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Your Ultimate Resource for Must-Know Advanced Swedish Words

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What are the first few words we learn in any language? 

They’re the most basic nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that we need for daily interactions. But every language has advanced words that we don’t start learning until later on in our studies. 

Once you master the basics, you can begin leveling up and perfecting your language skills by setting your sights on more advanced vocabulary. Luckily, you won’t have to search very far to unearth these word gems. 

Below, we have compiled some of the most important advanced Swedish words for you to start studying.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Advanced Academic Words
  2. Advanced Business Words
  3. Advanced Medical Words
  4. Advanced Legal Words
  5. Advanced Swedish Verbs
  6. Advanced Swedish Adjectives
  7. Advanced Swedish Adverbs
  8. Conclusion

1. Advanced Academic Words

A Woman at a Graduation Ceremony

Learning academic vocabulary is crucial. For many people, it’s one of the most challenging aspects of learning a foreign language. When I was in school, I had to memorize the definition of every vocabulary word. But the acquisition of foreign languages doesn’t quite work that way.

There are two main reasons for this. First, knowing the definition of a word doesn’t mean you know how to use it in a sentence. Second, the meaning of a word can vary slightly depending on the context.

In scientific studies, articles, and other academic texts, words are defined more concretely than in regular conversation. Additionally, words that have more than one meaning are often used differently in academic contexts than they are elsewhere. 

But let’s keep things simple here. Below are a few advanced Swedish words related to academia.

SwedishEnglishSwedish Example SentenceEnglish Example Sentence
Dock (adv.)HoweverDet stämmer dock inte.However, that is not true.
Relation (n.)Relation / Relationship1: Det finns ingen relation mellan händelserna.
2: De har inlett en relation tillsammans.
1: There’s no relation between the events.
2: They have started a relationship together.
Studie (n.)StudyResultatet presenteras i en ny studie.The result is presented in a new study.
Social (adj.)SocialHon är social och gillar andra människor.She is social and likes other people.
Begrepp (n.)ConceptDet är ett välkänt begrepp.It’s a well-known concept.
Form (n.)Form / ShapeDet är en form av kampsport.
Han är i god form innan tävlingen.
It’s a form of martial arts.
He’s in good shape before the competition.
Betydelse (n.)SignificanceDet är en bagatell och utan större betydelse.It’s a trifle and without much significance.
Analys (n.)AnalysisDet framgår i analysen.That is made clear in the analysis.
Utifrån (adv.)Based onDet gick bra utifrån omständigheterna.It went well based on the circumstances.
Perspektiv (n.)PerspectiveVåra perspektiv skiljer sig åt.Our perspectives differ.
Beskriva (v.)DescribeJag kan inte beskriva hur lycklig jag är.I cannot describe how happy I am.
Text (n.)TextNi behöver skriva en kort text om ämnet.You need to write a short text on the topic.
Innebära (v.)MeanDet kommer innebära slutet för oss!It will mean the end for us!
Exempelvis (adv.)For exampleDu kan exempelvis gå till sängs, eller läsa en bok.For example, you can go to bed or read a book.
Utgöra (v.)ConstituteDe kommer inte att utgöra ett hot länge till.They will not constitute a threat for long.
Orsak (n.)ReasonDet finns ingen orsak till oro.There is no reason for concern.
Såväl (con.)As wellHan har arbetat inrikes såväl som utrikes.He has worked domestically as well as abroad.
Enligt (prp.)According toDet går inte enligt dem.That’s not possible, according to them.
Därmed (adv.)ThusDärmed slutar vår saga så som den började.Thus ends our fairy tale as it began.
Diskussion (n.)DebateVi får ta upp det till diskussion på mötet.We will have to bring it up for discussion at the meeting.
Samband (n.)ConnectionDet finns inget samband mellan de två fallen.There is no connection between the two cases.
Forskning (n.)ResearchVi behöver mer forskning på ämnet.We need more research on the subject.
Dels (con.)PartlyDet är dels mitt fel, och dels hennes.It’s partly my fault, and partly hers.
Tolkning (n.)InterpretationSlutet är öppet för tolkning.The ending is open to interpretation.
Referera (v.)To referJag får lov att referera till expertis på området.I will have to refer to expertise in the field.

(Part of speech: n; noun, v; verb, adj; adjective, adv; adverb, prp; preposition, con; conjunction)

2. Advanced Business Words

A Businesswoman Surrounded by Sketches of Lightbulbs

In addition to academic words, business vocabulary is incredibly important. You’ll need to know this type of vocabulary before applying for a job or doing anything that requires a formal report/presentation.

In the professional world, we use many more advanced words than we do in everyday conversations. This is true even if our job doesn’t require any special training. 

For example, let’s say you encounter a difficult situation at work and want to talk about it with your boss. You might say something like, “That was an unfortunate circumstance.” If you were talking to anyone other than a superior, such as your friends or family, you would probably use the word “unlucky” instead. 

As you approach an advanced level in Swedish, becoming familiar with this special set of terminology will certainly give you a leg up in the business world. 

SwedishEnglishSwedish Example SentenceEnglish Example Sentence
Division (n.)DivisionVi studerar multiplikation och division.We study multiplication and division.
Huvudkontor (n.)Head officeVar ligger deras huvudkontor?Where is their head office?
Outsourcing (n.)OutsourcingHan fick sparken på grund av outsourcing.He was fired due to outsourcing.
Uppsägning (n.)TerminationDet räcker med en varning istället för uppsägning.A warning instead of termination is enough.
Tillgångar (n.)AssetsTillgångarna överstiger utgifterna.The assets exceed the expenses.
Lager (n.)StockOroa dig inte, vi har flera på lager.Don’t worry; we have several in stock.
Aktieägare (n.)ShareholderStyrelsens beslut lär inte vara populärt hos aktieägarna.The board’s decision is not likely to be popular with the shareholders.
Ränta (n.)Interest rateVad erbjuder banken för ränta?What interest rate does the bank offer?
Personalavdelning (n.)Human resources departmentHon arbetar vid personalavdelningen.She works in the human resources department.
Omsättning (n.)TurnoverOmsättningen ökade under det andra kvartalet.Turnover increased during the second quarter.
Medel (n.)FundsDet saknas medel till att investera.There are no funds to invest.
Dotterbolag (n.)SubsidiaryDe öppnade ett dotterbolag dit de kunde flytta kostnaderna.They opened a subsidiary where they could move the costs.
Avgift (n.)FeeDet tillkommer en avgift för sittplats.There is an additional fee for seating.
Lönebesked (n.)PayslipSkatten framgår på lönebeskedet.The tax appears on the payslip.
Partnerskap (n.)PartnershipDeras partnerskap var bräckligt.Their partnership was fragile.
Arbetsmarknad (n.)Labor marketArbetsmarknaden har återhämtat sig efter lågkonjunkturen.The labor market has recovered from the recession.
Kompensera (v.)CompensateVi kommer att kompensera dig för uppdraget.We will compensate you for the assignment.
Ansöka (v.)ApplyJag kommer att ansöka till tjänsten.I will apply for the position.
Gren (n.)BranchAvbrottet kommer att påverka samtliga grenar av företaget.The interruption will affect all branches of the company.
Bokföring (n.)AccountingDe kom undan med det på grund av kreativ bokföring.They got away with it because of creative accounting.
Registrerat  varumärke (n.)Registered trademarkProdukten lyder under ett registrerat varumärke och får inte kopieras utan tillstånd.The product is subject to a registered trademark and may not be copied without permission.
Konkurs (n.)BankruptcyOm inte vinsten ökas är en konkurs nära förestående.Unless the profit is increased, bankruptcy is imminent.
Affärsresa (n.)Business tripHan är på affärsresa, kan jag ta ett meddelande?He’s on a business trip; can I take a message?
Tillsvidareanställning (n.)Permanent contractEfter sex månader övergår det till en tillsvidareanställning.After six months, it will be changed to a permanent contract.
Visstidsanställning (n.)Fixed-term contractDe hittar alltid något skäl till att sparka en vid avslutat visstidsanställning.They always find some reason to fire you at the end of a fixed-term contract.
Chef (n.)BossDe kom relativt väl överens med chefen.They got along relatively well with the boss.

(Part of speech: n; noun, v; verb, adj; adjective, adv; adverb, prp; preposition, con; conjunction)

3. Advanced Medical Words

A Female Doctor

I’m not a doctor, but as someone who has had to visit the doctor on several occasions, I know how important it is to understand what’s being said. For me, the worst part about going to the doctor is feeling clueless and helpless. I feel a lot better when I can ask questions and get answers in my native language.

Luckily, in most countries, there are professional medical interpreters available to help you communicate with your doctor. If that’s not an option for you, use the following list of advanced Swedish words to start learning the most important medical vocabulary.

SwedishEnglishSwedish Example SentenceEnglish Example Sentence
Behandling (n.)TreatmentSom tur var svarade hon väl på behandling.Fortunately, she responded well to treatment.
Godartad (adj.)BenignDet är en godartad tumör.It is a benign tumor.
Sterilisera (v.)SterilizeNi behöver sterilisera verktygen innan operationen.You need to sterilize the tools before the operation.
Smittsam (adj.)ContagiousSjukdomen är inte smittsam.The disease is not contagious.
Bedöva (v.)AnesthetizeVi kommer att bedöva området innan det första snittet sker.We will anesthetize the area before the first incision is made.
Allergi (n.)AllergyHar du några allergier vi behöver känna till?Do you have any allergies we need to know about?
Blodtryck (n.)Blood pressureHan led av högt blodtryck på grund av övervikt.He was suffering from high blood pressure due to being overweight.
Fraktur (n.)FractureRöntgen visar på en fraktur i lårbenet.The X-ray shows a fracture in the femur.
Röntgen (n.)X-rayVi behöver ta röntgen för att se ifall en fraktur föreligger.We need to take an X-ray to see if there is a fracture.
Antibiotika (n.)AntibioticsEndast bakteriella infektioner kan behandlas med antibiotika.Only bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics.
Hjärtattack (n.)Heart attackHan avled i en hjärtattack.He died of a heart attack.
Immunförsvar (n.)Immune systemImmunförsvaret måste utmanas för att bli starkare.The immune system must be challenged to become stronger.
Blödning (n.)BleedingVi måste få stopp på blödningen innan vi syr igen såret.We have to stop the bleeding before we stitch up the wound.
Vaccinera (v.)VaccinateDet är en sjukdom som går att vaccinera mot.It is a disease that can be vaccinated against.
Recept (n.)PrescriptionDu behöver ett recept för att få det läkemedlet.You need a prescription to get that medicine.
Biverkan (n.)Side effectHögt blodtryck och yrsel är kända sidoeffekter hos medicineringen.High blood pressure and dizziness are known side effects of the medication.
Blodprov (n.)Blood testBlodprovet visade positivt för olagliga substanser.The blood test showed positive for illegal substances.
Influensa (n.)InfluenzaÅrets influensa ger en ovanligt hög feber.This year’s influenza gives an unusually high fever.
Klåda (n.)ItchingBetten kan leda till klåda och rodnad.The bite can lead to itching and redness.
Menstruation (n.)MenstruationGraviditetstest tas vid försenad menstruation.Pregnancy tests are taken in case of delayed menstruation.
Svalg (n.)PharynxPatienten har halsont med synbar rodnad i svalget.The patient has a sore throat with visible redness in the pharynx.
Mage (n.)StomachFör mycket kryddor gjorde att hon fick ont i magen.Too much spice made her stomach ache.
Ryggrad (n.)SpineEfter olyckan var de noga med att ryggraden hölls stilla.After the accident, they made sure that the spine was kept still.
Revben (n.)RibsHan knäckte ett revben i matchen.He broke a rib in the match.
Lungor (n.)LungsLungorna är skadade av rökning.The lungs are damaged by smoking.
Infektion (n.)InfectionVi behandlar infektionen med antibiotika.We treat the infection with antibiotics.

