Duolingo Swedish Grammar Notes

MauriceReeves Apr 21st, 2016 250 Never
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  1. Plurals
  3. Swedish plurals have a reputation for being irregular and hard to learn. This is, in fact, not true. While there are certainly many irregular plural forms in Swedish, there is also a lot of predictability, and a large amount of words are entirely predictable if you know the rules!
  5. Below are the 5 normal Swedish plural forms - both indefinite and definite.
  7. Singular    Plural indefinite   Plural definite
  8. en kvinna   kvinnor kvinnorna
  9. en hund hundar  hundarna
  10. en sak  saker   sakerna
  11. ett hus hus husen
  12. ett yrke    yrken   yrkena
  13. How to predict the plural
  15. En-words
  17. -a → -or
  18. en kvinna → kvinnor
  19. en gata → gator
  21. -e → -ar
  22. en pojke → pojkar
  24. Words in -are have no special plural form.
  25. en läkare → läkare
  27. -ing → -ingar
  28. en tidning → tidningar
  30. Words with stress on the final syllable always take -er.
  31. en elefant → elefanter
  32. en station → stationer
  33. en idé → idéer
  35. Words ending in -el, --er and -en usually take -ar, losing their e in the process.
  36. en fågel → fåglar
  37. en vinter → vintrar
  39. One-syllable words can take either -ar or -er, usually the former. en hund → hundar
  40. en färg → färger
  42. Ett-words
  44. If they end in a consonant, they have no plural ending.
  45. ett hus → hus
  46. ett barn → barn
  48. If they end in a vowel, they take -n.
  49. ett yrke → yrken
  50. ett meddelande → meddelanden
  52. Irregular plurals
  54. There are several irregular plural forms, usually these include changing the main vowel.
  56. en man → män
  57. en mus → möss
  58. en hand → händer
  59. en bok → böcker
  61. The ending -en
  63. It's important to remember that the ending -en can be either the plural of an ett-word, or the definite singular of an en-word! Beware of this common trap for students of Swedish!
  65. armen the arm
  66. husen houses
  69. Pronouns and pronounciation
  71. By now, you have already learnt the subject pronouns. In this lesson you will learn the objective forms. Pronouns are used a lot which might explain why not all of them are pronounced the way they are spelt. In very informal Swedish you might even found these pronouns written as they actually are pronounced, as in the brackets (crazy, right!).
  73. Subject Object
  74. jag [ja] I  mig [mej] me
  75. du you  dig [dej] you
  76. han he  honom him
  77. hon she henne her
  78. den it  den it
  79. det [de] it det [de] it
  80. vi we   oss us
  81. ni you  er you
  82. de [dom] they   dem [dom] them
  84. How do you know which “it” to use? If “it” refers back to a word in a preceding sentence, you use den to replace en-words and det to replace ett-words. If “it” does not refer to a preceding word (as in “It is raining today”), we always use “det” (which would be “Det regnar i dag”). We also use "det" in the phrase "there is/are" (which would be "Det finns" in Swedish).
  88. My, my, my – possessive pronouns
  90. Swedes like order. Therefore we have different possessive pronouns depending on the person (e.g. “we”) and the following word (which, as you know very well by know, is either an en-word or an ett-word - or plural). However, we thought there would be way too many pronouns if each person had three possessive pronouns, so we made an exception for the third person singular and plural, which only have one each.
  92. Subject En-words    Ett-words   Plural
  93. Jag min mitt    mina
  94. Du  din ditt    dina
  95. Han hans    hans    hans
  96. Hon hennes  hennes  hennes
  97. Det dess    dess    dess
  98. Den dess    dess    dess
  99. Vi  vår    vårt   våra
  100. Ni  er  ert era
  101. De  deras   deras   deras
  102. Who is kissing whose husband???
  104. Imagine Maria is going for a walk with her husband Erik. On their way, they stumble across Annika and her husband Sven. Annika then suddenly kisses her husband. Which husband is she actually kissing? Her own husband Sven – or Maria’s husband Erik?! This is a crucial question for Swedes, so therefor we use something called reflexive possessive pronouns (only in the third person) which says that “it’s the subject’s”.
  106. Example
  108. Annika kysser sin man Annika kisses her husband Puh, we can rest reassured, no conflict (Swedes are very afraid of conflicts) because sin tells us “it’s the subject’s” (i.e Annika’s) husband.
