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Swedish Podcasts: 5 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners

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The Swedish podcasts community is one of the most dynamic and creative out there.

Many language learners are using podcasts to supplement their Swedish studies, and for good reason. 

By choosing to learn Swedish through podcasts, you can directly listen to native speakers at a pace that suits your needs. This flexibility makes it an ideal way of learning, regardless of your current level. You’ll also gain the capability to understand Swedish more easily, and you’ll become much more familiar with Swedes and remove any cultural barriers before your visit.

Knowing the importance of podcasts, we have taken the time to compile a list of the best Swedish podcasts for learners at different proficiency levels. 

Before we dig into the podcasts, though, let’s learn about how podcasts can really help you learn a language.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Swedish
  2. Swedish Podcasts: The 5 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners
  3. Tricks to Help You Learn Swedish More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. Conclusion

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Swedish 

Improve your listening skills.

A Woman Talking to a Man

Listening to podcasts is one of the best ways to improve your comprehension of spoken Swedish. This is because it will help strengthen your listening skills and spoken word recognition in a natural, informal way. 

The listening comprehension skills you develop through listening to Swedish podcasts will help you improve your spoken Swedish as well. An added benefit of using a Swedish language learning podcast like SwedishPod101 is that all the sentences and vocabulary are clearly enunciated by native speakers. Listeners who take the time to immerse themselves in Swedish podcasts stand out when it comes to having a good grasp of Swedish pronunciation.

Transcripts of the podcasts are sometimes available, which will allow you to practice your reading skills as well. This is especially helpful if you haven’t been studying for long!

Learn new words.

Sticky Note Words

Repeatedly hearing the same words and phrases used in context will help you absorb them naturally. 

To make sure you don’t get bored, we include interesting stories and conversations in each of our podcast episodes on SwedishPod101.com. These are in both Swedish and English. You can, therefore, fully understand what’s going on while building your vocabulary at the same time.

Familiarize yourself with the culture.

Swedish Flag

The most striking things about Sweden are the country’s beautiful, friendly people and very interesting culture. Swedish people have a reputation for being honest, and learning Swedish will help you experience all of that and more to the fullest.

On top of that, listening to podcasts in Swedish will help you pick up some colloquial expressions and slang, which is always great for non-native speakers who wish to connect with the common man.

2. Swedish Podcasts: The 5 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners

A Woman Listening to Something with Headphones

You can easily find free Swedish-language podcasts on the internet. They are ideal for learning and practicing Swedish without paying a dime. Here are some podcasts to get you started…

All Levels

Learn Swedish | SwedishPod101.com

SwedishPod101 is a podcast dedicated to teaching Swedish to learners of all levels. Our podcasts are usually 10 to 15 minutes in length, and there are over 600 episodes at the time of this writing. 

This podcast is perfect for beginners because we cover all the basics of Swedish, including: greetings, question words, ordering Swedish food, Swedish vocabulary for everyday life, and Swedish grammar

The SwedishPod101 podcast is updated regularly, and you can find 4-hour-long compilations on our YouTube channel. There’s also a 24/7 Swedish live stream that is always available on our YouTube channel anytime you feel like learning Swedish in front of the TV.

Beginner

One Minute Swedish

One of the best Swedish podcasts for beginners, One Minute Swedish is hosted by a native Swedish couple (Gabriella and Mark) who have a good grasp of the English language. Most of the episodes are 2-5 minutes long, but some are as short as 1 minute or as long as 11 minutes.

This podcast is mostly targeted towards beginners and people with no prior knowledge of the language. That said, it can also be useful for more advanced learners who are looking to build up their vocabulary with some quick phrases. 

A lot of the words and expressions used in the episodes relate to famous Swedes, films, books, and Swedish culture and history.

Gabriella and Mark also discuss different topics that are mostly related to Sweden, such as where it’s best to travel this year or how long you can stay in a certain place without having to leave for another part of the country.

Intermediate

Coffee Break Swedish

Coffee Break Swedish is a weekly podcast designed for beginner-intermediate Swedish learners. Its focus is on engaging stories, everyday situations, and useful language presented in a lighthearted way. 

The podcast is presented by Hanna and Matt, who work in marketing and met while studying for their doctorates at Lund University. Their aim is to help listeners learn Swedish as they discover the world around them. Simple greetings and phrases, useful words and expressions for everyday situations, and more challenging topics such as how to talk about family…it covers the basics and then some! 

Every episode aims to build on the language covered in previous episodes. As a result of this, you can listen to the podcast in sequence or out of sequence. The stories are interesting and fun, but they always come back to the language learning goal for that week. 

While this podcast is designed for beginner-intermediate learners, it can also be enjoyed by more advanced learners. The lessons are usually around 30 minutes long, and there are generally three or four stories in each episode (although this may vary from time to time).

Simple Swedish Podcast

Simple Swedish Podcast is designed with intermediate (B1-B2 on SWES) Swedish learners in mind, and it aims to make learning Swedish simple and fun. The podcast is based in Sweden and created by Fredrik Arhusiander, a Swede who loves helping people learn the language while having fun. This podcast will “offer you a short but regular dose of common spoken language from Sweden.” 

