How do I know if a Swedish noun is 'en' or 'ett'?

Short answer: You don't.

Solution 1:
Learn each noun with 'en' and 'ett'.
Pros: You'll always associate the noun with 'en' or 'ett', from the start.
Cons: It takes a long time to learn all Swedish nouns (there are many tens of thousands!)

Solution 2:
Look up the nouns on (SAOL).
Pros: It's easy to look it up online.
Cons: You'll always be doubting/guessing/googling.

Solution 3:

Learn the smallest group first (appr. 20% are ett-words).

Pros: Apart from a little bit of vocab learning to start, once you know the most common ett-words, you'll be 100% correct all the time. You know your ett-words, so everything else is 'en'!

Get the ETT-Words Master List PDF now to learn

the 267 most common ett-words!

You'll never have to guess en vs ett again.

Hej! I'm Anneli!

I’m a Swedish teacher and the founder and director of Swedish Made Easy. I’m also a course creator.

At Swedish Made Easy, I create online Swedish courses and I also offer Swedish lessons online. As a Swedish teacher, I have taught over 25,000 hours since 2007 to adult learners in Europe, Asia and US. 

In 2018, I published the book Teach Yourself Complete Swedish, which is now a bestseller among Swedish course books. 

Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked as a translator and also as a subtitler for films and TV-programmes. Moreover, I have also worked as a language tutor at Middlesex University for their BA Interpreting and Translation students.

In 2019 and 2020, I was the Swedish Teacher in the BBC Two TV-programme Twinstitute.

Brighton (UK) is where I’m based, but I was born in Sweden (Stockholm and Dalarna) and lived there until I was 25. When I am not teaching Swedish online, I make music (Janis), and board dogs with my husband in Brighton.

Buy and Download now