  109. Annika kysser hennes man Annika kisses her husband  Oh, oh – we have a problem – this means that Annika is kissing not her own husband but “her” (i.e Maria’s) husband (i.e Erik)!
  110. This reflexive possessive pronoun also has three forms – and I daresay you may guess what they look like (and why)! They replace “hans”, “hennes” “dess” and “deras” if the subject is the “owner”.
  112. Sin en-words
  113. Sitt    ett-words
  114. Sina    plural
  118. Asking questions.
  120. The main function of any language is the exchange of information. Because of this, being able to ask questions is an essential part of learning any language!
  122. Luckily, asking questions in Swedish does not differ much from asking questions in English at all!
  124. First, we have a selection of question words, just like in English.
  126. Swedish English
  127. vad what
  128. var where (location)
  129. vart    where (direction)
  130. hur how
  131. varför why
  132. vem who
  133. vems    whose
  134. när    when
  135. vilken/vilket/vilka which
  136. Most of the time, we use these just like we would in English.
  138. Swedish English
  139. Vad gör du?    What are you doing?
  140. Var är du? Where are you?
  141. Vems hund är det?  Whose dog is it?
  142. Note that the Swedish equivalents of which are conjugated just like the adjectives.
  144. Form    Swedish English
  145. En-words    Vilken bil? Which car?
  146. Ett-words   Vilket hus? Which house?
  147. Plural  Vilka hundar?   Which dogs?
  148. Also you might have noticed Swedish contains two words for where. What for? It's quite simple really, one is for location, where you are, and one is for direction, where you are heading.
  150. Var är du? (Where are you?)
  151. Vart går du? (Where are you going?)
  152. Don't worry if you mix these up sometimes, a lot of native speakers do it all the time!
  154. Inversion
  156. Inversion is when you change the word order in certain situations. Let's take a look at English:
  158. You are running.
  159. Are you running?
  160. Notice how we completely changed the meaning of the sentence just by switching the positions of you and are. Amazing!
  162. And even more amazing: Swedish uses a system very similar to this:
  164. Du springer. (You are running.)
  165. Springer du? (Are you running?)
  166. Just like above, we made a question just by switching the positions of du and springer.
  168. One thing to note is that when using modal verbs (auxiliary verbs) you only invert the modal verb:
  170. Han kan springa. (He can run.)
  171. Kan han springa?. (Can he run?)
  172. Again, very similar to English. Note however that unlike English, Swedish does not use to do as an auxiliary verb.
  174. Do you run? (Springer du?)
  175. Do you like me? (Gillar du mig?)
  176. Enough reading, it's time for some practice! Good luck and enjoy the simplicity that is Swedish questions!
  180. Conjunctions
  182. A conjunction is a small word used to link sentences together. English examples are and, but, because, and that.
  184. Some conjunctions, such as och, eller and men are normal conjunctions and merely join two sentences together:
  186. Jag ser dig och du ser mig. I see you and you see me.
  187. Jag vill äta glass men det vill inte du. I want to eat ice cream but you don't.
  188. But there are also so called subordinate conjunctions, such as att, eftersom and innan. They create a subordinate clause, which means that they introduce something that is dependent on the rest of the total sentence.
  190. Jag vet att du är här. I know that you are here.
  191. Jag äter maten eftersom den är god. I eat the food because it is good.
  193. Now, this is all fine and dandy, but there is something to these subordinate conjunctions that is important to know! Just like in English, they can be moved around in and be put both before and after the rest of the sentence. When they are moved to the front, the verb of the other, main part of the sentence must immediately follow them!
  195. Att du är här vet jag . That you are here, I know.
  196. Eftersom den är god äter jag maten. Because it is good, I eat the food.
  198. NB: The conjunction därför att can never start a sentence, in such cases we use eftersom instead.
  203. Prepositions are words that describe spatial or temporal relations. In other words, words such as: on, under, to, and from.
  205. Prepositions in Swedish are used very similarly to their English counterparts.
  207. Many times they will be literal translations of each other:
  209. -Äpplet är på bordet. (The apple is on the table.)
  211. -Barnet är under bordet. (The child is under the table.)
  213. But sometimes the translations don't match at all:
  215. -Jag är på stan. (literally: I am on the city)
  217. This means that while prepositions many times are very similar in the two languages you are going to have to learn them the hard way: through practice and experience.
  219. But there's no need to be discouraged by this! Remember, a lot of them are similar to English and there are not very many prepositions in either Swedish or English. Just make sure to keep at it and you will be speaking great Swedish in no time!