The podcast is hosted on Soundcloud, and the episodes can also be found on iTunes. There are new episodes once or twice a month, which are about 10 minutes long each. They come with notes in English (transcripts of what Fredrik says) as well as some exercises. It’s nice that they’re provided to help you review specific words and phrases.

The subject matter of the episodes varies a lot, but you can always expect Fredrik to talk about current events or news while sharing a Swede’s perspective on things (compared to the perspective of international media). This is useful for those who want to practice their listening skills with native speakers and also learn more about Sweden.

Advanced

Alex & Sigges Podcast

The Alex & Sigges Podcast is a Swedish-language podcast with a comedic tone designed to make Swedes laugh and describe up-to-date news in a humorous manner.

This podcast is designed for native speakers, and it therefore includes many idioms as well as a variety of words that beginner or intermediate learners may not be able to understand. It’s updated on a weekly basis and is perfect for learners who want to reach mastery in Swedish.

3. Tricks to Help You Learn Swedish More Effectively with Podcasts

A Man Listening to Something on the Go

With so much knowledge and so many new words packed into every podcast episode you listen to, it will be hard to remember everything in one go. Here are some tips to help you out: 

  • Reviewing vocabulary or listening to more episodes of the same podcast are very effective ways to absorb what you hear. Repetition will help you retain and use the information better. Not only that, but reviewing also greatly influences how well we can recall a certain topic from memory. This means we’re more likely to remember new information if we review and repeat it often.
  • Save yourself from having to look up words in a dictionary by using your smartphone’s voice recognition feature. You can simply say the unfamiliar word, and your phone will inform you of its meaning. Google Translate works best for this feature.
  • You can rewind any part you didn’t quite get while listening. Also, the pause feature allows you to stop the audio whenever you get distracted.  
  • You can also use the SwedishPod101 cheat sheets. They provide an entire transcript of the dialogue from each episode, plus pictures if there were any used. Frequently used words are conveniently located at the bottom of each sheet for easy reference. You can merge these materials with the other useful features at SwedishPod101.com to maximize the efficiency of your learning.

4. Conclusion

So, are you ready to commit to learning Swedish? We hope so! 

If that’s the case, we have a few recommendations on how to get started. Whether it be through podcasts or other avenues like classes and books, there is no shortage of opportunities out there for language learners. 

One such resource is SwedishPod101.com, which offers a complete Swedish language learning program. As a company, Innovative Language Learning has over 16 years of experience teaching people around the world new languages. We know what works. So if you want someone else to do all the heavy lifting on your behalf, then this may just be the solution you’re looking for!

Our program is built to maximize results by matching and customizing the content for your needs. And if you want even more personalization, you can opt to have a personal language expert guide you in building a personalized learning program that fits into your schedule and criteria.

Signup is free, and no credit card is required.

Happy learning!
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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish

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!
Lycka till!

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Intermediate Swedish Words to Level Up Your Skills

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At this point in your journey, it’s likely time for you to start picking up the most useful intermediate Swedish words and phrases. But before we dive in, some context: 

Swedish is a Nordic language, meaning it belongs to the family of North Germanic languages.

Does that ring a bell?

That means it actually belongs to the same language group as English, which is a West Germanic language.

And since you can read this article, you probably speak English at a fluent or native level.

That will make starting out with Swedish pretty simple, as you won’t have much work to do before you master reading and writing. You’ll also find that the overall structuring of sentences and words is no different from what you’re used to in English. In other words, you’ll be able to focus most of your early efforts on learning new vocabulary and the conjugation basics. 

No new script to learn. Very few unfamiliar sounds to rehearse. 

It’ll be smooth sailing at first, but you’ll need to put in considerably more effort as you approach the intermediate level. 

At this point, the digits 0-9 no longer really do it, and asking people to switch to English is getting more and more frustrating.

That’s where our list of intermediate Swedish words will come in handy.

We’ve taken the time to compile some of the most important vocabulary words for this phase of your language learning journey, all with parallel English translations. 

At the end of this article, we’ll also recommend a great strategy for memorizing vocabulary. 

Without further ado, let’s jump right in…

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Large Numbers – Stora nummer
  2. Nouns – Substantiv
  3. Verbs – Verb
  4. Adjectives – Adjektiv
  5. Adverbs – Adverb
  6. Prepositions – Prepositioner
  7. Conjunctions – Konjunktioner
  8. Particle Verbs – Partikelverb
  9. Conclusion

1. Large Numbers – Stora nummer

Number 28 Raised Up

English TranslationSwedish Number
TenTio10
ElevenElva11
TwelveTolv12
ThirteenTretton13
FourteenFjorton14
FifteenFemton15
SixteenSexton16
SeventeenSjutton17
EighteenArton18
NineteenNitton19
TwentyTjugo20
ThirtyTrettio30
FortyFyrtio40
FiftyFemtio50
SixtySextio60
SeventySjuttio70
EightyÅttio80
NinetyNittio90
A hundredHundra100
A thousandTusen1,000
Ten thousandTio tusen10,000
A hundred thousandHundra tusen100,000
A millionEn miljon1,000,000

2. Nouns – Substantiv

Words in Dictionary: Hospitable, Hospital, Hospitality

Because nouns make up such a huge chunk of any language, adding plenty of them to your intermediate Swedish vocabulary will really get you places. Here are some of the most useful Swedish nouns in different categories to get you started. 