(Part of speech: n; noun, v; verb, adj; adjective, adv; adverb, prp; preposition, con; conjunction)

4. Advanced Legal Words

A Lawyer Holding a Scale

The next set of advanced Swedish vocabulary we’ll look at consists of words related to the law. Keep in mind that legal terms can vary slightly depending on the country or region you live in, as well as the legal system you’re referring to. 

For example, in the United States, words like “district attorney” and “prosecutor” have different meanings than they do in the United Kingdom. But no matter where you live, it’s important to understand basic terms like “murder” and “assault.”

For both legal professionals and the general public, knowing these words is essential. This is especially true if you frequently engage with legal professionals in your personal or professional life. For example, if you need to hire a lawyer or go through the court system, being familiar with basic legal terms will help you communicate with your attorney.

Legal words are particularly difficult for many people to learn because they’re generally abstract and complex. They also tend to have multiple meanings. 

The list below will help you get started with legal vocabulary in Swedish. 

SwedishEnglishSwedish Example SentenceEnglish Example Sentence
Auktoriserad (adj.)AuthorizedVi hänvisar dig till en auktoriserad återförsäljare.We refer you to an authorized dealer.
Förlikning (n.)SettlementDe två parterna nådde en förlikning.The two parties reached a settlement.
Brottsregister (n.)Criminal recordBrottsregister kommer att kontrolleras under anställningsprocessen.Criminal records will be checked during the recruitment process.
Appellationsdomstol (n.)Court of appealsYtterligare klagomål får du ta upp med appellationsdomstolen.You can take up further complaints with the court of appeals.
Juridiskt biträde (n.)Legal counselOffret saknade juridiskt biträde.The victim lacked legal counsel.
Rättslig (adj.)LegalDet är osannolikt att det leder till rättslig påföljd.It is unlikely that it will lead to legal repercussions.
Bevis (n.)EvidenceVad har ni för bevis för påståendet?What evidence do you have for the claim?
Kalla (v.)SummonMålsäganden kallar sitt första vittne.Plaintiffs summon their first witness.
Juridiska ombud (n.)Legal representativeSom anklagad har du rätt till juridiskt ombud.As an accused, you have the right to a legal representative.
Registrera (v.)RegisterDet är registrerat till protokollet.It is registered to the protocol.
Tvist (n.)DisputeHalva styrelsen är inblandade i rättsliga tvister.Half the board is involved in legal disputes.
Husrannsakan (n.)WarrantUtan husrannsakan kommer ni inte in!Without a warrant, you will not enter!
Företrädare (n.)RepresentativeJag är företrädare i fallet då den drabbade på grund av sina skador inte kan närvara.I am a representative in the case as the victim is unable to attend due to his injuries.
Notarie (n.)NotaryVi ber notarien stryka det från protokollet.We ask the notary to delete it from the minutes.
Skjuta upp (v.)PostponeVi har inget annat val än att skjuta upp det till ett senare tillfälle.We have no choice but to postpone it to a later date.
Rättegång (n.)TrialNi kommer att kallas till rättegång då åklagaren har tillräcklig bevisning.You will be called to trial when the prosecutor has sufficient evidence.
Allmän åklagare (n.)Public prosecutorSom allmän åklagare har hon ont om tid.As a public prosecutor, she is short of time.
Hävda (v.)ClaimDu hävdar alltså att någon planterade bevismaterialet på dig?So, you claim that someone planted the evidence on you?
Betalning (n.)PaymentSkulle betalningen vara sen tillkommer en straffavgift.Should the payment be late, a penalty fee will be added.
Kidnappning (n.)KidnappingPolisen utreder just nu brottet som en kidnappning.Police are currently investigating the crime as a kidnapping.
Angripare (n.)AssailantAngriparen var tydligt berusad.The assailant was clearly intoxicated.
Bestickning (n.)BriberyHan meddelades avsked på grund av bestickning.He was fired due to bribery.
Inbrott (n.)BurglaryGemene man vill att inbrott bestraffas betydligt hårdare.The common man wants burglary to be punished much more severely.
Utpressning (n.)BlackmailBilderna användes för utpressning.The pictures were used for blackmail.
Hot (n.)ThreatDe fick ett antal hot via sociala medier.They received a number of threats via social media.
Misshandel (n.)AssaultHan var anklagad för misshandel, men hävdade självförsvar.He was accused of assault, but claimed self-defense.

(Part of speech: n; noun, v; verb, adj; adjective, adv; adverb, prp; preposition, con; conjunction)

5. Advanced Swedish Verbs

At this stage in your Swedish learning journey, you probably know quite a lot of nouns and pronouns. Now, let’s move on to something equally important: Swedish verbs

In the English language, verbs can be either regular or irregular. Regular verbs are those that follow predictable conjugation patterns to form the past, present, and future tenses. For example, they’re conjugated for the past tense by adding “-ed” or “-d” to the end of the verb: “walked.”

By contrast, verbs that are considered irregular need an entirely different structure to form the past, present, and future tenses. For example, the past tense of “sing” is “sang,” not “singed.”

Even though there are irregular verbs in Swedish, many speakers of Romance languages (like French and Italian) find it really easy to learn most Swedish verbs because their conjugation is so simple.

Additionally, many common verbs in the Swedish language are very similar to English verbs, but with a unique pronunciation.

For example, in English, we say “I have a home” and “I had a home.” In Swedish, that comes out as Jag har ett hem and Jag hade ett hem. In this case, the perfect tense of “had” and hade surely tells the tale that these are closely related languages.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important verbs you’ll want to learn in the Swedish language.

SwedishEnglishSwedish Example SentenceEnglish Example Sentence
Att börjaTo startJag börjar varje morgon med frukost.I start each morning with breakfast.
Att länkaTo linkGenom att länka till sidan ökar dess popularitet.By linking to the page, its popularity increases.
Att skrivaTo writeJag älskar att skriva brev.I love writing letters.
Att utseTo nominateVi kommer att utse dig till borgmästare.We will appoint you mayor.
Att visaTo showGlöm inte att visa din legitimation.Do not forget to show your ID.
Att berömmaTo praiseDet är viktigt att berömma dem då de gör något bra.It is important to praise them when they do something good.
Att haTo haveDet är bra att ha mat i skafferiet.It is good to have food in the pantry.
Att sägaTo sayJag har en hel del att säga till skolstyrelsen.I have a lot to say to the school board.
Att deltaTo participateDe riktigt små barnen får pris bara för att delta.The really small children get a prize just for participating.
Att initieraTo initiateNär du är redo kan du initiera startproceduren.When you are ready, you can initiate the startup procedure.
Att balanseraTo balanceHan balanserade på en lina mellan två skyskrapor.He balanced on a rope between two skyscrapers.
Att omfamnaTo embraceLåt mig omfamna er i all vänskaplighet!Let me embrace you in friendship!
Att förbättraTo enhanceMinneskorten kommer att förbättra datorprestandan avsevärt.The memory cards will significantly improve computer performance.
Att utvecklaTo elaborateKan du utveckla argumentet lite närmare?Can you elaborate on the argument a little further?
Att samarbetaTo collaborateJag tror vi kan lyckas om vi samarbetar.I believe we can succeed if we cooperate.
Att framkallaTo evokeFilmen framkallade sentimentala minnen hos mig.The film evoked sentimental memories in me.
Att särskiljaTo distinguishDet är svårt att särskilja årets modell från de tidigare.It is difficult to distinguish this year’s model from the previous ones.
Att artikuleraTo articulateFörsök att artikulera bättre för ökad förståelse.Try to articulate better for greater understanding.

6. Advanced Swedish Adjectives

As you might have guessed, advanced Swedish adjectives are very similar to those in the English language. However, there are some slight spelling and pronunciation changes when converting an English adjective into Swedish.

For example, the English adjective “good” is irregular and declines as “better” and “best.” The Swedish word for “good” is bra, and the similarities can be seen in the likewise irregular comparative and superlative forms bättre and bäst.

Swedish adjectives also decline based on gender to some extent. Let’s see an example using the superlative “best”:  

  • Vi behöver den bäste mannen för jobbet. (“We need the best man for the job.”)
  • Vi behöver den bästa kvinnan för jobbet. (“We need the best woman for the job.”)

It may take time to get used to these changes, but once you do, speaking Swedish will become much easier. In fact, you’ll start to pick up on them even before you’ve completely mastered the words. 

Here are some advanced Swedish adjectives you may not have learned yet.

SwedishEnglishSwedish Example SentenceEnglish Example Sentence
GrundläggandeFundamentalRätten till liv är en grundläggande rättighet.The right to life is a fundamental right.
BekvämComfortableHemleverans är en bekväm lösning.Home delivery is a comfortable solution.
AnnorlundaDifferentHon bar en något annorlunda jacka, med lila tofsar.She wore a somewhat different jacket, with purple tassels.
LättEasyDet är inte alltid lätt att stiga upp på morgonen.Getting up in the morning is not always easy.
SvårDifficultDet är en svår fråga, kan du ge mig en ledtråd?That’s a difficult question; can you give me a clue?
KnepigTrickyVi har hamnat i en knepig situation utan uppenbar lösning.We have ended up in a tricky situation without an obvious solution.
ObekvämInconvenientJag blev obekväm i deras sällskap och valde att gå hem.I became uncomfortable in their company and chose to go home.
JobbigAnnoyingHan kunde bli jobbig ibland då han kände sig utanför.He could become annoying sometimes when he felt left out.
KritiskCriticalDetta är en kritisk situation och vi måste agera snabbt!This is a critical situation, and we must act quickly!
SjälvständigIndependentDet är en självständig nation och vi saknar auktoritet där.It is an independent nation and we lack authority there.
KompliceradComplicatedDet är en komplicerad maskin som jag inte förstår mig på.It’s a complicated machine that I do not understand.
TekniskTechnicalVårt tekniska kunnande leder oss till framgång.Our technical know-how leads us to success.
LyckligHappySagan fick ett lyckligt slut.The story had a happy ending.
UnderhållandeEntertainingDet var en underhållande film.It was an entertaining movie.
UppfriskandeRefreshingVill du ha något uppfriskande att dricka?Do you want something refreshing to drink?
GammaldagsOld-fashionedDet är en gammaldags lösning, men alltjämt effektiv.It is an old-fashioned solution, but still effective.
SegrandeVictoriousVi gick segrande ur kampen.We emerged victorious from the battle.
CharmigCharmingHan var oerhört charmig och alla tyckte om honom.He was extremely charming, and everyone liked him.

7. Advanced Swedish Adverbs

Just like with English, many adjectives in Swedish can be transformed into adverbs by simply adding a suffix.

For example, the English adjective “quick” can easily be changed into the adverb “quickly” by adding the suffix “-ly.” The Swedish adjective with the same meaning is snabb, which can be changed into the adverb snabbt. The Swedish suffix most commonly used for this purpose is, as you might have guessed, “-t.”

There are, of course, many adverbs that are not directly linked to an adjective, but they are quite often similar to their English counterparts as well. For example: 

  • Soon (Snart)
  • Afterward (Efteråt)
  • Often (Ofta)

It might take some time for you to get used to writing Swedish adverbs. However, the good news is that it’s not so difficult to learn the most common ones.

SwedishEnglishSwedish Example SentenceEnglish Example Sentence
EnkeltEasilyHan lyfte enkelt vikten över huvudet.He easily lifted the weight over his head.
NuNowJag går hem nu.I’m going home now.
FöreBeforeÄt inte godis före middagen.Do not eat sweets before dinner.
MerMoreJag vill ha mer kaka!I want more cake!
OnormaltAbnormallyDu sover onormalt mycket nu för tiden.You sleep abnormally much these days.
HopplöstHopelesslyHon är hopplöst förälskad i honom.She is hopelessly in love with him.
TvivelaktigtDoubtfullyHan såg tvivelaktigt på mig.He looked at me doubtfully.
LjudligtNoisilyVagnen rullade ljudligt in på gården.The cart rolled noisily into the yard.
IntensivtIntenselyMan kunde höra någon intensivt skratta från grannrummet.You could hear someone intensely laughing from the next room.
IntressantInterestinglyIntressant nog pågår seden fortfarande.Interestingly enough, the custom is still going on.
OväntatUnexpectedlyHan sparkade oväntat upp dörren.He unexpectedly kicked the door open.
MotvilligtReluctantlyHon skrattade motvilligt åt det grova skämtet.She laughed reluctantly at the crude joke.
OerhörtTremendouslyDet är en oerhört imponerande trädgård du har!It is a tremendously impressive garden you have!
OptimistisktOptimisticallyNu är det viktigt att vi ser optimistiskt på saken.At this point, it is important that we look at the matter optimistically.
KnapptBarelyHan hade knappt fyll sju år.He had barely celebrated his seventh birthday.
LydigtObedientlyDe slog lydigt undan med blicken.They obediently looked away.
AlltidAlwaysDet finns alltid plats för en till.There is always room for one more.
RasandeFuriouslyHan sprang rasande efter dem.He ran furiously after them.