  221. Good luck!
  226. Generally when you speak about professions in Swedish, you don't use an article. So when you say in English I am a doctor, in Swedish you should say Jag är läkare., without the article.
  227. The article can be used with professions in some cases, but beware, it may change the meaning. Compare:
  228. Han är clown = He works as a clown. (it is his job)
  229. Han är en clown = He is like a clown. (he behaves like a clown)
  230. In English, if you say He is a clown, you could mean either one of those two things.
  232. If there are any adjectives involved however, the article is used:
  233. Hon är en bra läkare = She is a good doctor.
  239. In English, adjectives never change their form. In Swedish however, they change all the time—in fact, they have to! Just like German, Spanish or French, adjectives in Swedish have to agree with the noun they modify.
  241. This means, that Swedish adjectives have different forms depending on whether the noun is definite or indefinite, whether it’s singular or plural, and whether it’s an en or an ett word.
  243. Indefinite forms
  245. When an adjective is used with an indefinite noun, such as en fisk or ett hus, it changes according to the form of the noun it modifies.
  247. For singular en-words, the suffix is -Ø (i.e. nothing at all), meaning the adjective is identical to the basic form:
  248. en stor fisk, en gul bil, en snäll hund.
  250. For singular ett-words, the suffix -t is added to the basic form:
  251. ett stort hus, ett gult bord, ett snällt meddelande.
  253. For plural words, the ending is always -a, regardless of the gender of the word:
  254. stora fiskar/hus, gula bilar/bord, snälla hundar/meddelanden.
  256. Singular en Singular ett    Plural en/ett
  257. -Ø -t  -a
  258. stor    stort   stora
  259. gul gult    gula
  260. snäll  snällt snälla
  261. Definite forms
  263. If the noun is definite, the adjective takes the ending -a in all cases, no matter gender or number. What’s important to note, however, is that whenever a definite noun is used together with an adjective, an article is placed in front of the adjective. This article is den for singular en-words, det for singular ett-words, and de for plural words (note that de is pronounced as ‘dom’).
  265. en stor fisk → den stora fisken
  266. ett gult bord → det gula bordet
  267. snälla hundar → de snälla hundarna
  269. This article is mandatory—the only time it isn’t used is in proper names and epithets: Svarta Havet ‘the Black Sea’, Röda Torget ‘the Red Square’, Vita Huset ‘the White House’.
  271. The definite form of the adjective is also used with possessives, even though the noun itself is not definite:
  273. min fisk → min stora fisk
  274. ditt bord → ditt gula bord
  275. Eriks hundar → Eriks snälla hundar
  277. In addition to the definite -a form, there is also a definite form ending in -e. This form is used in the singular when the noun being referred to is male (and would be referred to as han as opposed to den):
  278. den store mannen, den nye ministern, den kloke pappan.
  279. It is common in epithets referring to men:
  280. Lille Prinsen ‘the Little Prince’, Alexander den Store ‘Alexander the Great’.
  282. It should be noted that this masculine form is optional in the written language, and usually absent in colloquial Swedish, the exception being in names and titles such as those mentioned above.
  284. Singular en Singular ett    Plural en/ett
  285. (den) -a    (det) -a    (de) -a
  286. (den) stora (det) stora (de) stora
  287. (den) gula  (det) gula  (de) gula
  288. (den) snälla   (det) snälla   (de) snälla
  289. Alternative patterns
  291. There are a number of adjectives not conforming to the pattern described above. Some of these are irregular, but most of them can be grouped together in the patterns shown below.
  293. Singular en Singular ett    Plural/Definite
  294. egen, öppen    eget, öppet    egna, öppna
  295. fri, ny fritt, nytt fria, nya
  296. röd, glad  rött, glatt    röda, glada
  297. hård, stängd  hårt, stängt  hårda, stängda
  298. skalad, älskad skalat, älskat skalade, älskade
  299. trött, rätt   trött, rätt   trötta, rätta
  300. tyst, exakt tyst, exakt tysta, exakta
  301. sann, tunn  sant, tunt  sanna, tunna
  302. dum, långsam (short vowel) dumt, långsamt dumma, långsamma
  303. enkel, vacker   enkelt, vackert enkla, vackra
  304. Irregular adjectives
  306. Some adjectives simply do not change at all, just like in English. These generally end in -s, -e or -a:
  307. en bra film, ett bra hus, bra personer
  308. den bra filmen, det bra huset, de bra personerna
  309. en främmande film, ett främmande hus, främmande personer
  310. den främmande filmen, det främmande huset, de främmande personerna
  312. A couple of adjectives have irregular forms:
  314. en liten pojke, ett litet hus, små katter
  315. den lille/lilla pojken, det lilla huset, de små katterna
  317. en gammal man, ett gammalt hus, gamla katter
  318. den gamle/gamla mannen, det gamla huset, de gamla katterna
  322. Adverbs
  324. Adverbs are small words modifying verbs, adjectives or other adverbs! English adverbs often end in -ly (such as happily), but many simply have no particular ending (such as very).
