I’ve been using a lot of possessive pronouns (possessiva pronomen) this week, so I thought I should take a moment to explain them.
Possessiva pronomen are pronouns that show possession. What belongs to who.
In English, we don’t have “en” or “ett” words and pronouns don’t changed based on whether something is plural or not. If I have car, a house, and five pigs, I would say “the car is mine”, “the house is mine”, and “the pigs are mine”. It’s always “mine”. This is the same with the possessive adjective “my”.
In Swedish, the words don’t change from possessive adjective to possessive pronoun, but some of them do change depending on the form of the word that is being possessed. Some possessiva pronomen have a different form for en, ett, and plural words.
Take “my”/“mine” for example. It would be “min” for en words, “mitt” for ett words, and “mina” for plural words.
En - Sv
a car - en bil
It is my car. - Den är min bil.
The car is mine. - Bilen är min.
a house - ett hus
It is my house. - Det är mitt hus.
The house is mine. - Huset är mitt.
pigs (a pig) - grisar (en gris)
They are my pigs. - De är mina grisar.
The pigs are mine. - Grisarna är mina.
Here is a list of the possessiva pronomen. ( en / ett / plural)
my / mine - min / mitt / mina
your / yours - din / ditt / dina
your / yours (plural) - er / ert / era
her / hers - hennes / hennes / hennes
his - hans / hans / hans
our / ours - vår / vårt / våra
their / theirs - deras / deras / deras
its - dess / dess / dess
En: His cellphone is broken.
Sv: Hans mobil är trasig.
En: You two are a nice couple and your children are great.
Sv: Ni två är ett snällt par och era barn är härliga.
You can show possession in other words by simply adding an “s” to the end of the word.
He is Daniel’s friend. - Han är Daniels vän.
I found the dog’s bone. - Jag hittade hundens ben.
Reflexiva pronomen (reflexive pronouns) are pronouns that reflect back onto something else. Ex: I drove myself to school.
myself - mig
yourself - dig
yourselves - er
himself - sig
herself - sig
ourselves - oss
themselves - sig
itself - sig
Some verbs are dependent on reflexiva pronomen. If you don’t use the pronoun, they could have completely different meanings.
to teach - att lära ut
to learn - att lära sig
I am learning Swedish. - Jag lär mig svenska.
She is learning Swedish. - Hon lär sig svenska.
There are no rules to know which verbs require reflexiva pronomen. It’s just something you have to learn whenever you learn a new verb.
Some other examples are:
to feel (emotions, moods, or health. Not to touch) - att känna sig
He said that he feels sick today. - Han sa att han känner sig sjuk i dag.
to pass gas (fart) - att släppa sig
Oops! I farted. - Hoppsan! Jag släppte mig.
to get married - att gifta sig
I’ll never get married now. - Jag kommer aldrig att gifta mig nu.
It starts to get a bit more tricky with reflexiva possessiva pronomen (reflexive possessive pronouns). Reflexiva possessiva pronomen are possessive pronouns that reflect back onto the one doing the possessing. We don’t have this in English, so you usually just have to know what a sentence means by the context. You could say “his own”, “her own”, etc. but that isn’t required.
Take this sentence for example:
“Erik had a romantic dinner with his girlfriend.”
This is why reflexiva possessiva pronomen are important in Swedish. Whose girlfriend is Erik having a romantic dinner with? Without more information, we don’t really know. It could be his own girlfriend, or it could be some other guy’s girlfriend.
Erik had a romantic dinner with his girlfriend. - Erik hade en romantisk middag med sin flickvän.
By using the reflixiva possessiva pronomen “sin”, we are reflecting the possession back onto someone who was already mentioned. It is Erik’s girlfriend.
Erik had a romantic dinner with his girlfriend. - Erik hade en romantisk middag med hans flickvän.
By using the possessiva pronomen “hans”, we’re not reflecting back onto Erik. It is someone else’s girlfriend.
Just like with reflexiva pronomen, “hans”, “hennes”, “deras”, and “dess” (his, hers, theirs, and its) all share the same reflexiva possessiva pronomen.
The reflexiva possessiva pronomen are “sin”, “sitt”, and “sina” for en, ett, and plural words.
When talking about my, your, or our things, reflexiva possessiva pronomen aren’t used because you’re already reflecting back on yourself. I can’t be talking about anyone else but me when I say “my”.
You have to know when and when not to use reflexiva possessiva pronomen. Use it if you are in another part of the same sentence (and the same sats / clause) and are reflecting back onto something that is in the fundament. Don’t use it if the thing possessing and the thing possessed are together as a subject or object (ex. “he and his car”). Don’t use it if the possession is shown in a different sentence than the thing you want to reflect back to (or in a different sats / clause).
In these sentences, we’re going to be talking about Viktor and his own friend.
En: Viktor went to the movies with his friend yesterday.
Sv: Viktor gick på bio med sin vän i går.
En: Viktor and his friend went to the movies yesterday.
Sv: Viktor och hans vän gick på bio i går. Here “Viktor” and “hans vän” are together in the fundament. So reflexiva possessiva pronomen are not used.
En: Yesterday, Viktor and his friend went to the movies.
Sv: I går gick Viktor och hans vän på bio. Again, “Viktor” and “hans vän” are together.
En: Viktor went to the movies yesterday. His friend went along with him.
Sv: Viktor gick på bio i går. Hans vän följde med. Here the possession is in a completely different sentence, so reflexiva possessiva pronomen are not used.
En: Rob was so hungry that he could hear his stomach growl.
Sv: Rob var så hungrig att han kunde höra sin mage kurra.
En: He noticed that his brother had a fish.
Sv: Han märkte att hans bror hade en fisk.
En: His brother decided to give Rob half of the fish.
Sv: Hans bror bestämde sig för att ge Rob halva fisken.
En: They both ate their halves of the fisk.
Sv: De båda åt sin halva av fisken.
En: The fish’s taste was wonderful and Rob’s brother regretted his decision to share.
Sv: Fiskens smak var underbar och Robs bror ångrade sitt beslut att dela.