8. Conclusion

It’s easy to get comfortable with the words you know in Swedish, but a challenge awaits for those who want to learn more. 

Learning advanced Swedish vocabulary is necessary if you need to discuss legal issues with a lawyer, explain health concerns to a doctor, or attend university in this beautiful country. Luckily, there are many resources available to help people learn the basics and level up to native-like fluency. 

SwedishPod101 is the most comprehensive resource you could lay your hands on. Here, you can find thousands of lessons in audio, video, and text format—all designed to help you learn Swedish in the fastest, easiest, and most fun way possible. 

Happy learning!
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Negation in Swedish: Learn How to Say No

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When learning a foreign language, it’s essential to have a lot of energy and positivity. After all, these are the qualities that will allow you to keep your spirits and your motivation up, and that will play a major role in reaching your language learning goals. 

This is why we would love to always be able to say yes!

But to master Swedish, you’ll also need to learn how to form negative sentences. Don’t worry, though, they’re only negative from a grammatical point of view. You can keep the positive vibe. 😉

In this article, you’ll learn about negation in Swedish: how to make a negative sentence, how to answer a yes-or-no question correctly, and how to use other useful negative expressions. 

We get it, saying no isn’t easy, especially for us people-pleasers…but it will be (at least from a language-learning perspective) after you finish reading this guide on Swedish negatives.

So, let’s waste no more time. Ready to start looking at how to say no and form negative sentences in Swedish?

A Woman Holding White Cards with Yes and No on Them
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Negative Sentences
  2. How to Give a Negative Answer to a Question
  3. Other Negative Words
  4. How Our Website Can Help

1. Negative Sentences

Negative sentences are those that state that something did not happen or is not true, or in the case of imperatives, they tell someone not to do something. In the English language, for example, we form negative sentences by adding the word “not” after an auxiliary verb (do, have, be, etc.).

  • Dave is not happy. 
  • We did not go to work today. 

Negations and negative expressions are a key component of any language. Imagine not being able to transform a positive sentence into a negative one…everyday life would get pretty interesting (and not in a good way!).

To avoid misunderstandings or other undesirable situations, it’s essential to learn how to build negative sentences in Swedish. Don’t worry, though, it’s actually quite easy and there are just a few rules you’ll need to remember.

A Family Doing Snow Activities During Winter Vacation

We did not go to work today.

Inte

The main word we use to make a positive sentence negative in Swedish is inte, which is a rough equivalent of the English word “not.”

Therefore, to make a positive sentence negative, we just need to insert the word inte. Easy enough, right? 

  • Jag studerar svenska. (I am studying Swedish.)
    Jag studerar inte svenska. (I am not studying Swedish.)
  • Han är här. (He is here.)
    Han är inte här. (He is not here.)

This construction is very simple and easy to use, don’t you think?

The only thing to take into account is where to put inte, so let’s see. 

Where to put inte in a sentence

As you could probably discern from the examples above, in a basic present-tense sentence, inte goes after the subject and the verb: 

  • Jag talar. (I speak.)
    Jag talar inte. (I don’t speak.)
  • Han skriver. (He writes.)
    Han skriver inte. (He doesn’t write.)
  • Vi ler. (We smile.)
    Vi ler inte. (We don’t smile.)

In compound tenses, however, which are tenses that have an auxiliary or helping verb as well as a main verb (like “I have been” in English), inte goes between the auxiliary and the main verb. Have a look at the following examples:

  • Jag har studerat svenska. (I have studied Swedish.)
    Jag har inte studerat svenska. (I have not studied Swedish.)
  • Jag har läst boken. (I have read the book.)
    Jag har inte läst boken. (I have not read the book.)
  • Hon hade öppnat dörren. (She had opened the door.)
    Hon hade inte öppnat dörren. (She had not opened the door.)

If the word order is reversed, for example in a question, inte will go after the main subject of the verb:

  • Gör han det? (Is he doing that?)
    Gör han inte det? (Isn’t he doing that?)
  • Har han gjort det? (Has he done that?)
    Har han inte gjort det? (Has he not done that?)

2. How to Give a Negative Answer to a Question

In general, questions can be divided into two groups: open-ended questions and closed-ended questions. A closed-ended question is usually one you can answer with a “yes” or “no,” without having to give any explanation. 

Let’s see how to answer these.

Chocolate Truffles

Do you like candy?

In English, we say: “Yes, I do,” or “No, I don’t.” After that, you’re free to give an explanation if you would like.

Logically, to respond to a yes-or-no question in Swedish (ja/nej-fråga), we also start with a yes (ja) or a no (nej). 

As in English, many students learn to answer this type of question by simply repeating the words in the question:

  • Gillar du godis? (Do you like candy?)
    Ja, jag gillar godis. (Yes, I like candy.)
    Nej, jag gillar inte godis. (No, I do not like candy.)

As you progress in your learning, however, this might become boring and repetitive—and let’s be honest, no native speaker uses this structure!

Det in Swedish

So, to be more natural, you could learn how to use the word det. It’s quite simple: Just place det after your ja or nej, add a verb, add a subject (and, if it’s a negative answer, inte). This will sound in Swedish like the English “Yes, I do,” or “No, I don’t.”

  • Har du en hund? (Do you have a dog?)
    Ja det har jag. (Yes, I do.)
  • Är du full? (Are you drunk?)
    Nej det är jag inte. (No, I am not.)

Pretty easy, right? It doesn’t end here, though. With the verbs är and har in the question, we can just reuse the same verb in the answer. But these are exceptions. With the majority of other verbs, when we respond, we’ll have to replace the verb used in the question with the verb göra (to do) and maintain the same structure with det:

  • Känner du honom? (Do you know him?)
    Ja, det gör jag. (Yes, I do.)
  • Kör du bil? (Do you drive?)
    Nej, det gör jag inte. (No, I do not.)

3. Other Negative Words

Of course, knowing how to use inte in all types of sentences is a good start, but there’s a lot more to learn about Swedish negation. 

Let’s see the most commonly used negative expressions in Swedish and how to use them with some example sentences. 

No / Nej

This simply means “no” and, as we just saw, can be used as a negative answer.

  • Nej, jag har inga pengar med mig. (No, I have no money with me.)

A Woman Trying to Find Money in Her Money Purse

No, I have no money with me.

Nothing / Ingenting

  • Jag gör ingenting. (I’m doing nothing.)

Sometimes, you’ll also find the word inget translated as “nothing.”

Not yet / Inte än

This expression also exists in the forms inte ännu and ännu inte. All three are correct. The word order to use with these is simple: inte (x) än, inte (x) ännu, and ännu inte (x).

  • Klockan är inte fem än. (It’s not five yet.)
  • Klockan är inte fem ännu. (It’s not five yet.)

No one / Ingen

Ingen can be used to say “no,” as in: 

  • Jag har ingen bil. (I have no car.)

Or as a pronoun that means “no one,” “nobody,” or “none.”

  • Ingen har någonsin sprungit 100 meter på under nio sekunder! (No one has ever run 100 meters in under nine seconds!)

The form inget, which is neuter, can also be used in the same way to talk about inanimate objects.

Never / Aldrig

  • Jag har aldrig sett det förr. (I’ve never seen that before.)
  • Mauro ljuger aldrig. (Mauro never lies.)

As you can see in the examples above, this word behaves like inte when it comes to word order. It goes after the verb in simple sentences, and in between the auxiliary and main verb when using compound verbs.

An Old Man Shrugging His Shoulders

I don’t know!

And, before we wrap up, here are some more negative sentences you might find useful if you’re learning Swedish! Don’t be scared of using them whenever you need them. 

  • We do not understand.
    Vi förstår inte.
  • I can’t remember the word.
    Jag kan inte komma ihåg ordet.
  • No problem!
    Inga problem!
  • Don’t worry!
    Oroa dig inte!
  • I don’t know!
    Jag vet inte!
  • I’m not fluent in Swedish yet.
    Jag pratar inte flytande svenska ännu.
  • I do not speak Swedish.
    Jag pratar inte svenska.

4. How Our Website Can Help

If you’re interested in learning more Swedish grammar and vocab, check out all the great content available on SwedishPod101.com. Here, you’ll have access to all the resources you need to make your language-learning adventure as interesting and motivating as possible. 

You’ll be able to: improve your listening skills with podcasts and audio lessons; work on gradually building your vocabulary with word lists, dictionaries, and phrasebooks; and learn great strategies from language experts on how to best approach the study of the Swedish language.

If you’re learning Swedish with plans of traveling in Scandinavia, don’t miss our travel Survival Course. Being able to understand and communicate in Swedish will not only help you be safe during your stay abroad, but it will also give you amazing and unique opportunities to connect with the locals, making your adventure even more unforgettable. 

We surely hope that you’ll be able to say yes to all the invitations and opportunities you’ll encounter… But, well, at least now you can negate sentences and say “no” correctly and politely in Swedish, just in case. 

And, if you’re learning Swedish for work or study reasons, make the commitment and start using our website with all its incredible resources designed to help you practice and improve every day. Our content will help you keep your motivation up so that you can reach your Swedish learning goals as quickly as possible!

Before you go, we would love to hear from you. Do you feel confident in your ability to use negation in Swedish, or do you still have questions or concerns? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you!

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Verb Tenses in Swedish: All You Need to Know

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Ever thought to yourself: What is a verb? 

In addition to nouns, verbs are one of the most important parts of any sentence. They are the words we use to talk about actions (sjunga – sing), states of being (existera – exist), or occurrences (utveckla – develop), and they have to agree with the subject, which is who or what performs the action described. 

Basically, all sentences need a verb to be complete, and this is why it’s so important to get them right when studying a foreign language! 

Gothenburg in Sweden

Verbs and tenses in Swedish are actually not as complicated to learn as those of other languages—and in this article, you’ll find out why. We’ll look at how to form the main tenses in Swedish and discuss when to use each one; by the end, you’ll be able to use Swedish verbs with no problems!

This lesson is not going to be complicated or grammar-heavy at all, and we’ll explain each concept thoroughly so that you can easily grasp them and put them to good use throughout your Swedish language-learning journey.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. The Use of Tenses in Swedish
  2. Presens
  3. Past
  4. I futurum
  5. Hjälpverb
  6. Swedish Tenses: A Summary

1. The Use of Tenses in Swedish

Verb tenses are used to express when an action takes place. As you know, there are three main concepts involved here: the present, the past, and the future

In Swedish, there are five main tenses: one to express events in the present, three for the past (the past perfect, the past imperfect, the pluperfect), and different ways to express actions and occurrences that have not yet happened in the future.

Let’s have a look at these Swedish-language tenses in detail.

A Timer against a White Background

2. Presens 

The present tense (presens in Swedish) is used to talk about events that are happening at the moment of speaking, routines, and events in the near future. In Swedish, there’s only one present tense form, which corresponds to both the simple present (I eat) and the present continuous (I am eating) in English.

The Swedish present tense is formed by taking the stem of the verb (which is also the imperative form) and adding -r to it: 

  • tala (speak)
    STEM: tala 
    PRESENT: talar 

If the stem of the verb ends in a consonant, then we add -er to it: 

  • stänga (close)
    STEM: stäng 
    PRESENT: stänger 

There is no extra -r after stems that end in -r:

  • lära (learn)
    STEM: lär 
    PRESENT: lär

Note that Swedish verbs only have one ending, which remains the same for all personal pronouns: Regardless of whether the subject is jag (I), hon (she), or de (they), the ending remains -r!

