Swedish Lessons

1. Articles

There are two indefinite articles in Swedish, en and ett. There is rarely an easy way to determine which article should be used with any one word, so the gender of each noun should be learned separately.
en skola, en pojke, ett spöke, ett slott
The indefinite form of a word is usually used when something is mentioned for the first time.
The definite article is normally attached to the end of the word as an inflectional ending. In singular forms these endings are -n, -en, -t and -et and in plural -na and -en. In cases where the noun is preceded by an adjective, the definite article is also added as a separate entity in front of the word (in singular: den and det, in plural: de).
skolan, pojken, spöket, slottet den tyska tjejen, det lilla rummet, de långa gatorna
The definite form of a word is usually used when something has already been mentioned before or is a fact that is universally known.
Johan träffar en tysk tjej. Tjejen är på väg till Sverige. Johan meets a girl from Germany. The girl is on her way to Sweden.
en skola
ett slott

Noun inflections

Swedish nouns primarily inflect for gender, number and definiteness. Nouns are divided into five groups according to their plural indefinite inflectional ending.
Group 1 -OR All the nouns in this group take the article en and end with the letter a.
Singular indefinite en människa en hona en skola
Singular definite människan honan skolan
Plural indefinite människor honor skolor
Plural definite människorna honorna skolorna
Group 2 -AR All the nouns in this group take the article en. Included in this group are nouns that end with -ing, -dom, -el, -er, and -en.
Singular indefinite en tanke en älv en tidning en visdom en spegel
Singular definite tanken älven tidningen visdomen spegeln
Plural indefinite tankar älvar tidningar visdomar speglar
Plural definite tankarna älvarna tidningarna visdomarna speglarna
Group 3 -ER Most of the nouns in this group take the article en. Included in this group are nouns that end with -het, -else, -ion, and -när. In addition, nouns that take the article ett and end with -um, -eri or -ori are also included.
Singular indefinite en dam en annons en hemlighet en lektion ett konditori
Singular definite damen annonsen hemligheten lektionen konditoriet
Plural indefinite damer annonser hemligheter lektioner konditorier
Plural definite damerna annonserna hemligheterna lektionerna konditorierna
Group 4 -N All the nouns in this group take the article ett and end with a vowel.
Singular indefinite ett ställe ett spöke ett knä
Singular definite stället spöket knäet
Plural indefinite ställen spöken knän
Plural definite ställena spökena knäna
Group 5 (no inflectional ending) Nearly all the nouns in this group take the article ett and end with a consonant. Included are also those nouns that take the article en and end with -are, -er, or -ande (when the word refers to a person) or -are (when the word refers to an appliance or device).
Singular indefinite ett liv ett slott ett problem en spelare en tekniker
Singular definite livet slottet problemet spelaren teknikern
Plural indefinite liv slott problem spelare tekniker
Plural definite liven slottet problemen spelarna teknikerna

 Swedish Basic phrases

Here are some basic Swedish phrases which you can use in everyday conversation, as well as some common words you will see on signs.
ja yes
nej no
tack please (used at the end of a sentence); thanks, thank you
tack så mycket thank you very much
ingen orsak you’re welcome
hej or hej hej hi, hello
hejsan hi (informal)
god dag hello; goodbye (literally: good day; can be used any time from morning until around 5pm)
god morgon good morning (used until around 11am)
god förmiddag good morning (used from around 11am until noon)
god middag good afternoon (used around noon)
god eftermiddag good afternoon (used from noon until around 5pm)
god kväll good evening (used from around 5pm)
välkommen! welcome!
välkommen till … welcome to …
hej or hej hej bye
hejdå goodbye
god natt goodnight
vi ses! see you! (informal)
vi ses snart! see you soon!
vi ses senare! see you later!
ha en bra dag! have a good day!
ursäkta mig excuse me (to get someone’s attention or to get past someone); sorry
förlåt sorry
inga problem no problem
det gör inget don’t worry about it

3. Genitive

The genitive expresses ownership, to whom or what something belongs.
Ownership in Swedish is usually expressed by a structure called the s-genitive, but can sometimes also be expressed by alternative structures such as compounds and prepositional phrases. The s-genitive is formed by adding the genitive ending -s to the end of a proper name or to the end of a noun in its definite form.
Lauras hund är under bordet. Laura’s dog is under the table. Lärarens nya bil var stor och röd. The teacher’s new car was big and red.
The noun following the genitive form is always indefinite. If that noun takes an adjective, the adjective is used in its definite form (marked by the letter a).
familjens stora hus Marias röda rum
Lauras hund är under bordet.

