakes, and woods, and the seasons, months, and days; as, höst, 'autumn;' juli, 'July;' torsdag, 'Thursday.'

3. Nouns generally that end in ad, ande, are, dom, ing, ling, lek, när, skap; as, månad, m., 'month;' handlande, m., 'trader;' tjenare, m., 'man-servant;' ungdom, m., 'youth;' mening, m., 'meaning;' främling, m., 'stranger;' kärlek, m., 'love;' konstnär, m., 'artist;' vetenskap, m., 'science.'

To the feminine gender belong generally:—

1. Nouns that indicate the female sex in persons and animals; as, drottning, f., 'queen;' höna, 'hen.'

2. The names of small rivers and brooks, and of indigenous Swedish trees; as, Dalelven; björk, f., 'birch.'

3. Words ending in a, an, and, ång, d, t, else, and i, ik, ion, and ur in words of foreign origin; as, kyrka, f., 'church;' verkan, f., 'effect;' rand, f., 'edge;' stång, f., 'pole;' dygd, f., 'virtue;' drägt, f., 'dress;' födelse, f., 'birth;' geografi, f., 'geography;' fabrik, f., 'manufactory;' religion, f., 'religion;' natur, f., 'nature.'

To the neuter gender belong generally:—

1. The names of countries and places, letters of the alphabet, and words or sentences used as nouns; as, Sverge, n., 'Sweden;' Stockholm, n.; ett a, 'an a;' ett Lef väl, 'a farewell.'

2. Nouns ending in a, where they have the plural in n; as, hjerta, n., 'heart;' öga, n., 'eye' (pl., ögon) ; öra, n., 'ear' (pl., öron); in e, el, er, on, and in um, eum, and ium in words of foreign origin; as, rike, n., 'kingdom;' hagel, n., 'hail;' blomster, n., 'flower;' ostron, n., 'oyster;' faktum, n., 'fact;' museum, n., 'museum;' kollegium, n., 'college.'

Compound words, irrespective of their precise meaning, take the gender of the last member of the combined group; as, qvinfolk, n., 'woman;' statsråd, n., 'councillor of state.'

The gender of many words varies in different parts of Sweden in accordance with local usage, depending among other conditions upon whether the district belongs to the ancient "Svea" or "Göta" dominions; thus i.a., finger, 'finger,' and bolster, 'bolster,' which are masculine in the former, are neuter in the latter territory.

Numerous words have different meanings in accordance with a difference in their gender; as, pil, m., 'an arrow,' pil, f., 'a willow;' dam, m., 'wear,' dam, f., 'lady,' dam, n., 'dust;' gran, f., 'pine-tree,' gran, n., 'grain.'

Many such words differ in the mode in which they form their plural; as, kor, m., 'a company of singers,' pl. korer; kor, n., 'church-quire,' pl. kor; lår, m., 'corn-bin,' pl. lårar; lår, n., 'thigh-bone,' pl. lår.

Some words may be used under two distinct modes of termination in the singular dependent upon uncertainty of declension; as, almanacka and almanack, pl., almanackor.

Others may differ both in the plural and singular; as, Fur or fura, f., 'fir-tree;' the former making furer, and the latter furor, in the plural.

Some nouns do not admit of being declined; as, (i) går, 'yesterday;' (till) pass, 'at the right time;' () spe, 'mockery.' Such words, however, as in the instances given, usually require to be used adverbially with a preposition.

Many words have different meanings in accordance with the declension to which they belong, and the consequent difference in their plural; as, bok, f., 'book,' pl. böcker; bok, f., 'beech,' pl. bokar.

Some nouns, as in English, can only be used in the singular; as, bly, n., 'lead;' allmoge, m., 'peasantry;' stolthet, f., 'pride,' and many other abstract nouns of a similar kind.

Some nouns can only be used in the plural; as, bopålar, m. pl., 'domicile;' ränker, m. pl., 'cabal.'

Many nouns form their plural by changing their radical vowel; as, hand, f., 'hand,' pl. händer; son, m., 'son,' pl. söner; man, m., 'man,' pl. män or männer; gås, f., 'goose,' pl. gäss; mus, f., 'mouse,' pl. möss. The two last take en as their plural terminal article.