Introduction to Swedish:
Lesson 2

Swedish for you is du.

This word is used when addressing people both formally and informally nowadays. It is backed up by an interesting story: people had an informal word for you for calling friends, which was du, and a formal one which was Ni. They also had a tradition of addressing people by their profession or title, as in "would professor like to read my paper?" instead of "would you like to read my paper?". If a person you were talking to didn’t have any title but you still wanted to address them politely, you would then say Ni. With time, the use of Ni started becoming a bit derogatory since you imply that the person you are talking to has no title... well, and the whole thing was a mess: switching between titles, Ni and du...

Until in 1968, when a few important politicians, including the Swedish prime minister at that time, stated that they wanted to be called by du and not by their title or Ni. That trend quickly caught on, and Swedish has virtually lost Ni in a few years. Well, that is until now, where Ni has been making a bit of a comeback (oh dear), but du is still very much the preferred way to address people.

Leaving the stories aside and starting to practice, how would you say:

You have it.

Answer: Du har det.
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