  326. In Swedish, the common adverbial ending, like English -ly, is -t. These adverbs are identical to ett-word adjectives.
  328. vacker → vackert beautifully
  329. glad → glatt happily
  330. snäll → snällt kindly
  332. Some adjectives ending in -ig take an adverbial ending in -en or -tvis.
  334. verklig → verkligen really
  335. naturlig → naturligtvis naturally
  337. And, of course, many adverbs simply have no particular ending: e.g. ofta, kanske, alltid.
  339. Placement of adverbs
  341. Unlike English, adverbs are always placed after the verb.
  343. Jag springer ofta. I often run.
  344. Du äter hemma. You eat at home.
  346. Like English, adverbs are placed before adjectives and other adverbs.
  348. Huset är mycket blått. The house is very blue.
  349. Jag är lyckligt gift. I am happily married.
  350. Han är aldrig hemma. He is never at home.
  354. Lesson 7: Particle verbs
  356. Particle verbs are very characteristic for the Swedish language. You have some in English too, but in Swedish there are many more and they are more frequently used. An English example would be turn off, like in Turn off the radio!, which would be Stäng av radion! in Swedish, also with a particle verb.
  357. In particle verbs, the particle is always stressed. The presence of the particle changes the meaning of the verb, so that the verb with the particle can mean something quite different from what the verb means on its own, just like Turn off the radio! means something very different from Turn the radio!
  358. So, while dyker on its own means 'dives', dyker upp means 'shows up', 'appears'. While håller on its own means just holds, håller med means 'agrees'.
  359. In negated phrases, inte comes between the verb and the particle: Don't turn off the radio! will be Stäng inte av radion!
  360. Lesson 8: Deponent verbs
  362. Deponent verbs are verbs that have the same form as passive verbs (ending with an -s) but are not passive. All the verbs taught in Lesson 8 of this skill are deponent verbs. You've already learned one before this lesson: finns, the verb used in the construction Det finns = There is/are.
  363. Morphologically, deponent verbs work the same as other verbs, except that they have the ending -s in every form. Compare: Jag känner dig ('I know you') – Det känns bra ('It feels good').
  364. This is all you really need to know about them, but if you want to know more, you can read here.
  365. Lesson 9: Reflexive verbs
  367. Some verbs are reflexive, which means they need to have a reflexive pronoun as an object. To take the verb skyndar sig 'hurry' as an example, it will be like this:
  368. Jag skyndar mig 'I am hurrying'
  369. Du skyndar dig 'You are hurrying'
  370. Han/hon/hen/den/det skyndar sig 'He/she/it is hurrying'
  371. Vi skyndar oss 'We are hurrying'
  372. Ni skyndar er 'You are hurrying'
  373. De skyndar sig 'They are hurrying'
  374. Some verbs can be either reflexive or not reflexive, but take a normal object instead when they're not reflexive. For instance, the Swedish verb lär – either you learn 'yourself', or you teach someone else:
  375. Jag lär mig svenska 'I am learning Swedish'
  376. Du lär dig svenska 'You are learning Swedish'
  377. etc, or:
  378. Jag lär dig svenska 'I am teaching you Swedish'
  379. Du lär mig svenska 'You are teaching me Swedish' etc.
  380. Lesson 10: Reflexive particle verbs
  382. Verbs can be both particle verbs and reflexive at the same time. In that case, what is said above about both those things apply to them. Some examples are
  383. tar med sig literally 'takes with oneself' means brings in the sense someone of taking something with them
  384. har med sig literally 'has with oneself', means brings in the sense of someone having something with them
  385. tar av sig literally 'takes off oneself', used for taking off clothes
  386. delar med sig literally 'parts with oneself', means shares – Hon delar med sig av sin mat = 'She shares her food'.