Personal PronounTala (Speak)Stänga (Close)
Jag (I)talarstänger
Du (You) [s]talarstänger
Han / Hon (He / She)talarstänger
Vi (We)talarstänger
Ni (You) [p]talarstänger
De (They)talarstänger

3. Past

There are three Swedish past tenses: the preteritum (past imperfect), the perfekt (present perfect), and the pluskvamperfekt (past perfect). Let’s have a look at when to use each one and how to form them!

A- Preteritum

The preterite (or imperfect) tense is used to talk about an event that happened in the past and is now over. 

Often, but not always, Swedes specify this by using an expression of time: igår (yesterday), förra veckan (last week), under 1702 (in 1702), på 1600-talet (in the seventeenth century), etc. 

Let’s learn the rules for forming the preterite (remember, Swedish verbs take the same ending for each person/subject):

  • For stems (imperatives) that end in a vowel or in most consonants, we just need to add a -de. Imperative + -de = Preteritum. If the stem ends with double -nn or -mm, we remove one and add -de (e.g. känna – feel).

Sluta → Slutade (Stop Stopped)
Krama → Kramade (Hug Hugged)
Stanna → Stannade (Stay Stayed)
Ring → Ringde (Call Called)
Känn → Kände (Feel Felt)
Följ → Följde (Follow Followed)

  • If the stem ends in a k, p, s, or t, we add a -te instead of a -de.
    Imperative + -te = Preteritum.

Tänk → Tänkte (Think Thought)
Köp → Köpte (Buy Bought)
Läs → Läste (Read Read)
Byt → Bytte (Change Changed)

  • With short verbs, we add -dde. For example: Imperative + -dde = Preteritum.

Tro → Trodde (Believe Believed)
Bo → Bodde (Live Lived)
Klä → Klädde (Dress Dressed)

  • And finally, there are irregular verbs. At least you’ll only have to remember one form!  

Exceptions:

Skriv → Skrev (Write Wrote)
Drick → Drack (Drink Drank)
Var → Var (Be Was)
Gör → Gjorde (Do Did)Ha → Hade (Have Had)

A Man on His Laptop on the Bus

To write

B- Perfekt 

In Swedish, the present perfect tense is similar to its English equivalent. It’s used to talk about actions and events that started sometime in the past and might or might not still be happening now.  

With this tense, we can use an expression of time that does not refer to a specific moment in the past—redan (already), tidigare (earlier), nyss (recently)—or one that refers to a time that isn’t over yet, like i dag (today), den här veckan (this week), or i år (this year).

This tense consists of two parts: the verb har (have) and the past participle of the verb you’re using. 

To form the past participle, just add a -t to the verb stem (imperative form).

For example:

Sluta → Slutat (Stop Stopped)
Krama → Kramat (Hug Hugged)
Stanna → Stannat (Stay Stayed)
Ring → Ringt (Call Called)

Of course, there are irregular verbs that you’ll have to learn by heart (just as there are in English!).

Once you have the past participle, you can form the perfect tense with the verb har:

  • Jag har talat…
    I have spoken… 
  • Du har slutat…
    You have stopped…

C- Pluskvamperfekt 

This tense is used to talk about an action that was completed before another event or action in the past, just like the past perfect in English: He had gone when I arrived.

To form it, we simply take the past participle of the verb and add the past tense form of the verb har: hade (to have, had). 

  • Jag hade talat…
    I had spoken… 
  • Du hade slutat…
    You had stopped…

Have a look at the table below, where you’ll find examples of the perfekt and pluskvamperfekt.

Personal PronounPresent Perfect: Har Past Perfect: HadeTala (To speak)
Jag (I)harhadetalat
Du (You) [s]harhadetalat
Han / Hon (He / She)harhadetalat
Vi (We)harhadetalat
Ni (You) [p]harhadetalat
De (They)harhadetalat

A Woman Speaking in Front of People

I had spoken.

4. I futurum

As we already mentioned, it’s quite common to use the present tense (usually together with an expression of time indicating the future) to talk about future actions or events.

That said, there are also other ways of expressing it: 

  • tänker (implies the intention of the subject) + INFINITIVE

    Vi tänker flyga hem.
    We’re intending to fly home.
  • ska (implies a stronger intention of the subject or someone else) + INFINITIVE

    Jag ska resa till Amerika i höst.
    I’m going to America in the fall.
  • kommer att (used for prediction, no intention implied) + INFINITIVE

    Du kommer att tycka om min vän.
    You will like my friend.

5. Hjälpverb

Auxiliary verbs, or “helping verbs,” are used a lot in the Swedish language. They “help” the main verb describe an action or a state in a particular aspect. In English, the main auxiliary verbs are “to be,” “to do,” and “to have,” but there are also “will,” “shall,” “can,” etc. 

In Swedish, these verbs are often irregular, so here’s a table with their conjugations!

 InfinitivImperativPresensPreterirumSupinum
 INFINITIVEIMPERATIVEPRESENTPAST TENSEPAST PARTICIPLE
OUGHT TOAtt böra. . .BörBordeBort
MAYAtt få. . .FårFickFått
HAVEAtt ha. . .HarHadeHaft
CANAtt kunna. . . KanKundeKunnat
WILL, SHALLAtt skola. . .SkaSkulleSkolat
WILL, WANTAtt vilja. . .VillVilleVelat
MUST. . .. . .MåsteMåste. . .
NEED Att behövaBehövBehöverBehövdeBehövt
USED TOAtt brukaBrukaBrukarBrukadeBrukat
STARTAtt börjaBörjaBörjarBörjadeBörjat

Remember, these verbs are used with the infinitive form of the main verb:

  • Jag kan tala.
    I can speak.
  • Hon ska tala.            
    She will speak.
  • Han vill inte tala.      
    He does not want to speak. 
  • Vi behöver tala.       
    We need to speak.

A Couple Talking about Something Serious

We need to speak.

6. Swedish Tenses: A Summary

We hope that this short article was of help to you in gaining some insight into Swedish tenses and how to use them to talk about the past, present, and future!

As we’ve seen, learning how to use verbs and verb tenses in Swedish is actually quite simple! All you need to learn is one ending for all personal pronouns…and some irregular verbs! Not too complicated, after all!

If you want to learn more about verbs and have access to much more Swedish learning material and info, visit SwedishPod101.com. Here, you’ll find lessons for learners at every level, grammar explanations, word lists, a Swedish-English dictionary, and much more

So what are you waiting for? Start learning and practicing Swedish with us, and you’ll start to improve every day until you’ve mastered the use of Swedish verbs and tenses! 

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about Swedish tenses. More confident, or do you still have questions? We’d be glad to help!

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How Long Will it Take to Learn Swedish?

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Learning to understand, speak, and think in a different language is an amazing and fulfilling process. When we learn a foreign language, not only do we add a new skill to our repertoire, but we also change the very way we see and think about the world and our relationship to it. 

If you’re considering taking up Swedish, you’ve likely asked these questions at some point: How long will it take to learn Swedish? And is it worth the commitment?

We’ll get to the first question in a bit. As for the second question: Absolutely! 

Did you know, for example, that if you learn Swedish you’ll also be able to understand Norwegian and Danish? This will open up the whole Scandinavian world to you! Three languages for the price of one! 

Language lovers would all like to spend endless days learning Swedish and all its nuances… But, nowadays, time is money and the reality of our world can be quite different.

An Hourglass Against a Dark Background

We all instinctively look for the fastest and easiest ways to learn, so that we can start practicing and using our new skills early on to find a better job, travel, or communicate with a friend or loved one.  

It would be great if we could know, right from the start, exactly how long it takes to learn a language. This way, we would be able to make long-term plans and know what to expect. However, the reality is that there isn’t one best way to learn and there’s certainly no set timetable for learning Swedish! 

Everyone learns according to their experience, time, and motivation. How quickly you learn will depend on many other factors, too. 

Let’s have a look at these factors and discuss how to take advantage of this knowledge to start learning as fast as possible.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Experience
  2. Learning Style
  3. Approach
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?
  5. How Our Website Can Help

Experience

One of the most important things to take into consideration is your general experience with languages. 

The Language(s) You Speak

What’s your native language? And what other languages do you know? 

Yes, this will actually be a defining aspect of how quickly you’ll be able to pick up Swedish. 

If you’re a native or near-native English speaker, you’re in luck! Swedish and English actually share the same roots, and their grammar and sentence structure are pretty similar! It gets even better if you already speak Dutch, German, and obviously, Danish or Norwegian. 

If you’re a native speaker of a Semitic language such as Arabic, on the other hand, it might be a little trickier—but all the more challenging and rewarding! So, don’t be discouraged. Just be aware that your native English friends might just have a bit of a headstart…it doesn’t mean they’ll learn it better than you! 

Your Previous Language Learning Experience

Another essential aspect to consider is your previous experience in the field of language learning

Have you ever learned a foreign language before?

If you already speak a foreign language fluently, or were brought up bilingual, you’ll likely be able to learn Swedish faster than other people. Many studies and research have now proven that bilingual people find it easier to study and learn a third language, as they’re naturally more accustomed to being exposed to different languages. 

Even if you’re not bilingual, having studied and learned a foreign language at any point in your life will probably help. This is because your language-learning mind is already used to memorizing words and rules, as well as looking at different letters and symbols—a definite advantage!

Basically, having skills in one language will help you gain fluency in another language (even if the two languages are totally different)!

Your Previous Grammar Knowledge

One of the first steps to take when you’re learning a foreign language is to discover and study how it’s built and how it works. This usually means learning and understanding its structure and grammar. 

If you have some previous experience studying grammar and syntax, even if only in your own language, it will be much easier and faster for you to study the syntax and grammar of a foreign language. 

So, if you’re planning to start learning Swedish, it’s a good idea to have some grammar foundations to build your knowledge on! 

Learning Style

The way you study and learn is another essential factor in how long it takes to learn Swedish.

A Man Who Aced His Essay

Your Methods

If you limit your learning to a classroom setting, it will surely take you a little longer to learn and start using your language skills with confidence in the real world. Here’s how to learn the Swedish language faster: Expose yourself to Swedish outside the classroom! This will shave quite a few hours off your required learning time.

Pick up the habit of reading Swedish newspapers, watching films and series in Swedish, and listening to Swedish podcasts while you drive or cook. It will help. Of course, finding a conversation partner to practice with will also go a long way toward achieving fluency faster.

Your Time

There’s another aspect we haven’t mentioned yet, even though it’s actually the most important determining factor in how long it takes to learn Swedish: The time you put into it!

If you want to learn quickly, you should dedicate as much time to studying as you possibly can. 

Ideally, you’ll want to practice daily. Research has shown that students who dedicate at least an hour a day to language learning—whether studying grammar, memorizing words, watching a series, or reading a book—end up learning significantly faster than those who don’t stick to a daily schedule.

And if it’s an option for you, full-immersion learning is the best method. If you can travel to Sweden and live there for a short (or long) while, that will change everything!

Approach

Learning to speak Swedish will be a much easier, more fluid process if you take the right approach. Here’s what I mean…

Your Motivation

It’s no secret: Staying motivated is an essential aspect of learning a new language. What are your reasons for learning Swedish?

Have these reasons clear in your mind, and set weekly (or even daily) goals for maximum efficiency. Keeping your reasons in mind will help you stay motivated and interested in learning this beautiful language every day! 

Your Attitude

Keeping your spirits and motivation up will make your language learning more effective, and it will help you get through the tough times with a positive attitude

The secret is to see studying as a fun and interesting activity…something you’re choosing to do, rather than something you’re forced to do. 

A Woman Lifting Her Arms in Joy

Remember: Knowing a foreign language will open your mind and your horizons, and it will give you a great set of skills to use in your daily and professional life. 

When you think about it this way, you’ll always be motivated to learn something new every day. This will make the process not only more enjoyable, but also much faster! 