    → You can also visit our vocabulary list of common Swedish nouns to learn fifty new words along with their pronunciation.

Time – Tid

English TranslationSwedish 
CenturyÅrhundrade
MorningMorgon
EveningKväll
QuarterFjärdedel
SemesterTermin

Places – Platser

English TranslationSwedish 
RegionOmråde
Department Avdelning
VillageBy
ParkPark
BankBank
PharmacyApotek
HospitalSjukhus
BakeryBageri
CliffKlippa
BeachStrand
IslandÖ
HillKulle

Technology – Teknologi

English TranslationSwedish 
TechnologyTeknologi
ScreenSkärm
KeyboardTangentbord
MouseMus
TabletLäsplatta
TVTV
ConsoleKonsol
ChargerLaddare
WebsiteHemsida
AccountKonto
PasswordLösenord
FileFil
FolderMapp
SoftwareProgramvara

Home – Hem

English TranslationSwedish 
RoomRum
FloorGolv
Living roomVardagsrum
BathroomBadrum
FridgeKylskåp
WardrobeGarderob

City & Transportation – Stad & transport

English TranslationSwedish 
SuburbsFörorter
NeighborhoodGrannskap
HighwayMotorväg
AlleyGränd
RoundaboutRondell
CrossroadSkiljeväg

People – Människor

English TranslationSwedish 
Paternal uncleFarbror
Maternal uncleMorbror
Paternal auntFaster
Maternal auntMoster
GrandchildBarnbarn
ChildBarn
Paternal grandfatherFarfar
Maternal grandfatherMorfar
Paternal grandmotherFarmor
Maternal grandmotherMormor

Body Parts – Kroppsdelar

English TranslationSwedish 
FingerFinger
BackRygg
BellyMage
Breast / ChestBröst
ShoulderAxel
LegBen
ThighLår
ButtBakdel
FootFot
CheekKind
ChinHaka
ForeheadPanna

Food – Mat

English TranslationSwedish 
KnifeKniv
ForkGaffel
SpoonSked
WineVin
DishMaträtt
AppetizerAptitretare
DessertEfterrätt
DrinkDryck
CoffeeKaffe

Work & Studies – Arbete & studier

English TranslationSwedish 
NurseSjuksköterska
LawyerAdvokat
WaiterServitör

Clothes – Kläder

English TranslationSwedish
PantsByxa
SweaterTröja
T-shirtT-shirt
ShirtSkjorta
CoatRock
SockStrumpa
ShoeSko
DressKlänning
HatHatt

3. Verbs – Verb

List of Verbs

Our next set of intermediate Swedish words consists of the most useful verbs for this stage of your learning journey. Memorizing this selection of practical action words will allow you to be more precise in your conversations and make your stories more interesting. To practice, try combining them with the nouns above to form complete sentences!

    → Need a little help with the conjugation? Then you can check out our blog post on Swedish verb tenses to learn everything you need to know on the topic.

Swedish English Translation
Att tjänaTo serve
Att lämnaTo leave
Att tillåtaTo allow
Att skickaTo send
Att mottaTo receive
Att levaTo live
Att ringaTo call
Att påminnaTo remind
Att introduceraTo introduce
Att accepteraTo accept
Att vägraTo refuse
Att ageraTo act
Att spelaTo play
Att känna igenTo recognize
Att väljaTo choose
Att röraTo touch
Att förklaraTo explain
Att gå uppTo get up
Att öppnaTo open
Att stänga To close
Att vinnaTo win
Att förloraTo lose
Att existeraTo exist
Att lyckasTo succeed
Att förändraTo change
Att jobbaTo work
Att studeraTo study
Att sovaTo sleep
Att gåTo walk
Att försökaTo try
Att stannaTo stop
Att fortsättaTo continue
Att lagaTo cook
Att höra tillTo belong
Att riskeraTo risk
Att läraTo learn
Att mötaTo meet
Att skapaTo create
Att fåTo get
Att gå inTo enter
Att lämnaTo exit
Att erbjudaTo offer
Att ta medTo bring
Att användaTo use
Att nåTo reach
Att förberedaTo prepare
Att tillägga  To add
Att betalaTo pay
Att övervägaTo consider
Att köpaTo buy
Att tryckaTo push
Att handlaTo shop
Att resaTo travel

4. Adjectives – Adjektiv

Woman Sitting by the Sea

While you may have learned a few adjectives as a beginner, the intermediate stage is where you really have the linguistic tools necessary to make the most of them. Below, you’ll find some of the most useful Swedish adjectives that you can start practicing today. 