Swedish Useful Words

sometimes ibland already redan
always alltid perhaps kanske
never aldrig both båda
often ofta some någon, något, några
usually oftast again igen, åter
now nu between mellan
and och a lot, many många
but men of course naturligtvis
or eller a little lite grann
very mycket / väldigt not at all inte alls
here här almost nästan
there där really? verkligen
with med it is det är
each other varandra there is/are det finns

4. Adjective inflections

Adjectives have three forms in Swedish.
en gender stor vanlig mystisk
ett gender stort vanligt mystiskt
plural / definite form stora vanliga mystiska
en stor bil, ett stort hus, stora pojkar
There are some exceptions to this rule, namely a number of undeclinable adjectives and the adjective liten, which has four different forms instead of three:
en-gender liten
ett-gender litet
definite form lilla
plural små
en liten katt, ett litet rum, min lilla hund, små blommor
ett stort husett stort hus
en liten katt en liten katt

5.  Comparison of adjectives

The comparative and superlative forms of adjectives can be formed in four different ways.
1. Usually comparative and superlative forms are formed by adding the inflectional endings -areand -ast to the end of the word.
positive vanlig trött glad söt
comparative vanligare tröttare gladare sötare
superlative vanligast tröttast gladast sötast
2. A number of adjectives require the -re and -st endings in their shorter forms. In these cases, the vowel in the original form of the adjective may also change slightly.
positive hög låg lång stor
comparative högre lägre längre större
superlative högst lägst längst störst
3. A small number of adjectives using these shorter endings also require a complete change in the original word form.
positive god gammal liten dålig
comparative bättre äldre mindre sämre
superlative bäst äldst minst sämst
4. If the adjective ends with -isk or is in the participial form (takes endings such as –ande, –ende and –ad), the comparative and superlative forms are formed with the help of mera andmest.
positive lovande praktisk lyckad
comparative mera lovande mera praktisk mera lyckad
superlative mest lovande mest praktisk mest lyckad
Camilla är en bättre läkare än Martina. Camilla is a better doctor than Martina. John är lika duktig som Camilla. John is as skillful as Camilla. Han är också äldst av dem. He is also the oldest of them.

Swedish Subject and Object Pronouns

jag I mig (mej) me
du you (singular) dig (dej) you
han he honom him
hon she henne her
den it (with en words) den it
det it (with ett words) det it
man one en one
vi we oss us
ni you (plural) er you
de (dom) they dem (dom) them
Man can be translated as one, we, they or the people in general.  When referring to nouns as it, you use den for en nouns, and det for ett nouns. Formerly, du was the informal you and ni was the formal, but these distinctions are rarely used anymore. The forms in parentheses are the informal ways of spelling these words, which is closer to the actual pronunciation.
The subject of a sentence is someone who performs an action.
Vi dricker mycket te. We drink a lot of tea. Du gillar musik. You like music.
The object of a sentence is someone that something is done to, or something that is the focus of the performed action.
Vi saknar dem hela tiden. We miss them all the time. Har du sett honom? Have you seen him?
The possessive forms mark ownership.
Jag gav mina biljetter till henne. I gave my tickets to her. Min hund är större än din. My dog is bigger than yours.

8. Passive voice

Verb structures can be divided into two main categories: the active and the passive voice. The active voice expresses what the subject of the sentence is doing, whereas the passive voice expresses what is being done to the subject of the sentence, often leaving out the person actually performing the action.
Active voice Han ska renovera villan. He will renovate the villa.
Passive voice Villan ska renoveras. The villa will be renovated.
A common way to form a passive verb structure in Swedish is the s-passive. The s-passive is formed by taking the object of the active sentence and moving it into the place of the subject in that sentence. After this, the letter s is placed after the main verb to mark the verb as having a passive form.
Active voice En kvinna öppnade dörren för mig. A woman opened the door for me.
Passive voice Dörren öppnades för mig. The door was opened for me.
When forming the s-passive in the present tense, extra care must be taken. The s-marker of the s-passive is attached to the verb according to the following rules: Verb group 1: infinitive + s (älska -> älskas) Verb groups 2, 3 and 4: verb stem + s (skriva -> skriv/er -> skrivs) Verb stems ending with s: verb stem + es (läsa -> läs/er -> läses)
Vi talar engelska i skolan varje dag. -> Engelska talas i skolan varje dag. Ungdomar dricker för mycket läsk. -> Läsk dricks för mycket.
In other tenses the s-marker is simply added to the end of the main verb.
Vi valde henne till president. -> Hon valdes till president. Jag gav henne boken. -> Hon gavs boken.
If need be, the original subject of the active sentence doesn’t have to be left out, but can be added into the passive sentence as an agent with the help of the preposition av:
Active voice En kvinna öppnade dörren för mig.
Passive voice + agent Dörren öppnades för mig av en kvinna.


