Swedish II Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

Thanks to Krystallia for the mp3s! Don't forget to check out the Foreign Service Institute Swedish Course and Swedish Listening Resources, where you will find authentic and spontaneous Swedish recordings with transcripts and English translations.


21. Possessive Adjectives & Pronouns Listen to MP3

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.)


22. To Do/Make & To Become Listen to MP3

göra - to do/make
bli - to become
present
gör
blir
past
gjorde
blev
future
ska göra
ska bli


23. Work Listen to MP3

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


24. Prepositions Listen to MP3

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.


25. Countries & Nationalities Listen to MP3

  Country Noun Adjective
Africa / African Afrika afrikan afrikansk
America / American Amerika amerikan amerikansk
Argentina / Argentinan Argentina argentinare argentinsk
Asia / Asian Asien asiat asiatisk
Australia / Australian Australien australiensare australiensk
Austria / Austrian Österrike österrikare österrikisk
Belgium / Belgian Belgien belgare belgisk
Brazil / Brazilian Brasilien brasilianare brasiliansk
Canada / Canadian Kanada kanadensare kanadensisk
China / Chinese Kina kines kinesisk
Denmark / Dane Danmark dansk dansk
Egypt / Egyptian Egypten egyptier egyptisk
England / English England engelsman engelsk
Europe / European Europa europé europeisk
Finland / Finnish Finland finländare / finne finsk
France / French Frankrike fransman fransk
Germany / German Tyskland tysk tysk
Great Britain / British Storbritannien britt brittisk
Greece / Greek Grekland grek grekisk
Netherlands / Dutch Holland holländare holländsk
Hungary / Hungarian Ungern ungrare ungersk
Ireland / Irish Irland irländare irländsk
Italy / Italian Italien italienare italiensk
Japan / Japanese Japan japan japansk
Norway / Norwegian Norge norrman norsk
Poland / Polish Polen polack polsk
Portugal / Portuguese Portugal portugis portugisisk
Russia / Russian Ryssland ryss rysk
Scotland / Scottish Skottland skotte skotsk
Spain / Spanish Spanien spanjor spansk
Sweden / Swedish Sverige svensk svensk
Switzerland / Swiss Schweiz schweizare schweizisk
Turkey / Turkish Turkiet turk turkisk
United States U.S.A. amerikan amerikansk

 

For languages, you generally add -a to the adjective: svenska is Swedish and engelska is English, etc.


26. Negative Sentences Listen to MP3

 

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.


27. Short Answers Listen to MP3

 

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.


28. To Come & To Go Listen to MP3

komma - to come
gå - to go
present
kommer
går
past
kom
gick
future
ska komma
ska gå


29. Common Auxiliary Verbs Listen to MP3

kunna - to be able to, can
vilja - to want to
få - to be allowed to
--- have to, must
present
kan
vill
får
måste
past
kunde
ville
fick
---

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
present
ska
bör
brukar
behöver
past
skulle
borde
brukade
behövde

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.)


30. Conjugating Regular Verbs (Present and Past Tenses) Listen to MP3

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) & 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. (See 34. Irregular Verbs below for a longer list as many of these verbs have irregular forms in other tenses.)

 
Infinitive
Present
Past
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

31. Reflexive Verbs Listen to MP3

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 written mej, dej and sej.


32. Commands Listen to MP3

Verbs that end in -ar in the present tense simply remove the -r to form the command (imperative). Verbs that end in -er in the present tense remove the -er to form the command. You cannot form the imperative if you only know the infinitive and not if the verb takes -ar or -er in the present tense. But if you do know that an infinitive is an -ar verb, you leave the -a in the imperative, and if the infinitive is an -er verb, you remove the -a.

Present Tense Imperative Translation
öppnar öppna! open!
väntar vänta! wait!
skriver skriv! write!
läser läs! read!

33. Present & Past Perfect Listen to MP3

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.

Infinitive
Present
Past
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.


34. Irregular Verbs Listen to MP3

Several verbs in Swedish are considered irregular because they do not follow the rules for the different conjugations. These forms need to be memorized since these verbs are very common.

