The Swedish Teacher

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

Stockholm central? Stockholms södra?


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:


Saras cykel är röd.


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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