The imperative is a form that expresses a command.
Depending on which verb group the verb belongs to, the imperative can be formed by using either the infinitive form or the stem of the verb. If the present tense ending of the verb is -ar, then the infinitive form is used. If the ending is either -er or -r, the ending is removed and the stem of the verb is used as the imperative instead.
Group 1: Stanna här! (stann/ar -> infinitive = imperative) Group 2: Rök inte! (rök/er -> verb stem = imperative) Group 3: Tro på mig! (tro/r -> verb stem = imperative) Group 4: Ät bättre! (ät/er -> verb stem= imperative)
Rök inte!

Essential Swedish:

English Swedish
Hello Hej
Good evening Hej
Goodbye Hejdå
See you later Vi ses
Yes Ja
No Nej
Excuse me! Skulle du kunna
Thanks Tack!
Thanks a lot Tack så mycket!
Thank you for your help Tack för hjälpen
Don’t mention it Varsågod
Ok Okej
How much is it? Hur mycket kostar det?
Sorry! Förlåt!
I don’t understand Jag förstår inte
I get it Jag förstår
I don’t know Jag vet inte
Forbidden Förbjudet
Excuse me, where are the toilets? Ursäkta mig, var finns det en toalett?
Happy New Year! Gott Nytt År!
Happy birthday! Grattis på födelsedagen!
Happy holiday! Trevliga helgdagar
Congratulations! Gratulerar!

Looking for Somebody in Swedish

English Swedish
Excuse me, is Sarah here? Är Sara här?
Yes, she’s here Ja, hon är här
She’s out Hon gick ut
You can call her on her mobile phone Ni kan ringa henne på hennes mobil
Do you know where I could find her? Vet ni var jag skulle kunna få tag på henne?
She is at work Hon är på jobbet
She is at home Hon är hemma
Excuse me, is Julien here? Är Julien här?
Yes, he’s here Ja, han är här
He’s out Han gick ut
Do you know where I could find him? Vet ni var jag skulle kunna få tag på honom?
You can call him on his mobile phone Ni kan ringa honom på hans mobil
He is at work Han är på jobbet
He is at home Han är hemma

Swedish Nouns, Articles, Demonstratives and Cases

Nouns in Swedish have two genders, common and neuter, which adjectives must agree with when modifying nouns. These genders are signified by the indefinite articles: en and ett. In the vocabulary lists, a noun followed by (n) means that it is a neuter noun and it takes the indefinite article ett. The majority of nouns in Swedish are common gender, so they take the indefinite article en. The only case of nouns that is used in Swedish is the genitive (showing possession), and it is easily formed by adding an -s to the noun. This is comparable to adding -‘s in English to show possession. However, if the noun already ends in -s, then you add nothing (unlike English where we add -‘ or -‘s). Anders bok = Anders’s book

There are two indefinite articles (corresponding to a and an) in Swedish: en and ett. En is used with most of the nouns (words denoting people almost always use en), but you will just have to learn which article goes with which noun. The definite article (the) is not a separate word like in most other languages. It is simply a form of the indefinite article attached to the end of the noun. Note that en words ending in a vowel retain that vowel and add an -n instead of adding -en. And ett words ending in -e just add a -t.