Infinitive Imperative Present Past Supine Translation
vara var är var varit be
ha ha har hade haft have
komma kom kommer kom kommit come
göra gör gör gjorde gjort do, make
ta ta, tag tar tog tagit take
säga säg säger sa, sade sagt say
veta vet vet visste vetat know
låta låt låter lät låtit let
hålla håll håller höll hållit hold
heta het heter hette hetat be called
åka åk åker åkte åkt go
resa res reser reste rest travel
bära bär bär bar burit carry
dra dra, drag drar drog dragit pull, drag
ligga ligg ligger låg legat lie (down)
lägga lägg lägger la, lade lagt put
sätta sätt sätter satte satt put
slå slå slår slog slagit hit
falla fall faller föll fallit fall
äta ät äter åt ätit eat
sova sov sover sov sovit sleep
stjäla stjäl stjäler stal stulit steal
gråta gråt gråter grät gråtit cry
sälja sälj säljer sålde sålt sell
välja välj väljer valde valt choose
vänja vänj vänjer vande vant accustom
svälja svälj sväljer svalde svalt swallow
skilja skilj skiljer skilde skilt separate


Some -er verbs (and never -ar verbs) have irregular simple past and supine forms. Sometimes these involve a vowel change and lack of ending. Listen to MP3

Infinitive Past Supine Translations
binda band bundit to bind / bound / bound
brinna brann brunnit to burn / burned / burned
dricka drack druckit to drink / drank / drunk
finna fann funnit to find / found / found
försvinna försvann försvunnit to disappear / disappeared / disappeared
hinna hann hunnit to manage / managed / managed
rinna rann runnit to run, flow / ran, flowed / run, flowed
sitta satt suttit to sit / sat / sat
slippa slapp sluppit to get out of / got out of / gotten out of
spricka sprack spruckit to split / split / split
springa sprang sprungit to run / ran / run
sticka stack stuckit to stick / stuck / stuck
vinna vann vunnit to win / won / won
bita bet bitit to bite / bit / bitten
gripa grep gripit to grip / gripped / gripped
lida led lidit to suffer / suffered / suffered
rida red ridit to ride / rode / ridden
skina sken skinit to shine / shone / shone
skriva skrev skrivit to write / wrote / written
slita slet slitit to wear out / wore out / worn out
stiga steg stigit to rise / rose / risen
tiga teg tigit to be silent / was silent / been silent
vrida vred vridit to turn / turned / turned
bjuda bjöd bjudit to invite / invited / invited
ljuga ljög ljugit to lie / lied / lied (to tell a lie)
sjunga sjöng sjungit to sing / sang / sung
skjuta sköt skjutit to shoot / shot / shot
bryta bröt brutit to break / broke / broken
flyga flög flugit to fly / flew / flown
flyta flöt flutit to float / floated / floated
frysa frös frusit to freeze / froze / frozen
knyta knöt knutit to tie up / tied up / tied up
krypa kröp krupit to crawl / crawled / crawled

A few infinitives in Swedish do not end in -a. These are short verbs and they end in a long, stressed vowel. The infinitive is the same as the imperative, and the present tense is formed by adding -r. The past tense if formed by adding -dde to the infinitive, and the supine is formed by adding -tt to the infinitive. However, a few of the short verbs have an irregular form in the past. Listen to MP3

 

Infinitive / Imperative Present Tense Past Tense Supine Translation
Short verbs with a regular past:
tro tror trodde trott believe, think
ske sker skedde skett happen
når nådde nått reach
bo bor bodde bott live (dwell)
mår mådde mått feel (of health)
klä klär klädde klätt dress
Short verbs with an irregular past:
får fick fått get, receive
går gick gått go, walk
ge ger gav gett give
se ser såg sett see
dör dog dött die
stå står stod stått stand
be ber bad bett ask, pray

35. Food & Meals Listen to MP3

bacon bacon / fläsk (n) salt salt (n)
beef nötkött (n) sandwich smörgås
beer öl (n) sauce sås
beverage dryck sausage korv
biscuit kaka soup soppa
bread bröd (n) stew gryta
breakfast frukost sugar socker (n)
butter smör (n) supper middag
cake kaka / tårta tea te (n)
cheese ost veal kalvkött (n)
chicken kyckling vegetables grönsaker
coffee kaffe vinegar ättika / vinäger
cream grädde wine vin (n)
dessert dessert basin skål
dinner middag bottle flaska
egg ägg (n) can opener konservöppnare
fried egg stekta ägg coffee pot kaffekanna
soft-boiled egg kokta ägg colander durkslag
fat fett (n) corkscrew korkskruv
flour mjöl (n) cup kopp
ham skinka dish fat (n)
honey honung fork gaffel
jam sylt frying pan stekpanna
lunch lunch glass glas (n)
meal måltid jug kruka
meat kött (n) kettle kittel
milk mjölk knife kniv
mustard senap lid lock (n)
mutton fårkött (n) napkin servett
oil olja plate tallrik
omelet omelett saucer tefat (n)
pepper peppar saucepan kastrull
pork fläsk (n) spoon sked
roll bulle tablecloth duk
salad sallad teapot tekanna

If you are referring to a brand of beer, öl is a neutral noun instead of common.