Swedish English Translation
Grymt braAwesome
FruktansvärdHorrible
KonstigWeird
KompliceradComplicated
TjockThick
TunnThin
NäraNear
AvlägsenDistant
SmalNarrow
BredWide
MjukSoft
HårdHard
FullFull
TomEmpty
LjusLight
TungHeavy
UnikUnique
SpeciellSpecial
NyNew
GammalOld
FattigPoor
RikRich
RenClean
SmutsigDirty
SvagWeak
StarkStrong
SmalSlim
FetFat
SötCute
ElakMean
RoligFunny
TrevligNice
LyckligHappy
LedsenSad
TystQuiet
UpphetsadExcited
FarligDangerous
TråkigBoring
KryddstarkSpicy
AndraSecond
NästaNext
TidigarePrevious
Näst sistSecond-to-last
OrangeOrange
RosaPink
GråGray
LilaPurple
MagentaMagenta
TurkosTurquoise

5. Adverbs – Adverb

We use adverbs to give additional information about a verb, an adjective, or even another adverb. Learning just a few Swedish adverbs can help you better express yourself and add color to your conversations or writing. The lists below are a great place to start. 

When – När

Swedish English Translation
RedanAlready
För länge sedanA long time ago
NuNow
IgenAgain
ÄntligenAt last
SedanThen
DärefterThereafter

How Often – Hur ofta

Swedish English Translation
IblandSometimes
SällanRarely
VanligtvisUsually
GenerelltGenerally
Hela tidenAll the time

Where – Var

English TranslationSwedish 
NowhereIngenstans
SomewhereNågonstans
ElsewhereNågon annanstans
UpUpp
DownNer
OverÖver
UnderUnder
FarLångt
CloseNära

How – Hur

English TranslationSwedish 
SoftlyMjukt
SlowlyLångsamt
QuicklySnabbt
CalmlyLugnt
EasilyLätt
LuckilyLyckligtvis
SimplyHelt enkelt

How Much – Hur mycket

Swedish English Translation
TillräckligtEnough
FramföralltEspecially
NästanAlmost
Hur mycketHow much
Så mångaSo many
Så fåSo few

6. Prepositions – Prepositioner

Prepositions play an important role in intermediate-level Swedish, as they allow you to be more specific in your descriptions. We have included some of the most frequently used prepositions in Swedish below.

Time – Tid

Quarter of an Hour on a Clock

English TranslationSwedish 
BeforeInnan
AfterEfter

Space – Utrymme

English TranslationSwedish 
Next toBredvid
To the rightTill höger
To the leftTill vänster
On
In front ofFramför
BehindBakom
UnderUnder
OverÖver

Other – Övrig

Swedish English Translation
AngåendeAbout
MellanBetween
Tack vareThanks to
TrotsDespite
UtanWithout
MedWith

7. Conjunctions – Konjunktioner

Swedish English Translation
Varken eller…Neither…nor…
So
AnnatOther
SedanSince
NärWhen
DärförTherefore

8. Particle Verbs – Partikelverb

Swedish English Translation
SvenskaSwedish
Göra bort sigTo embarrass  / To make a fool of oneself
Hålla medTo agree with
Hålla påTo do / To be busy with
Hälsa påTo visit
Hänga medTo follow along
Hoppa överTo skip
Klä ut sigTo dress up as
Koppla avTo relax
Köra påTo go ahead
Lägga avTo quit
Läsa omTo re-read
Säga ifrånTo speak up
Säga tillTo tell off/to
Se uppTo look out
Skjuta uppTo put off
Slå avTo turn off
Slå påTo turn on
Slappna avTo relax
Stressa nerTo calm down
Tala om (för någon)To tell / To explain

9. Conclusion

You should now have a pretty good idea of what vocabulary you should expect to start using as an intermediate learner.

As promised in the intro, we’ll discuss a great technique for memorizing vocabulary.

Online flashcards.

Online flashcards are designed to continuously challenge your mind to memorize the meanings of your target words. But, of course, you’ll want to make sure your flashcards are tied into an outstanding Swedish learning program. 

Enter SwedishPod101.

Here, you get access to thousands of video, audio, and text lessons, from which you can save your own online flashcards. Plus, you can choose to only study content that caters to your exact level. Add to this several other features on SwedishPod101.com, like line-by-line breakdowns and pronunciation comparison tools.

If you don’t feel like flying solo, you can always request a personalized learning program from an experienced, native Swedish-speaking language expert. After getting your study plan, you can get 1-on-1 lessons from your personal Swedish teacher.

The good news is that you can use SwedishPod101 on both your mobile and your desktop. You’ll always be able to put in a bit of study time, whether you’re on the go or at home.

All of this and more is available with a SwedishPod101 account

No credit card required. 

Go to SwedishPod101.com and try it all for yourself.

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30 Practical Swedish Phone Call Expressions

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With the advance of technology, more and more of us hide behind texting, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

We all want to respond to people on our own schedule, and at our convenience.

But guess what?