How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?

So, let’s get to the point. 

How long does it take an English speaker to learn Swedish?

Following is a quick guide on how long it might take to reach a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level of Swedish. Keep in mind that these numbers are just estimates, and exact times will vary based on the factors we described above. 

Beginner

As a Swedish beginner, you’ll be able to introduce yourself, understand slow spoken language, and ask basic questions (probably making some mistakes along the way). 

If your goal is to be able to greet people, order a meal at the restaurant, have some basic reading skills, and understand sentences pronounced slowly and carefully, this level is probably sufficient.

You’ll be able to do all these things with just about 180-200 hours of Swedish classes (to reach levels B1-B2). This means that if you’re motivated and willing to put in 10-15 hours a week, you could travel to Sweden without any worries in just over 3 months.

So get studying and you’ll soon be having some basic conversations!

The City of Gotland in Sweden

Intermediate

Once you reach an intermediate level, you’ll be able to understand everyday conversations (when spoken clearly), even if you have to ask some questions to keep up. This level will also allow you to read and watch the news and other videos with few problems. If you’re traveling, you’ll be able to ask for and follow directions with no problem and you’ll also be able to enjoy basic interactions with locals about familiar subjects. 

We estimate that, to achieve an intermediate level of Swedish, you’ll need about 350 hours of study. This means that, if you dedicate around 15 hours a week to practicing your Swedish, you’ll be able to get to this level in just 6 months! 

Advanced

If you’re setting out to achieve fluency, this is what you’re aiming for. Once you have advanced language skills, you’ll be able to deal with any kind of situation that may arise in your daily life abroad or while traveling. You should also be able to have long and detailed conversations with native speakers. You’ll be able to enjoy watching movies and reading books in Swedish with no problem. 

In other words, you’ll be fluent. (Even if there’s always something new to learn about this intricate and beautifully complex language!)

A Woman Reading a Book Outside

According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI), you’ll need about 750 hours of study to become fluent in Swedish. This means that if you dedicate 12-15 hours a week to studying, you’ll be able to speak like a pro in just a year! 

If this seems like a long time, take into account that harder languages like Japanese or Arabic may take up to 2200 hours—three times as long as Swedish! 

How Our Website Can Help

So, what are you waiting for? The perfect time to start learning a foreign language is now! 

The sooner you start learning, the faster you’ll achieve your language goals and start speaking Swedish.

If you want to keep motivated and make your language learning adventure as easy as possible, check out the content on SwedishPod101.com. Here, you’ll find all kinds of language learning materials: vocabulary lists, lessons for all levels, dictionaries, blog posts, and more.

As we explained, how long it takes to learn Swedish really just depends on how much time you’re willing to invest in learning. Our online Swedish courses and resources are designed specifically to give you all the right tools to learn the language as quickly and easily as possible. Make sure that your precious time is well-spent!

Whether you’re a beginner learner who wants a survival course or an advanced speaker who’s looking to refine your skills, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Before you go, we’re curious: How likely are you to start learning Swedish after reading this article? Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or concerns—we’ll be glad to help you out the best we can!

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Speak Like a Native: 30 Swedish Proverbs and Idioms

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Proverbs are popular sayings that provide a little dose of wisdom, a truth that is sometimes so obvious it’s overlooked. 

Can you think of a proverb in your native language that touched you in an important moment of your life?

Well, I can think of one: “There is no time like the present.” So let’s get to it!

Proverbs add versatility and color to our spoken language, so today we’ll introduce you to the thirty most common Swedish proverbs. Using any one of these at just the right moment is sure to impress native speakers!

If you really want your language skills to shine, knowing proverbs in the Swedish language is a great way to start. And of course, it will also help you better fit in with Swedes and gain a deeper understanding of their culture!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Funny Swedish Proverbs
  2. Swedish Proverbs About Life
  3. Practical Swedish Proverbs
  4. Swedish Proverbs Shared with English
  5. Conclusion

1. Funny Swedish Proverbs

As they say, “Laughter is the best medicine.” How true! So let’s start by having a look at some humorous Swedish proverbs and sayings that Swedes often use to express their wisdom (and their wit)… Surprise native speakers with these funny axioms! 

1. Ingen ko på isen.

  • Literal translation: There’s no cow on the ice.

A cow on the ice would definitely be something to worry about! This one doesn’t really have an English equivalent, but it’s simply a way of saying “Don’t worry.” 

2. Sitta med skägget i brevlådan

  • Literal translation: To sit with your beard in the letterbox
  • English equivalent: To be caught with your hands in the cookie jar

Change “hands” to “beard,” and “cookie jar” to “letter box,” and there you have it. In either case, you’ve been caught doing something dishonest.

3. Det ligger en hund begraven.

  • Literal translation: There’s a dog buried.
  • English equivalent: Something smells fishy.

This one just means that there’s something fishy going on. 

4. Att ana ugglor i mossen

  • Literal translation: To suspect there are owls in the bog
  • English equivalent: To smell a rat

This is another way to describe the sensation of knowing something’s wrong. Even fishier than a buried dog!

A Brown-and-white Speckled Owl

5. Finns det hjärterum så finns det stjärterum.

  • Literal translation: If there’s room in the heart, there’s room for the arse.

Where there’s friendship, there’s always space for one more. You can also use it to mean, “Move over, I wanna fit on the sofa!”

6. Inte skottat ända fram

If you’re “not shoveled all the way,” it means you’re really not the smartest.

Someone Clearing Snow from Their Driveway

7. Göra en höna av en fjäder

  • Literal translation: To make a chicken out of a feather
  • English equivalent: To make a mountain out of a molehill

This idiom refers to the act of making something unimportant seem very important. 

8. Köp inte grisen i säcken.

  • Literal translation: Don’t buy the pig in the bag.
  • English equivalent: To buy a pig in a poke 

Don’t buy something without having inspected it first. This proverb is also a warning against rash decisions.

2. Swedish Proverbs About Life

You know those sayings that make you feel all fuzzy inside, and leave you with a lovely feeling of knowing what life’s all about? Well, Swedes have quite a few of those! 

These Swedish proverbs about life will make your heart melt like an icicle in front of a fire.  

9. Rädsla mindre, hoppas mer; Ät mindre, tugga mer; Gnälla mindre, andas mer; Prata mindre, säg mer, Älska mer, och alla goda ting kommer att bli din.

  • Literal translation: “Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more; and all good things are yours.”

This one is pretty self-explanatory, if a bit long! Basically, it says that a great life boils down to relaxing, not worrying, and not being greedy.

10. Älska mig mest när jag förtjänar det minst för då behöver jag det bäst.

  • Literal translation: “Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.”

Again, pretty clear, yet poetic. Use this phrase if you’re dating a Swede and they’ll be impressed!

A Couple Having a Disagreement

11. De som önskar att sjunga hittar alltid en låt.

  • Literal translation: Those who wish to sing, always find a song.
  • English equivalent: To make one’s own luck

If you really want something, you’ll find a way to get it. 

12. Ett liv utan kärlek är som ett år utan sommar.

  • Literal translation: A life without love is like a year without summer.

I mean, imagine a year in Sweden with no summer. That’s how important love is in life. You can definitely see how much Swedes love their summers!

13. Oro ger små saker en stor skugga.

  • Literal translation: Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.

This is a beautiful way of saying, “Don’t worry.” Much more poetic than the cow on ice, if you ask me. 😉

Two People Walking in the Dark, Casting Shadows

14. Borta bra, men hemma bäst.

  • Literal translation: Away is good, but home is best.
  • English equivalent: Home sweet home. 

This phrase is usually said after spending some time away from home

15. Ibland kan man inte se skogen på grund av alla träd.

  • Literal translation: Sometimes you cannot see the forest because of all the trees.

This is something along the lines of a certain Zen proverb: “When the sage points at the moon, the fool looks at the finger.” Look beyond, and see the bigger picture!

A Forest with Many Trees

16. Delad glädje är dubbel glädje; delad sorg är halverad sorg.

  • Literal translation: Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.

Always share with your loved ones, both in joy and in sorrow. 

3. Practical Swedish Proverbs

There are sentimental truths about life, like the ones we just looked at. And then there are practical truths, like “a watched pot never boils” (I’ve tried, it’s a real thing!). 

So let’s dive into some practical Swedish sayings that will make our lives easier!

17. Det bästa stället att hitta en hjälpande hand är i slutet av din egen arm.

  • Literal translation: The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.
  • English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves.

This has basically the same meaning as the English version. If you want a better life, just make it happen.

18. Dra inte alla över en kam.

  • Literal translation: Don’t pull everybody over the same comb.
  • English equivalent: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

This proverb just means that you shouldn’t generalize people.

19. Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.

  • Literal translation: There is no bad weather, there are only bad clothes.

This one is widely used in the winter months, and for a reason! But if you think there’s something wrong with the Swedish winter, think again: you’re probably just wearing the wrong clothes.

A Woman Shivering in the Snow

20. Den enes bröd är den andres död.

  • Literal translation: One man’s bread is another’s death.

One person’s fortune is another’s misfortune. This one is often said in a philosophical manner to describe a situation where one prospers from the misfortune of another.

21. Den som köper det han inte behöver stjäl från sig själv.

  • Literal translation: He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.

This is a great anti-consumerist Swedish proverb. If you don’t need something, just don’t buy it! 

22. När den blinde bär den lame går båda framåt.

  • Literal translation: When the blind man carries the lame man, both go forward.
  • English equivalent: Unity is strength.

It’s a weird way of saying it, but it basically promotes collaboration to overcome problems… The Blind Man and the Lame is actually a Greek fable!

23. Lycka ger aldrig; den lånar bara ut.

  • Literal translation: Luck never gives; it only lends.
  • English equivalent: Luck is loaned, not owned.

You may have a lucky strike, but rest assured it won’t last! 

4. Swedish Proverbs Shared with English

Some proverbs are, let’s say…international! They appear in many different languages, probably as a result of early travelers sharing their wisdom with different people in different places.

Here are some Swedish proverbs that also exist in English (and in many other languages, too!). 

24. Gräset är alltid grönare på andra sidan.

The grass is always greener on the other side.

A Fence Separating Two Plots of Grass

25. Gråt inte över spilld mjölk.

Don’t cry over spilled milk.

26. Den som spar han har.

Savers, keepers.

27. Andra tider andra seder.

Other times, other customs.

28. Betala med samma mynt.

To pay back with the same coin.

29. Affär är affär.

Business is business.

30. Allting går igen.

What goes around comes around.

5. Conclusion

“All good things must come to an end…” But it’s not really the end, is it? There’s so much more to learn about the Swedish language! 

As they say, “Practice makes perfect,” so continue practicing your Swedish language skills on SwedishPod101.com. Using all the features we offer (audio podcasts, videos with transcriptions, word lists, a dictionary, and more), you’ll pick up this beautiful and interesting language in no time. 

And remember, if someone you know feels down one day, cheer them up with one of the humorous Swedish proverbs from this list and make them laugh… We already know what the best medicine is, right?

Which of these Swedish proverbs is your favorite, and why? Let us know in the comments!

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Studying Swedish Grammar? Here’s What to Expect.

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A quick glance at some photos of Swedish cities, and you may realize that Sweden doesn’t look all that different from English-speaking countries. And didn’t the Vikings end up living in the British Isles for a while?

Similarly, Swedish grammar isn’t too far off from English grammar. Whether you look at the vocabulary, word order, or verb conjugation, you’re likely to see some major similarities.

Of course, when you’re learning a language, you’re probably a bit more concerned with the differences. That’s why we’ve created this page: to give you a broad overview of some of the grammatical features of Swedish and how they differ from English. The more you know now, the better-prepared you’ll be in the future!

In this Swedish grammar overview, you’ll learn all the basics you need to get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. General Rules
  2. Swedish Nouns
  3. Swedish Verbs
  4. Swedish Adjectives and Adverbs
  5. Swedish Word Order
  6. Conclusion

1. General Rules

A Stack of Books

In general, Swedish grammar is very similar to English grammar, and English speakers won’t have much trouble dissecting the sentences.