36. Fruits & Vegetables Listen to MP3

almond mandel strawberry jordgubbe
apple äpple (n) tree träd (n)
apple tree äppelträd (n) tree trunk stam
apricot aprikos vine vinstock
ash ask walnut valnöt
bark bark willow pil
beech bok artichoke kronärtskocka
berry bär (n) asparagus sparris
birch björk barley korn (n)
blackberry björnbär (n) bean (broad) böna
branch gren bean (kidney) kidneyböna
cherry körsbär (n) brussel sprouts brysselkål
cherry tree körsbärsträd (n) cabbage kål
chestnut kastanj carrot morot
chestnut tree kastanjeträd (n) cauliflower blomkål
currant vinbär (n) celery selleri
cypress cypress corn majs
date dadel cucumber gurka
elm alm eggplant aubergine
fig fikon (n) garlic vitlök
fir gran herb ört
fruit frukt horse-radish pepparrot
grapes vindruvor lentil lins
hazelnut hasselnöt lettuce sallad
kernel kärna maize majs
laurel lagerträd (n) mint mynta
leaf blad (n) mushroom svamp
lemon citron oats havre
lime tree lind onion lök
melon melon parsley persilja
oak ek pea ärta
olive oliv potato potatis
olive tree olivträd (n) pumpkin pumpa
orange apelsin radish rädisa
orange tree apelsinträd (n) rice ris (n)
peach persika rye råg
pear päron (pl) sage salvia
pear tree päronträd seed frö (n)
pine tall spinach spenat
pineapple ananas stalk stjälk
plum plommon (n) tomato tomat
poplar poppel turnip rova
raspberry hallon (n) wheat vete (n)
root rot    


37. Conjunctions Listen to MP3

Coordinating Conjunctions

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

Subordinating Conjunctions

att that
when
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
 

38. Word Order Listen to MP3

In general, the word order of Swedish is the same as English: Subject + Verb + Object. However, the word order is slightly different from English when something other than the subject of the verb begins the sentence. In declarative sentences, the main verb is always in the second position (but not necessarily the second word!). For example, if a sentence begins with an adverb or an object, the verb will be the second element in the sentence, and the subject will come after the verb. Then any other forms of verbs (such as participles or infinitives) will come after the subject.

Adverb or Object Main Verb Subject (Participle / Infinitive) Translation
I morgon åker jag till Sverige. I'm going to Sweden tomorrow.
I affären köper jag bröd. I buy bread in the store.

In sentences that begin with a subordinate clause, the second (independent) clause will have inversion of the verb and subject. The subordinate clause is the first element in the sentence, so the verb must be second, and the subject is third.

Subordinate Clause Main Verb Subject Rest of Sentence Translation
När jag var ung, bodde jag i Sverige. When I was young, I lived in Sweden.
Nu då hon har kommit kan vi börja. Now that she's arrived we can begin.

Furthermore, adverbs that modify the entire sentence come before the verb in subordinate clauses, whereas they normally occur after the verb in regular sentences. Besides inte (not), these adverbs include: aldrig (never), alltid (always), alltså (so, then), möjligtvis (maybe), gärna (gladly, with pleasure), bara (only) and säkert (surely).

Han säger att han inte kan åka bil till Stockholm. He said that he cannot come to Stockholm by car.


39. Asking Questions Listen to MP3

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?


40. Holiday Phrases Listen to MP3

 

God Jul! Merry Christmas!
Gott Nytt År! Happy New Year!
Glad Påsk! Happy Easter!
Grattis på födelsedagen! Happy Birthday!


The Swedish National Anthem

Du gamla, du fria, du fjällhöga Nord,
Du tysta, du glädjerika sköna!
Jag hälsar dig, vänaste land uppå jord,
Din sol, din himmel, dina ängder gröna.
Din sol, din himmel, dina ängder gröna.

Du tronar på minnen från fornstora da'r,
då ärat ditt namn flög över jorden.
Jag vet att du är och du blir, vad du var.
Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden.
Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden.

You ancient, free and mountainous North,
Of quiet, joyful beauty,
I greet you, loveliest land on earth,
Your sun, your sky, your green meadows.
Your sun, your sky, your green meadows.

You are throned on memories of olden days
When the honour of your name spread over the earth.
I know that you are and will remain what you were.
Oh, may I live, may die in the Nordic North!
Oh, may I live, may die in the Nordic North!


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