Swedish course inconsistency?

dimhollow

Senior Member
Polish
2 sentences from my textbook, same lesson:

1. Den sista lektionen erbjuder någonting helt nytt.
2. Sista avsnittet varade i tre och en halv timma.

Does anybody knows why there's no definite article "det" in sentence no 2, since the noun has an adjective in front of it?
 
  • MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I see! You mean like in your name Den falska sköldpaddan?
    So, I don't really know why but I do think there is a difference. It likely has to do with context. I think you might think about it as follows;

    Using "Den/det" is often 'correct' if you want to be strict, but
    Omitting "Den/det" is often done in practice because it seems redundant...

    In other words, if I'm saying "lektionen" I've already indicated that I'm talking about a specific class, not just any class, so "den" doesn't add anything to the meaning of it all. Like people often do in languages they tend to start to cut out what isn't really needed in everyday speech.

    Now, when you bring up the name "Den falska sköldpaddan" it's actually interesting because it lacks context other than being a name. So you could perhaps imagine a question and answer as a context and it would be an example of how it would sound 'odd' to omit the article:

    Q: "Vilken sköldpadda pratar du om?" (which turtle are you talking about?)
    A: "Den falska sköldpaddan." (probably with emphasis on 'falska')
    Odd: "Falska sköldpaddan"

    But strangely enough it seems like it would depend though. If "Den falska sköldpaddan" is a name it sounds totally fine to me and better than without the article, but if the name was "Andra avenyn" that now sounds totally fine without. Why? No idea...


    (As an aside: I seem to recall Swedish humor sometimes making fun of 'immigrant Swedish' because they omit the article when it "should" either should be there or when definite article shouldn't be used. So if you imagine a person seeing a really good looking car and wants to say to a friend he likes the way it looks:

    "Snygg bil!" - no article, not definite, all good.
    "Snygga bilen" - no article, definite, sounds funny and wrong.
    "Den snygga bilen" - even worse.)
     

    George VII

    New Member
    English
    But strangely enough it seems like it would depend though. If "Den falska sköldpaddan" is a name it sounds totally fine to me and better than without the article, but if the name was "Andra avenyn" that now sounds totally fine without. Why? No idea...

    If you're interested in the details, see Nominalfraser §5 in volume 3 of Svenska Akademiens grammatik:
    Grammatik – svenska.se
     
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