There will always come a moment when you get a phone call you have to take or need to make one yourself. You can’t refuse the call from the delivery guy, and you definitely won’t want to refuse the phone interview for your dream job. 

It always comes down to making those phone calls

As such, language learners will benefit from memorizing some Swedish phone call expressions, even in our SMS-based world. 

But phone anxiety is bad enough in one’s native language, let alone in a foreign language like Swedish! 

Just picture the delivery guy calling so you can help them find your home, and the only language they speak is Swedish. 

Know how to start the conversation? Ask them to switch to text? Or even agree with them on a meeting point?

To give you a headstart, SwedishPod101 has compiled this handy list of 30 Swedish telephone call phrases. We’ve also provided two bonus sample conversations at the end of this article!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Saying Who You Are
  3. Stating the Reason for Your Call
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Leaving a Message
  7. Asking for Clarification
  8. Ending the Phone Call
  9. Sample Phone Conversations
  10. Conclusion

1. Picking up the Phone

Woman Lying on the Carpet and Talking on the Phone

Swedes have a unique way of picking up the phone. They start the call by mentioning whose home you’re “at” (if you happen to be calling someone’s home). The basic expression is: 

At [homeowner’s name].
Hos [homeowner’s name].

An extended version of this expression is to start with your first name:

[First name] at [homeowner’s name].
[First name] hos [homeowner’s name].

Besides these unique Swedish expressions, you can use others that are similar to those commonly used in English. 

This magic word is as informal as it gets: 

Howdy.
Hejsan.

And if you want something a little less informal, you can use:

Hello.
Hallå.

And for formal calls, use one of these two phrases:

Good day.
God dag.

[First name. / Family name.]

2. Saying Who You Are

Blonde Woman Smiling while Talking on the Phone at Work

This may not be relevant when talking with acquaintances or friends, but it’s a crucial part of formal phone calls or conversations with strangers. 

This is [name].
Det här är [namn].

This is [name], from [company].
Det här är [namn], från [företag].

3. Stating the Reason for Your Call

Rehearsing this part to mastery is a must. You’ll want to clearly express the purpose of your call and leave no room for mumbling. Otherwise, your call will be pretty much pointless. Here are a few expressions you can use: 

I’m calling to ask… / confirm… / make a reservation…
Jag ringer för att fråga … / bekräfta … / göra en reservation…

I’d like to speak to someone about… 
Jag skulle vilja prata med någon om…

I’m returning your call.
Jag svarar på ditt samtal.

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

An Asian Man Pressing a Button while Talking on the Phone

Sometimes, the person who picks up the phone is not the person you intended to call. In that case, there are a few ways you can ask to be handed over to the correct person: 

May I speak to…?  
Kan jag få tala med…?

Is [name] there? 
Finns [namn] där?

Is Mr. Andersson in office today?
Är herr Andersson i tjänst idag?

Is Mr. Gustavsson available now?
Är Mr. Gustavsson tillgänglig nu?

5. Asking Someone to Wait

A Woman Handwriting in a Notebook during a Phone Call

Especially in formal contexts, it’s common to have to put someone on hold for a couple of minutes. Here are three ways you can politely ask someone to wait: 

Just a moment, let me check. 
Ett ögonblick, låt mig kolla.

I’ll put you on hold for a second. 
Jag låter dig vänta en stund.

Let me transfer you to his office. Stay on the line, please. 
Låt mig koppla dig till hans kontor. Stanna kvar på linjen tack.

6. Leaving a Message

If the person you wish to speak to is not available, you may be able to leave a voicemail or have a message relayed to them. Here are some phrases you can use to leave a message in Swedish over the phone: 

Please let him know… 
Var god låt honom veta…

Can I leave a message? 
Kan jag lämna ett meddelande?

Can you tell him to call me back at [phone number]? 
Kan du be honom ringa mig på [telefonnummer]?

7. Asking for Clarification

A Surprised Business Woman on a Call

As a non-native speaker making a phone call in Swedish, you may need to ask for clarification at some point. This is nothing to be embarrassed about! Below are a few expressions you can use to make sure you understand what the other person is saying. 

Sorry, could you say that again?
Ursäkta, kan du säga det igen?

I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time hearing you. I think there’s a bad connection.
Jag beklagar, men jag har svårt att höra dig. Jag tror att anslutningen är dålig.

Could you spell your name for me, please? 
Kan du bokstavera ditt namn åt mig är du snäll?

Just to double check… 
Bara för att dubbelkolla…

8. Ending the Phone Call

Whether your call was a success or not, you should aim to leave a good final impression. Here are some ways you can end a conversation over the phone in Swedish: 

Anything else I can help with? 
Något annat jag kan hjälpa till med?

You’ve been very helpful. Thank you. 
Du har varit till stor hjälp. Tack.

See you at ___ on ___.
Vi ses kl ___ på ___.

Have a great day. 
Ha en bra dag.

It’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Det har varit ett nöje att prata med dig.

9. Sample Phone Conversations 

Finally, let’s make sure you know how to use the phrases we covered! Here are two sample Swedish phone conversations, one informal and one formal. 

