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Posts Tagged ‘sina’

“Sina” or “hans”?

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

This morning a student had a great example of how “hans” and “sina” can be confusing. Both the examples below are correct Swedish, but they mean different things. Can you tell the difference?
1. Fredrik har två katter. Katterna bor med hans föräldrar.
2. Fredrik har två katter. Katterna bor med sina föräldrar.

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“Sin”, “sitt” & “sina” – correct answers

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I figured I should give you the correct answers to the sin,sitt & sina -exercise. Here we go:

1. Erik gillar sitt jobb.

It is Erik’s own job (ett jobb). You couldn’t really say that you like someone else’s job :)

 

2. Man måste lyssna på sina föräldrar.

We listen to our own parents, and therefore – “sina”.

 

3. Johan och hans flickvän ska flytta ihop.

The “och” makes Johan and his girlfriend the subject of the sentence. Only the object can be “sin”.

 

4. Johan köper ofta blommor till sin flickvän.

In this sentence the girlfriend is the object and hopefully Johan is buying flowers for his own girlfriend – therefore “sin” is the correct answer.

 

5. Tomas och Björn bor fortfarande hemma hos sina/hans föräldrar.

In this case we have we have two possibilities. If we assume that Tomas and Björn are brothers and still living at home, we would use “sina”. If we assume that Tomas and Björn are a couple, we could use “hans” but that wouldn’t really tell us if they live at Börn’s or Tomas’ parents.

6. De ska låna ut sin sommarstuga till sin dotter och hennes pojkvän.

They are letting their own dotter borrow their summer house. The boyfriend of the daughter will also stay in the summerhouse. If we would say “sinpojkvän” in this case the boyfriend (the object) would belong to the parents (the object) ;-)

 

7. Annas mamma säger att Anna kan låna hennes bil.

This is a tricky one. It is Anna’s mum’s car we are talking about, but since the car is the object of the subordinated clause (the part after “att”) and Anna (not her mum) is the subject of the sub. clause we have to use “hennes”.

 

8. Anna får låna bilen, eftersom hennes bil är på verkstaden.

In this case “hennes bil” is the subject in the subordinated clause.

 

9. Hon är ute och går med sin hund.

She is out walking her dog. I was thinking it was the person’s own dog, therefore we use “sin”.

 

10. Hon och hennes man är ute och går.

Here we have the same situation as in example #3. She and her husband together make the subject, and therefore we can not use “sin”.

 

Sara the Swedish Teacher

www.swedishclasses.com

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Sin, sitt & sina

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Some parts of the Swedish language are more important than others to master. I mean even though it is good to know which words are “en” and which are “ett”, there isn’t really a disaster if you happen to say “en hus” or “ett bok”. Using the wrong pronoun (such as “han”, “hon”, “den”) could definitely cause more confusion. Take a look at this classic example:

1. Patrik kysser sin fru.

2. Patrik kysser hans fru.

In English both sentences translates to “Patrik is kissing his wife”. In Swedish however, you make a distinction between “his own wife” = sin, and his as in someoneelse’s wife. This might get more clear if we change “sin” and “hans” for names:

1. Patrik kysser Patriks (sin) fru.

2. Patrik kysser Henriks (hans) fru.

In other words,  if Patrik is the subject of the sentence and he is also the owner (excuse me Patrik’s wife ;-) ) of the object, then we express that ownership by using “sin” instead of “hans”.

It is of course not only “hans” that sometimes should be replaced with “sin”. This is also the case for “hennes”, “dess”, “ens” and “deras”. It is also good to know that “sin” changes to “sitt” if the object is an ett-word, and to “sina” if the object is plural. Like this:

Patrik har målat sitt hus i sommar.

(Patrik has painted his house this summer.)

Patrik ska hämta sina barn på dagis.

(Patrik is going to pick up his children at kindergarten.)

Now we are going to take a look at some more complicated sentences, because that is when it usually gets a little tricky with the “sin” and “hans”. Take a look at these sentences:

Patrik tycker om maten som sin fru lagar.

(Patrik likes the food that his wife cooks.)

Olle sitter uppe, eftersom sin dotter inte har kommit hem än.

(Olle is waiting up, since his daughter is not home yet.)

Anna och sin pojkvän ska äta på restaurang ikväll.

(Anna and her boyfriend are going out for dinner tonight.)

All three sentences are wrong! We mustn’t use “sin” instead of “hans” or “hennes” in any of them! At this point in class some students are ready to leave the classroom ;-) “Why not “sin” all of a sudden? You just said that when you are the owner of the subject… ” The explanation for example one and two is that we can not look at the whole sentence an figure out subject and object, we have to look at each clause of the sentence. So let’s do that:

“Patrik tycker om maten”

is our main clause (huvudsats) in which “Patrik” is subject.

“som hans fru lagar”.

is a subordinated clause (bisats) and “hans fru” is the subject in it. Only an object can use the pronoun “sin”, “sitt” or “sina”. The same explanation goes for example number two:

“Olle sitter uppe”

is the main clause (huvudsats) and “Olle” is the subject.

“eftersom hans dotter inte har kommit hem än.”

is the subordinated clause (bisats) in which “hans dotter” is the subject, and therefore cannot be “sin”.

I know that it is hard to analyze the sentence structure when you are out there speaking Swedish, so to make it simple – don’t use “sin”, “sitt” and “sina” after common subjunctions (bisatsord) such as “som”, “att”, eftersom”, “därför att” , “om” etc.

But what about the third example? Again we should take closer look and find out if we really are dealing with an object and an owner of that object:

Anna och hennes pojkvän…

The thing here is that “Anna” is the subject of the sentence and since “och” is a conjunction, which combines two things of the same kind (a subject with another subject or an object with another object) “pojkvän” is also a part of the subject and can not use “sin” for a pronoun.

OK, so now everything is clear, right? Why don’t we take a little test:

1. Erik gillar … jobb.

2. Man måste lyssna på … föräldrar.

3. Johan och … flickvän ska flytta ihop.

4. Johan köper ofta blommor till … flickvän.

5. Tomas och Björn bor fortfarande hemma hos … föräldrar.

6. De ska låna ut sin sommarstuga till … dotter och … pojkvän.

7. Annas mamma säger att Anna kan låna … bil.

8. Anna får låna bilen, eftersom … bil är på verkstaden.

9. Hon är ute och går med … hund.

10. Hon och … man är ute och går.

How did it go? Put your answers in the comment field :)

Til next time!

Sara the Swedish Teacher

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