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The Swedish pronoun is marked for person, number, and to a limited degree also for gender.
The numbers are singular and plural. The persons are 1st person (I, we), 2nd person (you) and 3rd person (he, she, it, them). As in English, gender is only expressed for the 3rd person singular, i.e. 'he' and 'she'.
Generally, we find that the Swedish pronouns are similar to the English pronouns. There are however some notable exceptions. Whereas in English the 2nd person 'you' is the same in singular and plural, Swedish differentiates these forms.
It is also apparent that the reflexive pronoun (when the doer is also the object) is used more extensively in Swedish. This is because transitive verbs (verbs that take an object) force an explicit object. In practice this means that in cases where the self is the implied object in English, the object must be explicitly marked in Swedish. The English sentence 'I shave' has thus to be rendered 'I shave me' in Swedish.
It is mentioned above that gender is only expressed in the 3rd person singular. It will be seen that this is not the only way in which the 3rd person is different from 1st and 2nd person. From the section on Nouns we have learned that there are two genders of 3rd person singular 'it' in Swedish, 'en' and 'ett'. Special attention should also be given to the reflexive pronouns in this section and possessive reflexive pronouns in the next section. These prove to be the most difficult aspects to learn concerning the Swedish pronouns.
Below is a table of the subject pronouns in Swedish.
The singular 3rd person pronoun man is a generall pronoun frequently used with the meaning of 'anyone', or 'one'. An example of this would be 'One does not like to brag.' In Swedish the pronoun man is used in place of 'one'.
Below is a table of the object pronouns in Swedish.
Note that the corresponding object pronoun of the subject pronoun man is en. Note also how the only difference between the plural third person subject and object pronoun is an added '-m'. While only the final -m distinguished subject de from object dem, both are in fact pronounced the same, [dom], in Swedish.
Below is a table of the reflexive pronouns in Swedish.
Note that the reflexive pronouns are the same as the object pronouns except for 3rd person singular and plural. As mentioned above this is essentially because the doer or doers are also the objects of the action. In English this requires the object 'himself' while Swedish has dedicated forms for when the 3rd person is both subject and object.
Consider the following two sentences in English: 'He hits him' and 'He hits himself'. In Swedish these would be 'Han slår honom.' and 'Han slår sig'. Note also how there is no difference in person or gender in the reflexive pronoun for the 3rd person sig.
Many verbs that in English do not require an explicit object when the object is the same as the subject, require a reflexive pronoun in Swedish. Thus, the English 'He shaves' is in Swedish 'Han rakar sig'.
Fill in the blanks in the sentences below. Choose between the forms in brackets.