But this doesn’t mean that the whole language is easy! Pronunciation and spelling, for instance, have their own challenges—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Native English speakers can learn to read basic Swedish after a couple of weeks or months of regular study, and that’s cut way down if you have any experience at all with German, Dutch, or another Scandinavian language. 

So what makes Swedish grammar relatively accessible? Well, to start with, you don’t have any long conjugation patterns to memorize. Swedish verbs don’t change at all for first, second, or third person, and the past and future tenses are formed similarly to how they are in English.

Word order is another area where you’ll be able to easily make connections between Swedish and English. Though there are some sentence structures with “reversed” word order from English, you can count on being able to express your thoughts in the same order as you would in English.

You’ll run into some rough spots with grammatical gender, though. Swedish has two word genders and it’s not always clear which one to use with which word. They just have to be memorized separately, and this extends to which form of adjectives you’ll need to use.

In fact, let’s explore Swedish nouns a bit more right now.

2. Swedish Nouns

Piano

In Swedish grammar, gender dictates which article is used with a noun as well as the form of any adjectives describing that noun. Unlike Old English or German, Swedish has not three but two word genders for nouns: common and neuter.

For example, the words katt (“cat”), tomat (“tomato”), and flicka (“girl”) are all common gender, while lokomotiv (“locomotive”), hus (“house”), and piano (“piano”) are all neuter gender. Common nouns take the indefinite article en while neuter nouns take ett. Therefore, you’ll often see nouns simply described as en-words and ett-words in Swedish grammar lessons.

If you’ve never learned a language with grammatical gender before, you may be wondering what exactly makes a locomotive more neutral or less common than a tomato. Well, you’re better off not looking for logic in the system, as it really developed on the basis of words sounding naturally easier to say with one article over the other. Over time, these sounds shifted and new words were adopted, and at this point it’s just something that has to be memorized.

As you learn Swedish vocabulary, you should try and memorize each noun with its gender so that you always know the correct article to use. At the beginning, it’ll be confusing, but as you learn more and more words, your brain will get used to adding that extra little detail in its mental dictionary.

Another typical Scandinavian grammatical feature present in Swedish is how the definite article attaches to nouns. Unlike in most European languages, the definite article in Swedish is directly attached to the noun.

This suffix generally takes the form of the suffix –en or –et (sometimes shortened to –n or –t). For example: ett piano (“a piano”) becomes pianot (“the piano”).

    → Do you want to get a head start? Then check out our vocabulary list of the Most Common Nouns!

3. Swedish Verbs

A Woman Holding a Blue Telephone to Her Ear

A huge chunk of understanding Swedish grammar is getting a grasp of how verbs work.

On the whole, you can think of Swedish verbs as being just about as difficult as English verbs. However, Swedish is a little bit more regular when it comes to identifying which words are verbs in the first place.

In the present tense, Swedish verbs always end in the suffix -r.

  • Jag ringer dig ikväll. / “I’ll call you tonight.”

From this example, you can see that Swedish expresses “I’ll call” with the present tense (Jag ringer), instead of English’s compound future. This is because the present tense in Swedish can indicate future events if the time is specified, in this case ikväll (“tonight”). It also covers English’s present progressive (“I am calling”) and present habitual (“I call”).

The other verb forms in Swedish are: 

  • The Imperative 
    • “Call!” 
    • telling someone to do something
  • The Preterite 
    • “I called.” 
    • the simple past tense
  • The Perfect 
    • “I have called.” 
    • compound past
  • The Infinitive 
    • “I plan to call.” 
    • used with modal verbs

Here are a couple more examples:

  • Hon tänker ringa till Lina. / “She plans to call Lina.”
  • Ringde Lars? / “Did Lars call?”

This terminology may be new to you, but remember that it’s quite similar to the set of tenses that English has. The only difference is that the present perfect (“had done”) is used more commonly in speech than the preterite is.

Swedish also has quite a few irregular verbs, just like English and other Germanic languages. In these cases, the verb stem itself will often change.

As in most languages, the verbs you see the most tend to be the ones that are irregular. This is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you have to learn so many irregular verbs to communicate on a basic level. On the other hand, though, these verbs crop up so frequently that they’re naturally absorbed into your mind without you having to spend extra time reviewing them!

    → See our vocabulary list of the 50 Most Common Verbs to get a head start in your vocabulary learning!

4. Swedish Adjectives and Adverbs

Purple Lilacs

In Swedish, adjectives have different forms related to word gender, just like nouns do.

When we put an adjective after a word (called a predicate adjective), we always use the base form with no endings.

  • William är snäll. / “William is kind.”

How about when you place the adjective in front of the noun? That’s where the complexity arises.

For en-words, we use the base form of the adjective. If “nice” is fin and “flower” is blomma:

  • Det här är en fin blomma. / “This is a nice flower.”

Ett-words add a -t.

  • Det här är ett fint piano. / “This is a nice piano.”

These basic Swedish grammar rules will take you far, though there are other rules to follow based on the final sound in the adjective. If you first encounter an adjective in the ett-form, you may not be able to perfectly guess the en-form in every case.

If you feel that the gender aspect of Swedish nouns is challenging, then you’re also likely to find Swedish adjectives challenging. The best advice is to learn words in context.

Adverbs, on the other hand, shouldn’t pose a lot of trouble. They’re formed quite regularly, almost always ending in -t.

  • Jag hoppar högt. / “I jump high.”

Don’t forget to view our vocabulary list of the Most Common Adjectives to learn some useful words in context! 

5. Swedish Word Order

A Bunch of Bananas

Swedish can be described as a verb-second language, where the verb always takes the second place in the sentence. In English, the verb tends to simply follow the subject except in especially formal writing.

  • Nu går jag hem. / “Now I am going home.”

Note the use of the simple present tense to refer to an ongoing action in this example!

Apart from the verb-second rule, in normal main clauses the word order tends to be subject-verb-object, just like in English.

  • Jag köpte en banan i affären. / “I bought a banana in the store.”

Pay attention to where you place adverbs of time in a sentence. In English, they go between the subject and verb, but Swedish is very strict about that verb-second rule.

  • Jag köper alltid bananer. / “I always buy bananas.”

Another slight difference from English is the treatment of yes/no questions. In Swedish, these always begin with the verb, but there’s no helping word (do) as in English. It’s exactly like reversing the word order.

  • Kommer du från Sverige? / “Do you come from Sweden?”

The direct translation, “Come you from Sweden?” sounds archaic to modern English ears, but the best part is that it still sounds like good English. This means that this aspect of Swedish grammar is super-easy to pick up.

6. Conclusion

Do you still have some questions about Swedish grammar? Of course you do!

Since Swedish is so close to English, you can pick up a lot of the nuances automatically by doing a lot of reading and listening to authentic Swedish material, like the stuff on SwedishPod101.com.

And our resources don’t stop there. In addition to explainer videos and special podcast episodes, SwedishPod101 has a whole series of articles letting you know exactly what to pay attention to as you move onto more advanced grammar topics.

The best way to learn a language is to balance direct study of the language’s complicated features with regular consumption of high-quality content. SwedishPod101 is simply the best place for both.

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10 Common Questions in Swedish and How to Answer Them

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Many say that conversation is an art. And more than that, conversations are our primary way of getting to know other people. There are conversations for every situation, and a good one should address topics that are of interest to both people. 

The best way to start a conversation is by asking a question. But asking questions in a foreign language can feel intimidating, especially when you’re not sure what kinds of questions to ask in the first place.

Learning how to ask questions in Swedish is one of the first steps that students of the language must take, after basic greeting phrases. This is mainly because questions are such a good way to start a conversation, and the trick to learning any new language is to practice as much as possible. 

When you’re a beginner, it might feel a bit scary to start speaking. But remember that practice makes perfect, and that Swedes are kind and forgiving when it comes to language mistakes. The fact is, they’ll probably be impressed that you know any Swedish at all!

 
    → In this article, we’re going to focus mainly on common Swedish questions and answers. If you want more information on what an introductory conversation would look like, read our relevant article!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. The Basics
  2. The Top Swedish Questions and Answers
  3. Ending the Conversation
  4. Conclusion

1. The Basics

Before we move on to our guide on the top Swedish questions for beginners, there are a few things you need to know. Namely, the Swedish question structure and question words. Let’s take a look.

Swedish Question Words

Common English Questions Words in Colorful Bubbles

A question in Swedish will usually start with a question word. Here’s a quick table for you: 

WhatVad
Which (singular)Vilken
WhereVar
WhenNär
WhoVem
WhoseVems
WhyVarför
Which (plural)Vilka
From whereVarifrån
HowHur

Swedish Question Word Order

Learning the Swedish question structure can be difficult for new learners, especially those who speak English as their first language. But there’s a simple pattern for you to memorize: 

Question Word + Verb + Subject

Here are some examples:

  • Where are you from?
Question WordVerbSubjectComplement
Varkommerduifrån?
Wherecomeyoufrom?
  • What is Lisa doing?
Question WordVerbSubject
VadgörLisa?
WhatdoingLisa?


2. The Top Swedish Questions and Answers

Without further ado, here are the basic Swedish questions every new Swedish learner should know, and how to answer them yourself! 

1 – What’s your name?

First Encounter

In Sweden, it’s important to introduce yourself properly before diving into the questions. Keep in mind that in Sweden, you don’t need to use titles such as “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Dr.” when addressing someone. In addition, you needn’t worry about using a person’s last name either. You can and should use first names only, regardless of whether you’re speaking with a new friend, a manager, or a colleague.

Introducing yourself in Swedish is pretty straightforward. Here’s an example of how you can begin the conversation:

  • Hej jag heter ___. Vad heter du? 
    “Hello, my name is ___.” What is your name?”

The person you’re talking to will respond with:

  • Hej, jag heter ___, trevligt att träffas! 
    “Hello, my name is ___, nice to meet you!”

And you should respond:

  • Trevligt att träffa dig också! 
    “Nice to meet you too!”

 2 – How are you?

Two Women Having a Chat Over Coffee

In British and American culture, a “How are you?” can be thrown into a greeting with no expectation of an answer. But the importance of this question in Swedish can’t be overstated. 

When Swedes ask this, they really want to know. They’re not asking just to be polite! 

In Swedish culture, asking how someone is signifies that you care about that person, and it plays an important role in the conversation. Asking this question can establish the status of the day, and maybe even give you or your friend the opportunity to complain a little or talk about your fantastic day.

Here’s an example conversation:

A: Hur mår du? (“How are you?”)

B: Jag mår bra, tack! Hur mår du själv? (“I am well, thanks! How are you?”)

A: Inte så illa. (“Not too bad.”)

However, life’s not always so perfect. What if your friend says something like this?

  • Inte så bra. 
    “Not so good.”

Well, you can expect your friend to add an explanation to this answer. Here are examples:

  • Jag är trött. 
    “I am tired.”
  • Jag har haft mycket att göra idag. 
    “I had a lot to do today.”
  • Jag hade en stressig morgon. 
    “I had a stressful morning.”

You should then reply with something empathetic, such as:

  • Vad tråkigt att höra. 
    “I am sorry to hear that.”

Other ways of responding to the question Hur mår du? (“How are you?”) are:

Mycket bra, tack! 
“Very well, thank you!”

Helt okej! 
“It’s okay!”

Det är bra! 
“All good!”

Regardless of the answer, it’s very important to listen and show empathy and interest when replying. Otherwise, the Swede you’re talking with might think you’re rude.



3 – Where are you from?

Flags of Many Different Countries

A good way to continue a conversation is by telling your interlocutor where you’re from:

  • Jag är från England, var kommer du ifrån? 
    “I am from England, where are you from?”

Of course, you can replace “England” with any other country. Just remember to look up what your country is called in Swedish!

If you’re quite sure that the person you’re talking to is from Sweden, you can say:

  • Jag är från England, är du från Sverige? 
    “I am from England, are you from Sweden?”

The response to this question could be either a ja (“yes”) or a nej (“no”). If it’s the latter, you can always add:

  • Var kommer du ifrån? 
    “Where are you from?”