Informal phone conversation

Two friends are setting up a time to meet for a Swedish fika on a weekend. Here’s a short conversation they’ve had on the phone:

Lars: Hallå.
Mikael: Hallå.

Lars: Hello.
Mikael: Hello.

Lars: Hur mår du?
Mikael: Bra. Jag studerar för en examen. Och du då?

Lars: How are you doing?
Mikael: Good. I’m studying for an exam. How about you?

Lars: Jag mår bra tack. Jag läser en bok.
Mikael: Trevligt. 

Lars: I’m good, thanks. I’m reading a book.
Mikael: Nice.

Lars: Är du i stan under helgen?
Mikael: Ja, har du några planer?

Lars: You’re in town on the weekend?
Mikael: Yes, you have any plans?

Lars: Vill du gå på fika i helgen?
Mikael: Ja, varför inte! När?

Lars: Want to go for fika this weekend?
Mikael: Yeah, why not! When?

Lars: På eftermiddagen.
Mikael: Kan du gå ut klockan 2 på eftermiddagen?

Lars: In the afternoon.
Mikael: Can you go out at two in the afternoon?

Lars: Jag föredrar 3.
Mikael: Låter bra.

Lars: I prefer three.
Mikael: Sounds good.

Lars: Vi ses då.
Mikael: Vi ses då, hejdå!

Lars: See you then.
Mikael: See you then, bye!

Formal phone conversation

After they’ve set the time and place, one of the friends calls the fika café to reserve a table. Here’s the phone conversation he had: 

Lars: God dag!
Receptionist: Fika Kafé Stockholm – God dag!

Lars: Good day!
Receptionist: Fika Kafé Stockholm – Good day!

Lars: Jag skulle vilja boka bord för två.
Receptionist: Visst, vi har slut på bord idag, men du kan boka för imorgon.

Lars: I would like to reserve a table for two.
Receptionist: Sure, we’re out of tables today, but you can make a reservation for tomorrow.

Lars: Jag skulle faktiskt vilja ha ett bord till på lördag.
Receptionist: Visst. Vilken tid?

Lars: Actually, I’d like a table for Saturday.
Receptionist: Sure. What time?

Lars: 3 på eftermiddagen, tack.
Receptionist: Låter bra. Och vad är ditt namn?

Lars: Three in the afternoon, please.
Receptionist: Sounds good. And what’s your name?

Lars: Lars Johansson.
Receptionist: Perfekt, Lars. Vi ses till helgen!

Lars: Lars Johansson.
Receptionist: Perfect, Lars. See you on the weekend!

Lars: Tack, jag ser fram emot det!
Receptionist: Hejdå!

Lars: Thanks, I’m looking forward to that!
Receptionist: Bye!

10. Conclusion

Congratulations for making it this far. 

It’s safe to say that you’re now armed with enough Swedish phone call phrases to take care of your day-to-day business. You won’t have to be all shaky on your next call or worry as much about what to say next. 

Are there any other phone phrases you need to memorize or situations you’d like to learn how to handle? Let us know in the comments! 

As long as you’re conversing with an understanding native speaker, mastering even just a few of the expressions here will be enough to help you get your point across.

But honestly, why not learn even more useful Swedish phrases? You might want to learn how to give directions, talk about the weather (the number-one topic for small talk in Sweden), or even talk about your day in Swedish.

Considering Swedes’ “cold” culture, learning more of their language will only make it easier for you to break the ice and join any social circles around you.

Wondering where to start? 

Look no further than SwedishPod101.

Our website provides a full range of digital lessons to help you go from beginner to master in record time.

This is possible thanks to the proven, up-to-date learning systems and features incorporated within our platform: slowed-down audio, line-by-line vocabulary breakdowns, pronunciation comparison tools, and more.

All with the possibility of working with a tutor who can help answer any questions.

Signup is free and fast, and no credit card is required.

Lyckligt lärande!
Happy learning!

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Learn Swedish Beginner Words: All You Need to Get Started

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Did you know that learning a mere 1000 words covers 85.5% of conversation?

In other words, you just need 1000 words to be considered pretty much fluent in a given language. You’ll only be at a loss about 14.5% of the time. 

Doesn’t that make language learning sound easier?

That’s because it is! But only as long as you’re strategic with your learning

As you set out to learn Swedish beginner words, mastering a small set of 100 to 200 words will take you a long way.

This amount of vocabulary will allow you to engage in more conversations and have more interactions, which will result in more learning and integration.

Sweden being a difficult country to fully integrate into, you probably won’t be able to build any strong relationships with locals unless you speak the language.

The more Swedish you speak, the easier it will be for you to have interactions with locals.

While you might be a long way from fluency, we all start somewhere.

Below, we’ve compiled and categorized 200+ beginner Swedish words that will prove useful as you set out on this language learning journey. 

Without further ado, let’s dig right in.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Numbers
  3. Nouns
  4. Verbs
  5. Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions
  7. Others
  8. Conclusion

1. Pronouns

The first set of words you should add to your Swedish vocabulary are pronouns. These are the words we use to refer to someone or something without actually saying its name: 

  • Did Sam go to the store? = Did he go to the store? 

