Saturday, January 7, 2017

Swedish Possessive Adjective

Swedish has a third person possessive adjective which doesn't exist in English. This allows two interpretations for sentences such as Peter spoke to the neighbour about his house. In English it isn't clear whether his refers to the subject or object of the sentence. However, in Swedish it is.

Here is the sentence in Swedish:

Peter talade till grannen om sitt hus. The word sitt indicates that Peter spoke to the neighbour about his own house. If Peter spoke to the neighbour about the neighbour's house, the sentence would be Peter talade till grannen om hans hus.

Swedish has a possessive adjective which refers to the subject of the sentence. This allows a distinction which other languages don't. Besides Swedish, Danish and Norwegian also have this distinction.

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