The Swedish Teacher

If you want the answers, you just have to ask!

Stockholm central? Stockholms södra?

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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