Find your home country in our Nationalities vocabulary list

4 – Where do you live?

In Sweden, finding out where someone lives is also a way to get clued in on that person’s social status. Sweden has no official class system, but unofficially, people will classify you and themselves according to where you live. What street do you live on? Do you live in a house, a building with flats? Which floor? 

All of these things have meaning, which is why it’s so important for Swedes to ask this question:

  • Var bor du?
    “Where do you live?”

If you live in a city, such as Stockholm, always add the name of the street that you live on as well:

  • Jag bor i Stockholm på Hornsgatan. 
    “I live in Stockholm on Hornsgatan.”

If you live in a smaller town or village, it’s enough to say:

  • Jag bor i ___. 
    “I live in ___.”

5 – Which languages do you speak?

Introducing Yourself

Many Swedes speak at least two languages. The most common are Swedish and English, but many Swedes also speak French, Spanish, or German since it’s mandatory for students to add a language for most high school and college level courses. Another reason for this is that Sweden is a relatively small country and Swedes don’t expect people from other countries to know their language. 

Here’s a dialogue that uses a relevant question and answer in Swedish.

A: Vilka språk talar du? (“Which languages do you speak?”)

B: Jag talar svenska, engelska och franska. Vilka språk talar du? (“I speak Swedish, English, and French. Which languages do you speak?”

A: Jag talar engelska och lär mig svenska. (“I speak English and am learning Swedish.”)

6 – Where did you study Swedish?

Swedes are almost always surprised when they find out that a foreigner is learning their language. It’s a small country, and as mentioned, most people speak at least one language in addition to Swedish, usually English. They’ll be curious and ask you where you learned Swedish:

  • Var lärde du dig svenska? 
    “Where did you learn Swedish?”

Here are two possible ways you can answer:

  • I språkskolan ___. 
    “In the language school ___.”
  • På onlinekursen ___
    “In the online course ___.”

7 – Why did you study Swedish?

You’re very likely to receive this follow-up question:

  • Varför ville du lära dig svenska? 
    “Why did you want to learn Swedish?”

Of course, your answer will vary depending on your personal reasons for wanting to learn. But if you don’t have a particular reason, you can always reply with:

  • Jag är intresserad av Sverige och svensk kultur
    “I am interested in Sweden and Swedish culture.”


8 – Have you been to Sweden?

Swedish City of Lund

If you meet a Swede outside of Sweden, they might want to know if you’ve ever been to their home country. They may ask:

  • Har du varit i Sverige? 
    “Have you been to Sweden?”

To this, you can reply with a ja (“yes”) or nej (“no”). 

9 – Where in Sweden have you been to?

If you reply with a ja (“yes”), they might want to know where in Sweden you’ve been.

  • Var i Sverige har du varit? 
    “Where in Sweden have you been to?”

You can then reply:

  • Jag har varit i ___. 
    “I have been to ___.”

Simply fill in the blank with the place you’ve been to. 



10 – Which other countries have you traveled to?

If your interlocutor happens to be a huge travel buff, they may also want to know where else you’ve been.

  • Vilka andra länder har du rest till? 
    “Which other countries have you traveled to?”

You can then reply:

  • Jag har varit i ___ och ___. 
    “I have been to ___ and ___.”

3. Ending the Conversation

Woman Waving Goodbye to Friends on Campus

In Swedish, there’s mainly one way to say goodbye: Hej då. However, Swedes will often add to this when ending a conversation.

  • Hej då! Vi ses! (“Bye! See you!”)
  • Hej då! Vi hörs! (“Bye! Keep in touch!”)

To reply, you can simply say:

  • Vi ses! (“See you!”)
  • Vi hörs! (“Keep in touch!”)

When a Swede says to “keep in touch,” this should not be taken as a promise or indication that the person wants to actually keep in touch—but they might want to! Depending on the tone, you can determine if they really want to see you again or keep in touch.

If you’re not sure what they mean and you liked the person, don’t be afraid to reach out and invite him/her for a Swedish Fika. This simply means having a cup of coffee, something sweet, and another conversation.

4. Conclusion

By now, you should have a better understanding of what kinds of questions you should expect to hear when visiting Sweden (and how to answer them). Are there any question patterns we didn’t cover in this article that you want to know? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help you out! 

Learning questions in Swedish is a major step forward in your language-learning journey, but there’s still so much more. SwedishPod101.com has tons of lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students—this means that there really is something for everyone! 

For more information on the Swedish language, check out the following pages:

Until next time, happy Swedish learning!

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Telling Time in Swedish – Everything You Need to Know

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What’s your relationship with the clock like? Does it run your day from a morning alarm to a cut-off chime for bed, or are you more of a go-with-the-flow type, letting your mood and emotions decide how much you fall in line with time?

Understanding time in Swedish is an important part of your studies. As humans, our lives are filled with habits and schedules. From waking up and going to work or gym, to missing rush hour traffic on our way home, we’re always aware of time. We have routines around coffee breaks, meetings, soccer games and vacations. In fact, time can seem rather capricious – going slowly, going fast, sometimes against us, other times on our side – like a force that has a life of its own.

In science, time is often referred to as a fourth dimension and many physicists and philosophers think that if we understood the physics of the universe, we would see that time is an illusion. We sense an ‘arrow’ or direction of time because we have memories, but really time is just a construct that humans have created to help make sense of the world. 

On the other hand, poets through the ages have written impassioned thoughts about time, depicting it as both a relentless thief and an immensely precious resource, not to be wasted at any cost.

Well, poets and scientists may have their views, but in our everyday lives there’s the question of practicality, isn’t there? I mean, if you have plans and want things to happen your way, there’s a certain amount of conforming to the human rules of time that you can’t avoid. 

In ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the prince has a rose that he falls in love with, and he tenderly protects it with a windscreen and places it under a glass dome on his tiny planet.  I love this quote from the book:  “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”  If we truly love something, we spend time with it and not a second of that time could ever be seen as wasted. I feel that way about horses, my children, travel and learning languages

With that in mind, I’d like to take you on a journey into ‘time’ from a Swedish perspective. It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s a basic necessity if you’re learning the language – especially if you plan to travel. SwedishPod101 has all the vocab you need to fall in love with telling time in Swedish, and not a minute will be wasted.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Talking about Time in Swedish
  2. How to Tell the Time in Swedish
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about Time in Swedish

As a traveler, your primary need for knowing how to read the hour in Swedish will be for transportation schedules: the bus, train, airplane, ferry, taxi… whatever you plan to use to get from A to B, it won’t wait for you! Fortunately, it’s really not complicated. You already have a firm grasp of time in English and you know you’ll need to reset your watch and phone to the local time. Great – that means you’ll have the correct time on your person. 

We’re so used to just looking at our phones for the time, that it’s easy to take this convenience for granted and forget some travel basics: in a foreign country, times won’t always be written digitally. If you see the time written in words, it’ll be the same challenge to you as hearing it spoken: you’ll need to be familiar with the language. 

You may be surprised at how often ‘time’ comes into conversation. Learning the Swedish terms for time will help you when you have to call a taxi, ask about opening and closing times of events and tourist attractions, restaurants and bars and even late-night food cafes.

My biggest annoyance when traveling is not being able to get coffee and amazingly, even at nice hotels this has happened more times than I care to think about. I’ll be up late planning something, writing my blog or chatting and when I go looking for coffee downstairs, I’m told the kitchen is closed or the ‘coffee lady’ has gone to sleep. Frustrating!

If you’re doing a homestay or at a youth hostel or backpackers, there will probably also be a limited timeframe for when you can grab dinner. Do you know how to ask when it’s time to eat in Swedish? I’ve learned that it’s vital to know how to make my queries clearly understood to accommodation staff and for me to clearly understand their answers. Perfect your ‘time in Swedish’ translations early on – you’ll thank me. 

At SwedishPod101, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of Swedish time words and phrases to get you going. 

Pedestrians in a city

1- Morning – morgon

Morning is the time when we wake up from our dreamworld, hopefully fully rested and restored; we brew the first delicious cup of coffee for the day and watch the sunrise as we prepare for another glorious twelve hours of life. No matter what happened the day before, a new morning is a chance to make everything right. 

I like these quiet hours for language practice, as my mind is clear and receptive to learning new things. I start by writing the Swedish time, date and word of the day on my whiteboard, then get back under the covers for an engrossing lesson.

Time in the morning is written as AM or A.M., which stands for ante meridiem – meaning ‘before midday’ in Latin.

Person typing with coffee next to them

2- Evening – kväll

Evening is the part of night when we’re still awake and doing things, winding down from the day. Whether you enjoy a tasty international dinner with friends, go out to see a show, or curl up on the couch with a Swedish snack and your favorite TV series, evening is a good time to forget your worries and do something that relaxes you. If you’re checking in with your Facebook friends, say hi to us, too!  

Evening is also an ideal time to catch up on your Swedish studies. The neighbourhood outside is likely to be quieter and time is yours, so grab a glass of wine or a delicious local tea, and see what’s new on your Mac App or Kindle

3- Daytime – dagtid

Daytime is defined as the period from early morning to early evening when the sun is visible outside. In other words: from sunrise to sunset.  Where you are in the world, as well as the season, will determine how many daylight hours you get. 

Interestingly, in locations north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, in summertime the sun does not sink below the horizon within a 24-hour period, bringing the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun.  You could only experience this in the north, though, because there aren’t any permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle.

4- Nighttime – nattetid

Nighttime is all the hours from sunset to sunrise and depending on where in the country you are, people may be partying all night, or asleep from full-dark. 

In the same northernmost and southernmost regions where you can experience a midnight sun, winter brings the opposite phenomenon: the polar night. Can you imagine a night that lasts for more than 24 hours? 

Girl sleeping; moon and starry sky

5- Hour – timme

An hour is a unit of time made up of 60 minutes and is a variable measure of one-24th of a day – also defined by geeks as 3 600 atomic seconds. Of all the ‘time’ words we use on a daily basis, the hour is the most important, as time of day is typically expressed in terms of hours. 

One of the interesting methods of keeping time that people have come up with is the hourglass. Although the origins are unclear, there’s evidence pointing to the hourglass being invented around 1000 – 1100 AD and one of the ways we know this, is from hourglasses being depicted in very old murals. These days, with clocks and watches in every direction we look, they’re really only used symbolically to represent the passage of time. Still – a powerful reminder of our mortality and to seize the day. In his private journal, the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, wrote: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

An hourglass with falling sand

6- Minute – minut

Use this word when you want to say a more precise time and express minutes in Swedish. A minute is a unit of time equal to one sixtieth of an hour, or 60 seconds. A lot can happen in the next 60 seconds. For example, your blood will circulate three times through your entire vascular system and your heart will pump about 2.273 litres of blood. 

7- O’clock – klockan

We use “o’clock” when there are no minutes and we’re saying the exact hour, as in “It’s two o’clock.”

The term “o’clock” is a contraction of the term “of the clock”. It comes from 15th-century references to medieval mechanical clocks. At the time, sundials were also common timekeepers. Therefore, to make clear one was referencing a clock’s time, they would say something like, “It is six of the clock” – now shortened to “six o’clock”.

We only use this term when talking about the 12 hour clock, though, not the 24 hour clock (more on that later!) The 12-hour clock can be traced back as far as Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Both an Egyptian sundial for daytime use and an Egyptian water clock for nighttime use were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep I. Dating to c.1500 BC, these clocks divided their respective times of use into 12 hours each. The Romans also used a 12-hour clock. Daylight was divided into 12 equal hours and the night was divided into four watches. 

These days, the internet has made it very easy to know what the time is in any part of the world.  Speaking of which, why not add the Swedish time zone clock to your laptop?

Many different clocks

8- Half past – halv

When the time is thirty minutes past the hour, in English we say “half past”. Just like the hour, the half-hour is universally used as an orientation point; some languages speak of 30 minutes before the hour (subtraction), whereas others speak of 30 minutes after the hour (addition). 