  387. The particle can also come last, as in bryr sig om (literally: 'worries oneself about')- 'cares': Bryr du dig om mig? - 'Do you care about me?'
  392. While it's great to be able to express what is happening right now, a lot of times we will want to talk about what happened earlier. This is were the past tense comes into play.
  394. As with the present tense, there is no difference between I drew and I was drawing. Both are Jag ritade.
  396. Let's look at how we do this in Swedish.
  398. AR-VERBS
  400. Present tense   Past Tense  English
  401. pratar  pratade talked, was/were talking
  402. simmar  simmade swam, was/were swimming
  403. öppnar öppnade    opened, was/were opening
  404. If the present form is -ar, the past form is -ade. This is 100% regular. No exceptions. Remember that both forms have an a in them.
  406. ER-VERBS
  408. Present tense   Past Tense  English
  409. häller hällde poured, was/were pouring
  410. ringer  ringde  phoned, was/were phoning
  411. läser  läste  read, was/were reading
  412. köper  köpte  bought, was/were buying
  413. hör    hörde  heard, was/were hearing
  414. Ok, this group might look a bit crazy, but it really isn't. The above are all regular er-verbs. If the verb is regular and its present ends in -er, then the past tense is -de.
  416. Unless, the core of the verb ends in either of p, t, k, or s. In this case it takes -te, because we find this easier to pronounce.
  418. If the core ends in r, the regular er-verbs have no present ending, but it still gets its -de in the past tense. Unfortunately, if you see hör you can't see that it is an er-verb, but if you see hörde you immediately know it is a regular er-verb and that it's present form must be hör (only regular er-verbs have a past tense in -de).
  420. R-VERBS
  422. Present tense   Past Tense  English
  423. tror    trodde  believed, was/were believing
  424. bor bodde   lived, was/were living
  425. klär   klädde dressed, was/were dressing
  426. Finally among the regular verbs, we have the short regular r-verbs. Here we simply add -dde, and we're done with them.
  430. Present tense   Past Tense  English
  431. ser såg    saw, was/were seeing
  432. är var was/were, was/were being
  433. kommer  kom came, was/were coming
  434. springer    sprang  ran, was/were running
  435. dricker drack   drank, was/were drinking
  436. skriver skrev   wrote, was/were writing
  437. Last of all, irregular verbs. Your favorite, I know! There are a couple of patterns here, but nothing that would ever fit in a description like this, I'm afraid.
  439. Worth noting, however, is that:
  441. Since English and Swedish are related, many irregular verbs are the same: drack-drank, såg-saw, kom-came. This is a great help trying to remembering them.
  443. Just like in English, strong verbs don't have a particular ending, instead they usually change their core vowel. This is where you can go look for patterns, just like in English.
  447. Many times, the infinitive form is referred to as the base form. This is not without reason. When memorizing verbs this is the one most frequently used and most conjugation stem from this form. But what do we use it for?
  449. The infintive form is used when using a modal verb. These are verbs such as want, will, must. This is actually very similar to how we use the infinitive form in English.
  451. I want to drive a car.
  452. I must to go to school.
  453. In Swedish it is almost exactly the same.
  455. Jag vill köra en bil. (I want to drive a car)
  456. Jag måste gå till skolan. (I must go to school)
  457. The difference here is that we don't use any equivalent to to in Swedish, except for in some cases. These are the most common ones.
  459. Jag gillar att köra bil. (I like driving [a car])
  460. Jag hatar att städa. (I hate cleaning)
  461. Jag försöker att lära mig svenska. (I'm trying to learn Swedish)
  462. Here, the Swedish word att acts like the English word to.
  464. There isn't that much to learn as an English speaker when it comes to Swedish infintive. Learning when to use att and when not to is the key to mastering it, and that will (as usual) come with practice.
  469. Many times, the infinitive form is referred to as the base form. This is not without reason. When memorizing verbs this is the one most frequently used and most conjugation stem from this form. But what do we use it for?
  471. The infintive form is used when using a modal verb. These are verbs such as want, will, must. This is actually very similar to how we use the infinitive form in English.
  473. I want to drive a car.
  474. I must to go to school.
  475. In Swedish it is almost exactly the same.
  477. Jag vill köra en bil. (I want to drive a car)
  478. Jag måste gå till skolan. (I must go to school)
  479. The difference here is that we don't use any equivalent to to in Swedish, except for in some cases. These are the most common ones.
