A Simplified Grammar of the Swedish Language/Part II/The Indefinite Article

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
PART II.


ON THE USE AND CHARACTER OF THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF SPEECH.




The Indefinite Article.

The Indefinite Article en, m., f., ett, n., 'a,' 'an,' is merely the unaccented form of the indefinite pronoun en, ett, 'one,' which is the same as the numeral en, ett, 'one.'

In Old Northern there is no trace of the use of a distinct indefinite article, the earliest representative of which was the indefinite pronoun einn, 'one,' einhverr, 'each one.' From these have been derived the modern Scandinavian en, ett.

The plural ena, 'ones,' 'some,' is used to express surprise or contempt; as, det är ena obegripliga flickor, 'they are incomprehensible girls!'

This article is in many respects governed by the same rules as in English. Thus it directly precedes the noun which it indicates; as, en gosse, 'a boy;' en blomma, 'a flower;' ett hus, 'a house;' while where the noun is qualified by an adjective, in precedes the latter; as, en ädel fiende, 'a noble foe;' en god bok, 'a good book;' ett stort haf, 'a great sea.'

It is not used, however, where a person's rank, profession, or calling is indicated, unless the latter be qualified by an adjective; as, han är general, 'he is a general;' min vän är en tapper officer, 'my friend is a brave officer;' prestens son är läkare, 'the clergyman's son is a doctor;' gossen skall bli smed, 'the boy is to be a smith.'