En words (common)
Ett words (neuter)
en banan a banana bananen the banana ett bord a table bordet the table
en stol a chair stolen the chair ett kök a kitchen köket the kitchen
en gata a street gatan the street ett äpple an apple äpplet the apple
This, that, these and those are expressed in Swedish by using den, det or de plus the word här (here) and där (there). The noun is always in the definite form after these demonstratives. And if any adjectives follow the demonstrative, they must add an -a to the ending.
with en words with ett words with plural words
this / these den här biljetten – this ticket det här tåget – this train de här biljetterna – these tickets
that / those den där biljetten – that ticket det där tåget – that train de där tågen – those trains
Essential Phrases in Swedish:
pratar du engelska? do you speak English?
jag pratar inte svenska I don’t speak Swedish
jag pratar lite svenska I speak a little Swedish
jag pratar väldigt lite svenska I only speak very little Swedish
var snäll och prata långsammare please speak more slowly
kan du säga det igen? could you please repeat that?
jag förstår I understand
jag förstår inte I don’t understand
jag vet I know
jag vet inte I don’t know
var är toaletten? where is the toilet, please?
det brinner! fire!
ring brandkåren! call the fire brigade!
jag är vilse I’m lost
vi är vilse we’re lost
jag kan inte hitta min … I can’t find my …
jag har tappat … I’ve lost my …
mina nycklar keys
mitt pass passport
min plånbok wallet
min väska purse
min kamera camera
jag är utelåst ur min … I’ve locked myself out of my …
bil car
rum room
lämna mig ifred please leave me alone
försvinn! go away!

General conversation

Here are some common Swedish phrases for general conversation with people you already know.
hur står det till? how are you?
hur är läget? how’s it going?
jag är bra, tack I’m fine, thanks
jag är OK, tack I’m OK, thanks
inte så dåligt, tack not too bad, thanks
inte så bra not so well
hur är det med dig? how about you?
och du? and you?
och du själv? and yourself?
vad har du haft för dig? what have you been up to?
jobbat mycket working a lot
studerat mycket studying a lot
jag har varit väldigt upptagen I’ve been very busy
samma som vanligt same as usual
inte mycket not much
jag har precis kommit tillbaka från … I’ve just come backfrom …
har du några planer för sommaren? do you have any plans for the summer?
vad ska du göra på …? what are you doing for …?
julen Christmas
nyår New Year
påsken Easter

Swedish Question Words

who vem whose vems
what vad which vilken, vilket, vilka
why varför where to vart
when när where from varifrån
where var how hur

Which has three different forms depending on the gender and number of the noun that follows it. Vilken is used with en words, vilket is used with ett words and vilka is used with plural words.

Yes/No questions: Invert the subject and verb so that the verb begins the question.

Arbetar han? Does he work? Regnar det? Is it raining?

Question Words: The question word begins the question, and the verb comes next, followed by the subject.

Var bor Sten? Where does Sten live? Vad gör Elsa? What does Elsa do?

Word order

There are three different word order structures to follow in the Swedish language: the traditional word order of the main clause, the inverted word order of the main clause, and the word order of the subordinate clause. A main clause contains an independent thought and can form a grammatically acceptable and understandable sentence on its own. A subordinate clause adds information to the main clause or specifies something in the main clause, and it does not work on its own without the main clause. The traditional word order of the main clause follows a basic pattern where the first element of the sentence is a subject, followed closely by a verb and an object (SVO). Qualifiers such as negative words (inte, ej) and specific adverbs (alltid, kanske, redan) are usually placed after the first verb. At the end of the sentence, additional information on how something was done (tydligt), where it was done (i sängen) and when (på morgonen), can also be included. The traditional word order in a nutshell: subject, verb, qualifier, object, how, where, when.
Jenny köpte en ny bok i går. Jenny bought a new book yesterday. Hon vill inte äta frukost hemma i morgon. She doesn’t want to eat breakfast at home tomorrow.
The inverted word order of the main clause is needed when the sentence starts with something else than a subject, for example with an expression describing a place or a time. In an inverted word order the subject and the verb change places (VSO). The inverted word order in a nutshell: alternate expression, verb, subject, qualifier, object, how, where, when.
Där lyssnade vi alltid på rockmusik. There we always listened to rock music. Idag har jag inte haft tid att laga mat. Today I haven’t had time to cook (food).
The word order of the subordinate clause is near identical to that of the traditional main clause word order (SVO). The main difference is that the qualifier comes before the verb and not after it. A subordinate clause usually starts with a conjunction or a similar structure. The word order of a subordinate clause in a nutshell: conjunction, subject, qualifier, verb, object, how, where, when. In the following examples, the beginning of the subordinate clause has been bolded.
Det är kul att jag redan kan gå hem. It’s nice that I can already go home. Det är någonting som Jesse inte förstår. It’s something that Jesse doesn’t understand.