  481. Jag gillar att köra bil. (I like driving [a car])
  482. Jag hatar att städa. (I hate cleaning)
  483. Jag försöker att lära mig svenska. (I'm trying to learn Swedish)
  484. Here, the Swedish word att acts like the English word to.
  486. There isn't that much to learn as an English speaker when it comes to Swedish infintive. Learning when to use att and when not to is the key to mastering it, and that will (as usual) come with practice.
  490. By now we know some adjectives. We know how to say something is pretty or someting is ugly. But how do we express that is not just pretty, it's the prettiest or that those shoes are uglier than those shoes?
  492. We call these forms comparative and superlative.
  494. Comparative form is used when you compare one thing to another.
  496. Sweden is better than Denmark.
  497. My dad is stronger than your dad!
  498. And superlative is used when some is of the highest degree possible of something.
  500. She is the nicest person I've met.
  501. These meatballs are the best I've had!
  502. So how do we create these words in Swedish? Let's take a look at the regular ones first.
  504. Positive    Comparative     Superlative undefined   Superlative defined
  505. varm        varmare         varmast                 varmaste
  506. billig      billigare       billigast               billigaste
  507. viktig      viktigare       viktigast               viktigaste
  509. Some adjectives are not used in comparative or superlative form. This is very comparable to English. You wouldn't say he is the importantest person, you would say he is the most important person. The same goes for a lot of adjectives in Swedish and most of the time, these actually correspond with the English ones.
  511. And now to the bad news. A lot of adjectives are irregular, especially the most common ones. You are going to have to learn these the hard way, through practice and experience. But don't lose hope yet, many of these are so common that you will learn the forms really fast!
  516. Present perfect is used to express a past event that has present consequences. That's a very vague description, let's look at examples instead. What if we want to say I have eaten or He has written a book, how do you say that in Swedish? That is when we need to use present perfect and that is also what we are going to learn in this lesson.
  518. What we have to do to express present perfect in Swedish, is to create a form of the verb, that we can use as an adjective. Then we combine this with the present form of ha, which is har.
  520. Du har pratat (You have talked)
  521. De har hört (They have heard)
  522. Hon har klätt sig (She has gotten dressed)
  523. Jag har ätit (I have eaten)
  524. This probably looks complicated, and to be perfectly honest, it is. There are four different basic ways to construct present perfect in Swedish, and they look like this:
  526. Infinitive  Present Perfect English Translation
  527. prata   pratat  talk
  528. höra   hört   hear
  529. klä    klätt  dress, get dressed
  530. äta    ätit   eat
  532. This form is called supine and is the equivalent of the English past participle.
  534. This is one of those places where Swedish differs more than usual from English so this might need some extra practice. One thing to note is that this form is very common in Swedish and you will have to get used to it not only to understand what people say, but so that you can speak in a more Swedish way.
  536. All the difficulties aside, good luck with your lesson in Swedish present perfect!
  541. Modal verbs are verbs that indicate what we in linguistics call modality. Modality is what allows us to attach things such as belief, attitude, and obligation to statements. This means that words such as must, may, want, are all modal verbs.
  543. This probably sounds very abstract at the moment, let's look at how modal verbs can completely change a sentence:
  545. I go to school.
  546. I must go to school.
  547. Here we use have as a modal verb.
  549. I eat.
  550. I want to eat.
  551. Here, the modal word is want.
  553. You can already see how important modal verbs are. But how do we use them in Swedish? You just add the modal verb, followed by the main verb in infinitive form.
  555. Jag går till skolan. (I go to school.)
  556. Jag måste gå till skolan. (I must go to school.)
  557. (If you need a little refresher on the infinitive form, take a quick look at the lesson in infinitive form.)
  559. Notice how we change går from present tense to the infinitive gå. If we use other tenses, we conjugate the modal verb, not the main verb.
  561. Jag såg honom. (I saw him.)
  562. Jag kunde se honom. (I could see him)
  563. Here, we change såg from past tense to the infinitive form, se.
  567. Finally, here is some of the verbs we will be learning in this lesson:
  569. Swedish English
  570. kan can
  571. måste  must
  572. får    may, be allowed to
  573. borde   should
  574. få get, receive
  575. ska will, shall
  576. Good luck!
  579. FUTURE
  581. First of all, there is good news and bad news. The bad news are there are three different ways to express future in Swedish. The good news are all of these three ways are really simple!