Here, we’ll cover three types of pronouns in Swedish: personal, demonstrative, and interrogative. 

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are the building blocks of language speaking. It’s really difficult to have conversations without first mastering these, especially the first seven pronouns in the table below.

EnglishSwedish 
Ijag
youdu
hehan
shehon
itden / det
wevi
theyde
memig
himhonom
herhenne
usoss
themdem

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are used to make it clear what you’re referring to. These are pretty easy to memorize and learning them goes a long way.

EnglishSwedish
thisdetta
thatdet 
thesedessa
thosede

Interrogative Pronouns / Question Words

Interrogative pronouns, a.k.a the “Five Ws,” are paramount when it comes to asking questions. You’ll improve your responses in conversations drastically after you learn these, as they’ll enable you to ask for more details and extend your conversations.

EnglishSwedish
whovem
whomvem
whosevars
whatvad
whichvilken / vilka

In a similar vein, you should also make sure to learn interrogative adverbs: 

English Swedish 
whennär
wherevar
whyvarför
howhur

2. Numbers

Numbers on a Board

Learning the first ten digits is crucial. This will allow you to understand the rest of the numbers much more easily, so definitely take the time to rehearse and learn these.

NumbersEnglish Swedish 
0zeronoll
1oneett
2twotvå
3threetre
4fourfyra
5fivefem
6sixsex
7sevensju
8eight åtta
9ninenio
10tentio

3. Nouns

Nouns are another essential component of spoken Swedish for beginners to learn. When used together with verbs, they form a complete thought—you can also use them by themselves in a pinch to express an urgent point! 

Time

Time is king, whether you’re in Sweden or elsewhere. Learning to express time will come in handy for daily conversations. Below are some time-related beginner words to get you started. 

English Swedish 
hour timme
minuteminut
morningmorgon
afternooneftermiddag
eveningkväll
daydag
monthmånad
yearår
Mondaymåndag
Tuesdaytisdag
Wednesdayonsdag
Thursdaytorsdag
Fridayfredag
Saturdaylördag
Sundaysöndag

People

Learning a few people-related words will help you get by in your daily interactions. You never know when you’ll want to ask where the nearest butcher is, or when you’ll need someone to call a doctor. 

English Swedish 
butcherslaktare
hostvärd
police officerpolis
doctordoktor
nursesjuksköterska
firefighterbrandman
teacherlärare
fatherfar
mothermor
sistersyster
brotherbror
Mr.herr
Ms.fru

Places Around Town

The Coastal Town of Chalkida in Greece

When roaming around Sweden, you’ll find it much easier to navigate when you know the names of the main places around town. This will be especially useful for using public transportation.

EnglishSwedish 
hospitalsjukhus
supermarketstormarknad
schoolskola
downtowncentrum
universityuniversitet
city hallkommunhus
main squarestortorget
bankbank
museummuseum
restaurantrestaurang
cafékafé
police stationpolisstation
train stationtågstation
bus stationbusstation

School/Office Essentials

Do you happen to study or work in Sweden? Then learning the names of your school and office essentials will help you feel more settled in your environment! 

EnglishSwedish 
penpenna
notebookanteckningsbok
computerdator
pencil casepennfodral
headphoneshörlurar
mousemus
keyboardtangentbord
wifiwifi
chargerladdare
cablekabel
backpackryggsäck
deskskrivbord
copybookskrivhäfte

Body Parts

EnglishSwedish 
eyeöga
nosenäsa
earöra
faceansikte
armarm
chestbröst
cheekkind
foreheadpanna
mouthmun
chinhaka
armpitarmhåla
abdomenbuk
legben
toe
fingerfinger
anklefotled
hiphöft
forearmunderarm
elbowarmbåge
wristhandled

Food

Grocery Shopping List

Swedes have a diverse cuisine as well as a very dairy- and protein-centered diet, hence their tall builds. Here’s a list of common food names in Swedish: 

EnglishSwedish 
ٍٍvegetablesgrönsaker
fruitfrukt
meatkött
milkmjölk
eggägg
coffeekaffe
yogurtyoghurt
breadbröd
baconbacon
piepaj
hamskinka
chickenkyckling
juicejuice
sausagekorv

4. Verbs

Verbs are the words we use to describe actions and states of being. Considering their vital role in language, you should make sure to memorize as many basic Swedish verbs as possible right from the start. 

Daily Routine Verbs

If you like to keep a journal, writing a few sentences about your day in Swedish can go a long way in terms of staying consistent with your studies. 