Swedish Verbs to Be & to Have

The present and past tenses of verbs in Swedish are very simple to conjugate. All the forms are the same for each personal pronoun. The infinitive of the verb to be in Swedish is vara, and the conjugated present tense form is är and the past tense is var. The infinitive of the verb to have is ha, and the conjugated present tense form is har and the past tense is hade.
att vara – to be
att ha – to have
I am jag är I was jag var I have jag har I had jag hade
you are du är you were du var you have du har you had du hade
he is han är he was han var he has han har he had han hade
she is hon är she was hon var she has hon har she had hon hade
it is den är it was den var it has den har it had den hade
it is det är it was det var it has det har it had det hade
one is man är one was man var one has man har one had man hade
we are vi är we were vi var we have vi har we had vi hade
you are ni är you were ni var you have ni har you had ni hade
they are de är they were de var they have de har they had de hade

To form the future tense of verbs, just add ska before the infinitive. Jag ska vara = I will be; hon ska ha = she will have; etc.

Professions in Swedish:

actor skådespelare judge domare
actress skådespelerska lawyer advokat
author författare mechanic mekaniker, montör
baker bagare musician musiker
baker’s shop bageri nurse sjuksköterska
bookseller bokhandlare official ämbetsman
bookshop bokaffär optician (eye doctor) optiker
businessman affärsman painter målare
butcher slaktare photographer fotograf
pharmacist farmaceut policeman polis
pharmacy apotek (n) postman brevbärare
cook kock, kokerska priest präst
customer kund publisher förläggare
dentist tandläkare scientist vetenskapsman
doctor läkare, doktor shoemaker skomakare
employee anställd, arbetstagare shop, store butik
engineer ingenjör singer sångare, sångerska
fisherman fiskare student student
gardener trädgårdsmästare surgeon kirurg
hairdresser hårfrisör tailor skräddare
jeweler juvelerare teacher lärare
journalist journalist workman arbetare

Swedish Days of the Week / Veckans dagar

Monday måndag
Tuesday tisdag
Wednesday onsdag
Thursday torsdag
Friday fredag
Saturday lördag
Sunday söndag
day dag
morning morgon
afternoon eftermiddag
evening afton (before 6 pm) / kväll
night natt
today idag
tomorrow imorgon
day after tomorrow i övermorgon
tonight ikväll
yesterday igår
day before yesterday i förrgår
last night igår natt
week vecka
weekend helg
daily daglig
weekly veckolig
To say “on” a certain day, use before the day.

Swedish Months of the Year

January januari
February februari
March mars
April april
May maj
June juni
July juli
August augusti
September september
October oktober
November november
December december
month månad
year år
monthly månatlig / varje månad
yearly årlig
To say “in” a certain month, use i before the month.

Swedish Verbs: To Do/Make & To Become

göra – to do/make
bli – to become
ska göra
ska bli

Use of göra in short answers

A yes/no question can be answered with a short phrase, just as in English. The verb göra (to do/make) is used with the pronoun det and the subject of the question. Some verbs are not replaced by göra and are repeated in the short answer, such as vara and ha. This is very similar to English, except for the word order. Positive Short Answer: Ja + det + Verb + Subject Negative Short Answer: Nej + det + Verb + Subject + inte Arbetar hon här? Does she work here? Ja, det gör hon. Yes, she does. Nej, det gör hon inte. No, she doesn’t. Är de glada? Are they happy? Ja, det är de. Yes, they are. Nej, det är de inte. No, they are not.

Swedish Seasons

Winter vinter in (the) winter på vintern
Spring vår in (the) spring på våren
Summer sommar in (the) summer på sommaren
Fall höst in (the) fall på hösten
You can also use i before the names of the seasons to express this: i vinter = this winter

Swedish Directions

North norr Northeast nordost
South söder Northwest nordväst
East öster Southeast sydost
West väster Southwest sydväst
left till vänster
right till höger
straight ahead rakt fram