9- AM – förmiddag

As mentioned earlier, AM is the abbreviation of the Latin ante meridiem and means before midday. Using ‘AM’ as a tag on your time simply tells people you’re speaking about a time in the morning. In some countries, morning is abbreviated to “AM” and you’ll see this on shop signs everywhere, announcing the opening hour. A typical shop sign might read something like this:

“Business hours are from 7AM to 6PM.” 

Woman in a shop, adjusting the shop sign

10- PM – eftermiddag

PM is the abbreviation of the Latin post meridiem and means after midday. Along with ‘AM’, you’ll usually find ‘PM’ on store signs and businesses, indicating the closing hours. It’s advisable to learn the difference between the two, since some establishments might only have one or the other on the sign. For example, a night club sign might say: 

“Open from 10 PM until late.” 

11- What time is it now? – Vad är klockan nu?

Here’s a very handy question you should memorize, as you can use it in any situation where you don’t have your watch or phone on you. This could be on the beach, in a club, or if you’re stuck anywhere with a flat phone battery. It happens at home, so it can happen when you’re traveling! 

Woman on the phone, looking at her watch

12- One o’clock – klockan ett

One o’clock, or 1 PM, is the average lunch time for many people around the world – at least, we try to get a meal in at some point between midday and 2 PM.  In terms of duration, the nations vary: Brazililans reportedly take the longest lunch breaks, averaging 48 minutes, whereas Greece reports an average break of only 19 minutes. Historically, Greeks were known for their very leisurely lunch breaks, so it just goes to show how fast the world is changing. If you’re curious about what to expect in Sweden, try asking our online community about lunch time in Swedish.

13- Two o’clock – klockan två

In his last days, Napoleon Bonaparte famously spoke of “Two o’clock in the morning courage” – meaning unprepared, spontaneous  courage. He was talking about soldiers who are brave enough to tumble out of bed in an instant, straight into action, without time to think or strategize. Do you think you have what it takes? I’m pretty sure all mothers know this feeling!

14- Three o’clock – klockan tre

3 AM can be perceived as the coldest time of day and is not an hour we want to wake up, but meteorologists will tell you that the coldest time is actually half an hour after sunrise. Even though the sun is peeking over the horizon, the solar radiation is still weaker than the earth’s infrared cooling to space.

Clock pointing to 3 o'clock

15- Four o’clock – klockan fyra

Do you know anyone who purposely gets up at 4 o’clock in the morning? As crazy as it sounds, there is something to be said for rising at 4 AM while the rest of the world sleeps. If you live on a farm, it might even be normal for you. I know that whenever I’m staying in the countryside, rising early is a lot easier, because there’s a satisfying reason to do so: watching a sunrise from a rooftop, with uninterrupted views, can’t be beat! It’s also likely that you’ll be woken by a cock crowing, or other animals waking to graze in the fresh pre-dawn air. 

In the world of business, you’ll find a small group of ambitious individuals – many entrepreneurs – who swear by the 4 o’clock in the morning rise. I’m not sure I like that idea, but I’d wake up at 4 AM if it was summer and I had my car packed for a vacation!

16- Five o’clock – klockan fem

What better way to signal the transition between work and play than the clock hands striking 5 o’clock? It’s the hour most working people look forward to each day – at least, those who get to stop working at 5 PM.  Meanwhile, millions of retired folks are taking out the wine glasses, as 5 PM is widely accepted as an appropriate time to pour the first glass. I don’t know how traditional your families are, but for as long as I’ve been alive, my grandparents have counted down the milliseconds to five o’clock, and the hour is announced with glee.

A sunset

17- Six o’clock – klockan sex

This is the time many working people and school kids wake up in the morning. In many parts of the world, 6 o’clock is also a good time to watch the sunrise, go for a run or hit the hiking trails. 

18- Seven o’clock – klockan sju

Health gurus will tell you that 7 o’clock in the morning is the best time to eat your first meal of the day, and 7 o’clock in the evening is the time you should eat your last meal. I’ve tried that and I agree, but it’s not always easy!

19- Eight o’clock – klockan åtta

8 o’clock in the morning is the time that most businesses open around the world, and the time most kids are in their first lesson at school – still full of energy and willing to participate. Interestingly, it’s also the time most babies are born in the world!  In the evening, 8 o’clock is many young children’s bedtime and the time for parents to watch the evening news. 

Smiling boy in school with his hand up

20- Nine o’clock – klockan nio

It’s good to occasionally sleep late on a weekend and for me, this means waking up at 9 AM. If you’re traveling in Sweden and staying at a hotel, planning to sleep late means politely requesting to not be woken up by room service.

21- Ten o’clock – klockan tio

10 o’clock in the morning is a popular time to conduct business meetings, and for first break time at schools. We’re usually wide awake and well into our day by then.  But what about the same hour at night? Modern people are often still awake and watching TV at 10 PM, but this isn’t exactly good for us. Experts say that the deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 PM and 2 AM, so we should already be sound asleep by ten o’clock. 

In advertising, have you ever noticed that the hands of the clock usually point to 10:10? Have a look next time you see a watch on a billboard or magazine. The reason? Aesthetics. Somehow, the human brain finds the symmetry pleasing. When the clock hands are at ten and two, they create a ‘smiley’ face and don’t cover any key details, like a logo, on the clock face. 

22- Eleven o’clock – klockan elva

When I see this time written in words, it makes me think of the hilarious Academy Award-winning very short film, “The Eleven O’Clock”, in which the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes that he is actually the doctor. 

Then there’s the tradition of ‘elevenses’ – tea time at eleven o’clock in the morning. Strongly ingrained in British culture, elevenses is typically a serving of hot tea or coffee with scones or pastries on the side. It’s a great way to stave off hunger pangs before lunch time arrives. In fact, if you were a hobbit, ‘Elevenses’ would be your third meal of the day!

23- Twelve o’clock – klockan tolv

Twelve o’clock in the daytime is considered midday, when the sun is at its zenith and the temperature reaches its highest for that day; it’s written as 12 noon or 12 PM. In most parts of the world, though, this doesn’t happen at precisely 12 PM. ‘Solar noon’ is the time when the sun is actually at its highest point in the sky. The local or clock time of solar noon depends on the longitude and date. If it’s summertime, it’s advisable to stay in the shade during this hour – or at least wear good quality sunblock.

Midnight is the other ‘twelve o’clock’, of course. Midnight is written as 12 AM and is technically the first minute of the morning. On the 24-hour clock, midnight is written as 00:00. 

Sun at noon in a blue cloudy sky

2. How to Tell the Time in Swedish

Telling the time

Using a clock to read the time in Sweden is going to be the same as in your own country, since you’re dealing with numbers and not words. You’ll know the time in your head and be able to say it in English, but will you be able to say it out loud in Swedish? 

The first step to saying the time in Swedish is knowing your numbers. How are you doing with that? If you can count to twelve in Swedish, you’re halfway there! We’ve already covered the phrases you’ll need to say the exact hour, as in “five o’clock”, as well as how to say “half past”. What remains is the more specific phrases to describe what the minute hand is doing.

In everyday speech, it’s common to say the minutes past or before the hour. Often we round the minutes off to the nearest five. 

Then, there’s the 24-hour clock. Also known as ‘military time’, the 24-hour clock is used in most countries and, as such, is useful to understand. You’ll find that even in places where the 12-hour clock is standard, certain people will speak in military time or use a combination of the two.  No doubt you’ve also noticed that in written time, the 24-hour clock is commonly used.  One of the most prominent places you’ll have seen this is on airport flight schedules.

Airport flight schedule

Knowing how to tell military time in Swedish is really not complicated if you know your numbers up to twenty-four. One advantage of using the 24-hour clock in Swedish, is there’s no chance of confusing AM and PM.

Once you know how to say the time, it will be pretty easy to also write the time in Swedish. You’re already learning what the different hours and minutes look and sound like, so give yourself some writing practice of the same. 

3. Conclusion

Now that you understand the vocabulary for telling time in Swedish, the best thing you can do to really lock it down is to just practice saying Swedish time daily. Start by replacing English with Swedish whenever you need to say the time; in fact, do this whenever you look at your watch. Say the time to yourself in Swedish and it will become a habit. When learning a new language, the phrases you use habitually are the ones your brain will acquire. It feels amazing when that turning point comes!

To help yourself gain confidence, why don’t you make use of our various apps, downloadable for iPhone and iPad, as well as Android? Choose what works best for you. In addition, we have so many free resources available to supplement your learning, that you simply can’t go wrong. Some of these are:

If you prefer watching your lessons on video, check out our YouTube channel – there are hundreds of videos to browse. For those of you with Roku, we also have a TV channel you can watch.

Well, it’s time for me to say goodbye and for you to practice saying the time in Swedish. Look at the nearest clock and try to say the exact time, down to the seconds. See you again soon at SwedishPod101!

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Swedish

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What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Sweden for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Swedish? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Swedish, here at SwedishPod101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – födelsedag

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Swedish friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Swedish, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Swedish is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

Grattis på födelsedagen

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Swedish! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – köpa

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Swedish etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – gå i pension

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Sweden, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – examen

When attending a graduation ceremony in Sweden, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Swedish you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – befordran

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – årsdag

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Swedish.

7- Funeral – begravning

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Sweden, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – resa

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Swedish immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – ta examen

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Sweden afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – bröllop

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – flytta

I love Sweden, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – född

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Swedish?

13- Get a job – få ett jobb

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Sweden – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Swedish introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Swedish?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – dö

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – hem

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Sweden for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – jobb

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – födelse

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Sweden?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – förlova

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Sweden is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Swedish?

19- Marry – gifta

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Swedish?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Sweden, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Swedish phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, SwedishPod101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at SwedishPod101:

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Talk About the Weather in Swedish Like a Native

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Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Swedish acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

SwedishPod101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

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Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Sweden
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. SwedishPod101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Sweden

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Swedish weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street – Regnet faller på gatan.

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Swedish experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – Snön har täckt allting.

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – fluffigt moln

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – Vattnet frös på glaset.

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – Ösregnet kan orsaka en störtflod.

If you’re visiting Sweden in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Swedish weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – översvämning

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – Tyfonen har slagit till.

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – Kolla väderrapporten innan du går och seglar.

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – Dagens väder är soligt med enstaka moln.

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Sweden! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- A rainy day – en regnig dag

Remember when you said you’d save the Swedish podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – scenisk regnbåge

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Sweden. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – Blixtar kan vara vackra, men de är väldigt farliga.

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius – tjugofem grader Celsius

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Swedish term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- Water freezes at thirty-two (32) degrees Fahrenheit – Vatten fryser vid trettiotvå (32) grader Fahrenheit.

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Swedish in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- Clear sky – klar himmel

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – lätt duggregn

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Sweden. You could go to the mall and watch a Swedish film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature – temperatur

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – fuktigt

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – Med låg fuktighet känns luften torr.

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Swedish friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – Vinden är väldigt stark.

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s very windy outside – Det är blåsigt ute.

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – Blöta vägar kan frosta när temperatur faller under noll.

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – Idag är det väldigt kvavt.

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – dimma

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – orkan

Your new Swedish friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Sweden.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado – stor tornado

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – Det är molnigt idag.

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Sweden will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Swedish to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – temperaturer under fryspunkten

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Swedish winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside – Vindens kyleffekt är hur kallt det verkligen känns ute.

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Swedish friends will know that, though, so learn this Swedish phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – Vatten fryser när temperaturen sjunker under noll grader Celsius.

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – väntar på att det ska klarna

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Swedish Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – undvik den extrema hettan

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – morgonfrost

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – regnskurar

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – På eftermiddagen, kommer det bli molnigt och kallt.

When I hear this on the Swedish weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm – allvarligt åskväder

Keep an eye on the Swedish weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – Is har formats på fönstret.

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – stort hagel

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder – mullrande åska

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – slask

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Swedish!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Swedish friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Swedish spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Sweden there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Swedish songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Swedish summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Swedish landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Sweden.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Swedish autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. SwedishPod101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Sweden, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Swedish street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Swedish weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? SwedishPod101 is here to help!

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