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The Swedish Teacher

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Archive for February, 2011

Stockholm central? Stockholms södra?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Hej!

Today we have a quite interesting question from Jack:

I’m wondering why when you arrive by train into Stockholm main station the signs read “Stockholm Central”. But when using the South or North stations a mysterious extra ‘-s’ appears “Stockholms Södra / Stockholms Norra”

Actually it’s the “Stockholm Central” without a -s that is more mysterious if you look into grammar rules. You see, in Swedish we use -s for genitive just like you do in English. The only difference is that there is no apostrophe in Swedish. Here’s an example:

Swedish

Saras cykel är röd.

English

Sara’s bike is red.

The funny (and perhaps confusing) part is that in Swedish there’s and old rule that says you shouldn’t use the genitive -s after names of places ending with a vowel. So we have to say:

Uppsala universitet

Umeå universitet

Örebro universitet
but according to the rule we have to say:

Lunds universitet

Göteborgs universitet

Stockholms universitet

According to this rule the train station signs without the -s are more mysterious than the ones with -s  ;-) However, we all know that languages always change and it happens that the genitive -s is dropped also when the place name ends with a consonant. Why? I have no idea to be honest :)

Sara the Swedish Teacher

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“Känner sig” eller “mår”

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Hej på er!

Thank you all for all the interesting questions you’ve sent me. Keep on asking! Today I’ll try to answer Deaw’s question about the difference between “mår” and “känner sig”. Deaw is wondering why you say “jag mår inte bra” but “jag känner mig sjuk” when both “mår” and “känner sig” mean “feel” in English.

Well, the easiest way to deal with “mår” is to look at it as set phrase and only use it together with the two adjectives “bra” and “dåligt”. This is how we can use “mår”:

Jag mår (inte) bra.

(I’m (not) feeling well.)

Jag mår dåligt.
You can also use “mår” with synonyms to “bra” and “dåligt”:

Jag mår finfint!

Jag mår prima!

Jag mår kanon!

Jag mår fantastiskt!

Jag mår utmärkt!

or

Jag mår uselt!

Jag mår förskräckligt!

Jag mår förjävligt!

One thing that is important to mention here is that the expression “Jag mår illa” means “I’m sick” as in motion sick.

Another way to distinguish “mår” from “känner sig” is that  “mår” only gives information about physical condition, it doesn’t say anything about your emotions. We can for example NOT use “mår” like this:

Jag mår arg.

(arg = angry)

Jag mår stark.

(stark = strong)

The conclusion here is that “känner sig” is a much wider expression than “mår” and we can use it in all kinds of situations. Let me give you some more examples:

Jag känner mig glad.

(glad = happy, in a good mood)

Jag känner mig trött.

(trött = tired)

Jag känner mig upprymd.

(upprymd = excited)

Jag känner mig nere.

(nere = low)

Jag känner mig avslappnad.

(avslappnad = relaxed)

Jag känner mig lurad.

(lurad = fooled)

Jag känner mig uppskattad.

(uppskattad = appreciated)

‘Til next time!

Sara the Swedish Teacher

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