Swedish Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns

with en words with ett words with plural words
my / mine min mitt mina
your / yours din ditt dina
his / her / its / their sin sitt sina
his / his hans hans hans
her / hers hennes hennes hennes
its / its dess dess dess
our / ours vår vårt våra
your / yours er ert era
their / theirs deras deras deras
The same forms are used for possessive adjectives that are used directly before nouns and for possessive pronouns that replace a noun. For example, this is my car and this is mine would be translated as det här är min bil and det här är min. Sin, sitt and sina can only be used when the third person possessive adjective refers to the subject of the same clause. These words can be translated as his, her, its or their. Generally, if you cannot insert “own” after the possessive adjective in English, you cannot use sin/sitt/sina. Per besöker sin mamma. = Per visits his (own) mother. (Sin refers back to Per.) Eva ringer hans mamma. = Eva calls his mother. (Hans refers to Per, not Eva.)

Swedish Verbs: To Do/Make & To Become

göra – to do/make
bli – to become
ska göra
ska bli

Use of göra in short answers

A yes/no question can be answered with a short phrase, just as in English. The verb göra (to do/make) is used with the pronoun det and the subject of the question. Some verbs are not replaced by göra and are repeated in the short answer, such as vara and ha. This is very similar to English, except for the word order. Positive Short Answer: Ja + det + Verb + Subject Negative Short Answer: Nej + det + Verb + Subject + inte Arbetar hon här? Does she work here? Ja, det gör hon. Yes, she does. Nej, det gör hon inte. No, she doesn’t. Är de glada? Are they happy? Ja, det är de. Yes, they are. Nej, det är de inte. No, they are not.

Swedish Prepositions

vid by, at, next to av of, by, with
i in bakom behind
on, in, at bland among
hos at the house of bredvid beside
till to efter after, for
från from enligt according to
genom through, by framför in front of
längs along för for, by, with
över across, over omkring around
mot towards, to med with, by
mellan between under under, below
om around, about, in utan without
sedan since utom except for
trots in spite of åt towards, for
Vid is used to express a position next to something, but with no contact. I is used to express a position in something that is seen to have volume (room, containers, etc.); and it is also used with countries, cities, villages, etc. is used to express a position on something that is seen as a line or surface with contact; and it is also used with islands, addresses, and particular places, such as bank, post office, cinema, hospital, library, etc. Three exceptions to using på with particular places include school, the shop and church: i skolan, i affären, i kyrkan.

Swedish Modal Verbs

kunna – to be able to, can
vilja – to want to
få – to be allowed to
— have to, must

Just as in English, there is no past form of must / måste. You can either use var tvungen or behövde instead, as in jag var tvungen att … = I had to…

skola – supposed to, will, should
böra- should, ought to
bruka – usually, used to
behöva – need to
  Vi kan tala engelska. We can speak English. Han kunde inte spela. He could not play. Sven vill sova. Sven wants to sleep. Hon vill ha kaffe. She wants coffee. (When vilja is followed by a noun, ha is added before the noun.) Du får röka. You may smoke. De måste gå hem nu. They must go home now. Du får inte röka. You must not smoke. (Must not is translated with får inte rather than måste inte, which means don’t have to.) Jag brukar dricka kaffe efter lunch. I usually drink coffee after lunch. (Brukar in the present tense means usually + main verb.)

Conjugating Regular Verbs in Swedish in the Present and Past Tenses

Infinitives in Swedish end in -a. When conjugating verbs, the same form is used for all subject pronouns, whether singular or plural. To form the present tense of verbs, either add -r to the infinitive or remove the -a and add -er.

tala – to speak (-ar verb) and stänga – to close (-er verb)

Present Tense
Past Tense
Present Tense
Past Tense
jag talar I speak jag talade I spoke jag stänger I close jag stängde I closed
du talar you speak du talade you spoke du stänger you close du stängde you closed
han talar he speaks han talade he spoke han stänger he closes han stängde he closed
hon talar she speaks hon talade she spoke hon stänger she closes hon stängde she closed
vi talar we speak vi talade we spoke vi stänger we close vi stängde we closed
ni talar you speak ni talade you spoke ni stänger you close ni stängde you closed
de talar they speak de talade they spoke de stänger they close de stängde they closed
Please note the three present tenses in English (simple, progressive and emphatic) are all translated by one verb form in Swedish. Jag talar can mean I speak, I am speaking or I do speak. Four Past Tense Conjugations To form the past tense, most verbs add -de to the present tense form of -ar verbs and to the stem of -er verbs (infinitive minus -a). But if the stem ends in a voiceless consonant (k, p, t, or s), then add -te instead. Another group of verbs, short verbs ending in a vowel, add -dde to form the past tense.
Infinitive of -ar verbs; add -de arbeta to work arbetar arbetade
fråga to ask frågar frågade
öppna to open öppnar öppnade
tala to speak talar talade
Stem of -er verbs; add -de ringa to ring ringer ringde
stänga to close stänger stängde
följa to follow följer följde
bygga to build bygger byggde
Stem ends in k, p, t, or s; add -te tänka to think tänker tänkte
röka to smoke röker rökte
läsa to read läser läste
köpa to buy köper köpte
Infinitive ends in long vowel; add -dde tro to believe tror trodde
bo to live, dwell bor bodde