  585. The first one is basically just present tense with an adverb to describe what time we are talking about.
  587. Jag går till skolan om en timme (I'm going to school in an hour)
  588. Du flyger till Stockholm i morgon (You are flying to Stockholm tomorrow)
  589. Jag ringer dig (I'll call you). No adverb, but it's understood that I'm not doing it right now.
  590. Although the same kind of constructions exist in English they are a bit more common in casual Swedish.
  592. SKA
  594. In Swedish, ska is the equivalent of the English verb will, as in I will. You might stumble upon the spelling skall instead of ska. This is often considered very formal or old-fashioned. Unless you're writing formal texts, just use ska. There is a sort of ’modal’ nuance to ska: whenever you use this form, somebody wants something to happen (or not happen). You could also say that somebody controls what is going to happen, or has decided to do something.
  595. Jag ska gå till skolan (I will go to school)
  596. Vi ska köpa ett hus (We will buy a house)
  599. Kommer att is a bit hard to translate directly, but the closest equivalent would be going to. It is often used when making predictions about what is probably going to happen. In other words, often about things that you can't control.
  600. Jag tror att det kommer att regna i morgon (I think it is going to rain tomorrow)
  601. Hon kommer nog inte att tycka om presenten. (She is probably not going to like the gift)
  602. If you happen to mix up ska and kommer att it will sound a bit strange to the native speaker but it will still be grammatically correct. Don't be discouraged by this, you will learn the more subtle differences between the two in time and with practice.
  604. Good luck!
  607. The imperative is formed by removing -er from verbs ending in -er in the present tense, and removing -r from verbs ending in -ar in the present tense.
  608. Examples:
  609. läser -> läs!
  610. äter -> ät!
  611. lyssnar -> lyssna!
  612. betalar -> betala!
  613. Exceptions:
  614. some very short verbs:
  615. går -> gå!
  616. tror -> tro!
  617. ger -> ge!
  618. but
  619. gör -> gör!
  620. Also note: kommer -> kom!
  626. I have a car. It is red. I also have a bike. It is blue.
  628. The above sentences are all correct English, but if you read it out loud, it sounds very clunky. We can use what we call relative pronouns to make it feel more fluent.
  630. I have a car that is red and a bike that is blue.
  632. This looks and sounds a lot better! Of course, we can do the exact same thing in Swedish.
  634. Swedish English
  635. vars    whose
  636. där    where
  637. som who, that, which
  638. vad what
  639. vilket  which
  640. As you can see in the table, these words are not always easily translated. Here are some examples to make things a bit easier.
  642. VARS
  644. Min vän vars far är död. (My friend whose father is dead.)
  645. DÄR
  647. I landet där vi bor finns det mycket snö. (In the land where we live there's a lot of snow.)
  648. SOM
  650. Bilen som de har är ny. (The car that they have is new.)
  651. VAD
  653. Vet du vad jag tänker på? (Do you know what I'm thinking of?)
  654. VILKET
  656. Han fick ett A i matematik, vilket är bra. (He got an A in mathematics, which is good.)
  661. Do you remember how we a couple of lessons back learned how to create Swedish present perfect? If you do, then this is going to be a real breeze!
  663. In the lesson for perfect present, we learned how we could make sentences such as:
  665. Jag har ätit (I have eaten)
  666. Du har hört(You have heard)
  667. Now we are gonna make very similar sentences, but they are going to take place in the past!
  669. Jag hade ätit (I had eaten)
  670. Du hade hört (You had heard)
  671. Yes, that is the exact same thing but we use the past tense form of ha, which of course is hade.
  673. If you need a refresher, here is the table of how to create what is called supine form that we use in Swedish perfect.
  675. Infinitive  Present Perfect English Translation
  676. prata   pratat  talk
  677. höra   hört   hear
  678. klä    klätt  dress, get dressed
  679. äta    ätit   eat
  680. All in all, past perfect in Swedish is very similar to past present. It is also used in the same way as in English.
  682. Jag blev bjuden på middag men jag hade redan ätit (I was invited to dinner but I had already eaten).
  683. Knowing how to use past perfect is extremely useful for those times when you have to describe what happened in the past, such as what you did this last weekend.
  685. Good luck!
  690. Thus far, we have learned that the Swedish present tense covers both the English simple present (e.g. 'I eat') and the English present continuous ('I am eating'). While this is correct, we are going to nuance this a little bit.
  692. In Swedish, there are certain constructions emphasizing a continuous action - and who correspond to the English present continuous (i.e. the -ing form).
  694. håller på is used when the continuity is strong and we want to emphasize this. It can be followed by an infinitive or by the present tense.
