Swedish: Possessive Adjectives

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by garydpoole, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Hello all

    Based upon the two or three Swedish grammar books that I own, plus looking on-line, it appears to me that most (although not all) seem to refer to the Swedish possessive adjectives such as min, din, hans, hennes, etc, as possessive pronouns or possessive forms of personal pronouns. Clearly showing their use before nouns, but for some reason, referring to them as pronouns not adjectives.

    I'm just wondering why this would be the case ?


  2. Segorian Senior Member

    Icelandic & Swedish
    This is just a convention. In the same way, possessive adjectives are sometimes referred to as “adjectival possessive pronouns” in English (and contrasted with “substantive possessive pronouns”).
  3. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Senior Member

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    All these new terms makes me dizzy! :confused: In the old days we were taught in Swedish schools that there are two types of possessive pronoun: attributivt possessivt pronomen, the one used as a determiner before a noun, it's my bag/det är min väska, and the other one is självständigt possessivt pronomen: the bag is mine/väskan är min.

    To me it feels natural to refer to them as possessive pronouns rather than possessive adjectives because they correspond to particular personal pronouns, but I could live with calling them possessive determiner/possessive pronoun. In Swedish, they look the same and behave the same, i.e. they have to be inflected with regard to the noun they refer to*, but their syntactic function and placement are of course different.
    * e.g.
    mina väskor, mitt tåg/väskorna är mina, tåget är mitt
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  4. I guess my question stems from the last three years spent studying French, where there is a clear distinction made in all reference materials between possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives.

    At the moment, I'm finding it to easier to understand new Swedish grammar concepts if I can draw parallels from my French studies. Therefore, in the instance of the Swedish possessive pronouns, appreciating their use and their syntactic functionality, is essentially, no different to French possessive adjectives with respect to the gender (singular or plural) of the noun to which they refer.

    Many thanks.


  5. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Grammar is mostly convention.

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