Negative Sentences

To make a sentence negative in Swedish, simply add inte after the verb. If there is an auxiliary verb and a main verb, inte goes between the two. In addition, if you answer “yes” to a negative question, you must use jo instead of ja.

Swedish Reflexive Verbs

Some verbs in Swedish are reflexive verbs, in that the action by the subject is performed by itself. This is comparable to the -self or -selves pronouns used in English with some verbs, such as he behaves himself. Most of the time, verbs that are reflexive in Swedish are not reflexive in English. To conjugate these verbs, simply add these pronouns after the verb:

mig (mej) myself oss ourselves
dig (dej) yourself er yourselves
sig (sej) himself/herself/itself sig (sej) theirselves

The forms in parentheses are used in colloquial (spoken and written) Swedish. In fact, mig, dig and sig are pronounced as if they were writtenmej, dej and sej.

Swedish Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

och and
eller or
men but
för because, for
som as
antingen…eller either…or
varken…eller neither…nor

Subordinating Conjunctions

att that
eftersom because, as
för att in order to, so that
därför att because
innan / förrän before
medan while
när when
om if, whether (interrogation)
fast even if, although
sedan since, as
nu då now that

Swedish Present and Past Perfect Tenses

The present and past perfect tenses consist of two parts: har / hade and the supine form of the main verb. This is a compound tense that corresponds to has/have / had and a past participle in English. The main difference between Swedish and English in this tense, however, is that Swedish uses the supine form of the verb instead of the past participle.

To form the supine, -ar verbs add -t to the infinitive; while -er verbs replace -a with -t in the infinitive. Infinitives ending in long vowels add -tt to form the supine.
arbeta to work arbetar arbetade arbetat
fråga to ask frågar frågade frågat
öppna to open öppnar öppnade öppnat
tala to speak talar talade talat
ringa to ring ringer ringde ringt
stänga to close stänger stängde stängt
följa to follow följer följde följt
bygga to build bygger byggde byggt
tänka to think tänker tänkte tänkt
röka to smoke röker rökte rökt
läsa to read läser läste läst
köpa to buy köper köpte köpt
tro to believe tror trodde trott
bo to live, dwell bor bodde bott
Jag har läst boken. I have read the book. Hon hade öppnat dörren. She had opened the door.

List of common regular verbs

First conjugation

att + infinitiv presens imperfekt supinum imperativ Translation
att dansa dansar dansade dansat dansa! to dance
att hoppa hoppar hoppade hoppat hoppa! to jump
att spela spelar spelade spelat spela! to play
att träna tränar tränade tränat träna! to train/work out
att visa visar visade visat visa! to show

Second conjugation (-er)

Conjugation 2a (-er, -de, -t)

att + infinitiv presens imperfekt supinum imperativ Translation
att förlänga förlänger förlängde förlängt förläng! to prolong
att hänga hänger hängde hängt häng! to hang
att ringa ringer ringde ringt ring! to ring
att stänga stänger stängde stängt stäng! to close

Conjugation 2b (-er, -te, -t)

att + infinitiv presens imperfekt supinum imperativ Translation
att leka leker lekte lekt lek! to play
att steka steker stekte stekt stek! to fry
att tycka tycker tyckte tyckt tyck! to think (opinion)
att tänka tänker tänkte tänkt tänk! to think (use brain/opinions)

Third conjugation

att + infinitiv presens imperfekt supinum imperativ Translation
att gro gror grodde grott gro! to grow
att sy syr sydde sytt sy! to sew
Swedish Language
Swedish Lessons Introduction  ]]>

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