  696. Jag håller på och äter. 'I am (busy) eating.'
  697. Jag håller på att lära mig svenska. 'I am (in the process of) learning Swedish.'
  699. If the emphasis is less strong, but the markedness is still desired, we can use one of the verbs sitter/ligger/står together with another present tense verb. This is equal to the English present continuous, but different in the sense that not only does it mark continuity, it also marks the position of the subject.
  701. Jag ligger och läser. 'I am (lying) reading.'
  702. Jag sitter och tittar på teve. 'I am (sitting) watching television.'
  703. Jag står och lagar mat just nu. 'I am (standing) cooking right now'
  708. In Swedish, it is very common that words change depending on whether it describes a position or a direction. You have already encountered the two words for where in Swedish; Var (position) & Vart (direction), but now it is time to expand on the subject. The following table summarizes the most important words:
  709. English Position    Direction
  710. Here    Här            Hit
  711. There   Där            Dit
  712. Up      Uppe        Upp
  713. Down    Nere        Ned/Ner
  714. Home    Hemma       Hem
  716. Let’s make things a bit clearer with a few examples:
  717. ”I am here” - Jag är här
  718. ”She is coming here” - Hon kommer hit
  720. “He is there” – Han är där
  721. ”I am going there” - Jag går dit
  722. ”She is up on the roof” - Hon är uppe på taket
  723. “You climb up on the roof” - Du klättrar upp på taket
  724. “She is down on the first floor” - Hon är nere på den första våningen
  725. ”He jumps down from the roof” - Han hoppar ned/ner från taket
  726. “We are not at home” - Vi är inte hemma
  727. “They are going home” - De åker hem
  729. FRAMME
  731. Framme is a peculiar word which translates to “there” in English, but it has notions of both position and direction. It is usually used when talking about the destination, either while going there, or after having reached it. Sounds confusing? Maybe a few examples can make it clearer.
  732. “Are we there yet?” - Är vi framme snart?
  733. “We are there now” - Vi är framme nu
  734. In the first example we are talking about the destination while being on our way.
  735. In the second example we have reached the destination after having finished the journey. It essentially means “We have arrived”.
  737. FÖRBI
  739. Förbi is used when something is passing by something else, and could be used both for time and space. I.e:
  740. “The car drives by the school” - Bilen kör förbi skolan
  741. “Our time has passed” - Vår tid är förbi
  745. In many cases where English uses a preposition to describe directions, Swedish would rather add a suffix to indicate the same meaning. For example:
  746. Uppifrån – From above
  747. Uppåt - (To) up
  748. Uppför - Uphill (or up along)
  751. PASSIVE
  753. There are two kinds of passive in Swedish, the s-passive and the perifrastic passive. Their forms are easy to learn, the problem is to know when to use the passive.
  755. S-passive
  757. S-passive is formed by adding the ending -s to the verb.
  758. Form    Active form Passive form
  759. Future  Vi ska bygga ett hus.   Huset ska byggas.
  760. We will build a house   The house will be built.
  761. Present Vi bygger ett hus.  Huset byggs.
  762. We are building a house.    The house is being built.
  763. Past    Vi byggde huset.    Huset byggdes.
  764. We built the house  The house was built.
  765. Past perfect    Vi har byggt huset. Huset har byggts.
  766. We have built the house.    The house has been built.
  767. Perifrastic passive
  769. The perifrastic passive is formed with an auxiliary verb, bli (become) or vara (be), plus a perfect participle. The participle is inflected as an adjective, as usual:
  770. Swedish English
  771. Huset var redan byggt.  The house was already built.
  772. Husen var redan byggda. The houses were already built.
  773. Kyrkan var redan byggd. The church was already built.
  774. Agent
  776. If there is an agent in a passive sentence – the agent is the one who performs the action of the verb – the preposition av is used:
  778. Huset byggdes av tre bröder. ~ The house was built by three brothers.
  781. Future preterite can be described as the future seen from the past. It is used when speaking about something you were planning at a point of time in the past, or something you thought was going to happen. The forms are the same as for the conditional, skulle + infinitive, but the meaning is not the same.
  783. Example:
  784. När vi skulle åka upptäckte vi att bilen var stulen .
  785. When we were going to go, we discovered that the car was stolen.
  786. The people in this sentence discovered that their car was stolen at a point in time where their leaving had not yet happened – they were going to go, the leaving was still in the future for them.
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