English Swedish 
to get upatt gå upp
to eatatt äta
to drinkatt dricka
to goatt gå
to workatt arbeta
to studyatt studera
to driveatt köra
to rideatt rida
to sleepatt sova
to wake upatt vakna
to hangatt hänga
to do laundryatt tvätta
to restatt vila
to work outatt träna
to go outatt gå ut
to prepareatt förbereda
to cookatt laga mat
to clean att städa
to washatt tvätta
to tidy upatt plocka i ordning
to connectatt ansluta
to communicateatt kommunicera
to wearatt ha på sig
to take (something) offatt ta av
to grabatt greppa
to mixatt blanda
to holdatt hålla
to freezeatt frysa
to changeatt ändra
to moveatt flytta

Other Common Verbs

Below are a few more frequently used verbs…

English Swedish
to giveatt ge
to getatt få
to doatt göra
to makeatt göra
to letatt låta
to askatt be
to smileatt le
to findatt hitta
to useatt använda
to takeatt ta
to comeatt komma
to lookatt titta
to hearatt höra
to smellatt lukta
to talkatt prata
to exitatt lämna
to callatt ringa 
to feelatt känna
to answeratt svara
to laughatt skratta
to cryatt gråta
to stealatt stjäla
to runatt springa
to walkatt gå
to meetatt träffa
to createatt skapa
to finishatt avsluta

5. Adjectives

Reinforcing your Swedish beginner vocabulary with a few essential adjectives can make all the difference in your conversations and writing. These words are used to describe the world around us, and they can add extra meaning to our self-expression. 

Describing Objects

EnglishSwedish 
bigstor
smallliten
longlång
shortkort
smoothslät
roughgrov

Describing People

English Swedish
prettysöt
handsomestilig
disgustingmotbjudande
sociablesällskaplig
funnyrolig
quirkyknasig
beautifulvacker
lovelyhärlig
caringomtänksam
selflessosjälvisk
arrogantarrogant
humbleödmjuk
courageousmodig
weaksvag
strongstark

Describing Emotions

Bored Young Girl
English Swedish 
happyglad
sadledsen
joyfulfröjdefull
angryarg
depresseddeprimerad
anxiousorolig
stressed outstressad
cheerfulmunter

Describing Weather

EnglishSwedish 
rainyregnigt
wetvått
humidfuktigt
drytorrt
sunnysoligt
foggydimmigt
windyblåsigt
stormystormigt
breezyblåsigt
windlessstiltje
calmlugnt

6. Conjunctions

English Swedish 
and och
butmen
thensedan
becauseeftersom
so

7. Others

Filler words are pretty much the most native-sounding words you can learn. Below are five examples you can use.

English Swedish 
ohöhm / öh
yesja
uh / ehehm / eh
therefore / thusasså / alltså
whatva

8. Conclusion

Well done, you’re now 200 words in and just 800 words away from fluency. How many of these words did you know already? Were most of them new to you? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

Wondering how to round up those extra 800 words?

Check out SwedishPod101.

This language learning service provides a full range of digital language lessons in audio, video, and text formats.

There are lessons to tackle every language skill you’ll need to achieve fluency. You’ll get a feel for speaking, writing, reading, and listening—all on one single platform.

SwedishPod101 guarantees efficient results, so you won’t waste your time learning things you don’t need (like you would in an average language school).

Instead, SwedishPod101 focuses on helping you achieve the best results with the least possible amount of learning. 

That’s made possible through our well-organized platform and proven tools, like the pronunciation comparison feature, line-by-line breakdowns, slowed-down audio, slideshows, flashcards, and more.

If you feel like you want an even more fitting learning system, you can opt for a personalized program from a dedicated SwedishPod101 language expert.

And don’t just take my word for it.

Sign up for free now and try it all for yourself.

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Happy learning!

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Swedish Filler Words: How to Talk Like a Swede

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It’s human nature to want to look as close to perfect as possible.

We want to buy the best clothes, the best makeup, the best food, or anything in-between. 

We only publish our most perfect pictures on social media. We delete the pictures or posts that people didn’t react enough to (or positively to).

We even try to talk as perfectly as possible. We want to sound accurate and trustworthy all the time.

And that’s where we fall for the big trap:

Filler words.

Today we’ll be talking about common Swedish filler words, whether you should use them, and how to do so appropriately when the situation calls for it.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Swedish Table of Contents
  1. What are filler words and why do we use them?
  2. Swedish Filler Words: How to Talk Like a Swede
  3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words
  4. Conclusion

1. What are filler words and why do we use them?

A Definition in a Dictionary

A- What are filler words?

Filler words are the uh’s and um’s in our conversations. They’re the words we use during a pause in order to sound less awkward and make understanding easier for those listening. 

Heck, we even use filler words when sending work emails. 

Expressions like “I think,” “in my opinion,” “just,” “highly,” and many more are all examples of fillers we use in our texts. Think about it: Do they really contribute to the meaning of our message?

While the words themselves may have meaning in other contexts, they do not convey these meanings when used as fillers. 

In many cultures, some filler words are deemed as annoying despite being popularly used. Take the good old “innit” in British English. A detailed study by Mortar Research for gweek revealed that 47 percent of Brits find the “isn’t it” abbreviation annoying, and this attitude extends to other popular conversation fillers such as “like” and “basically.”

B- Why do we use them?

Question Mark Balloon

Despite Swedes being deemed as cold and avoidant of small talk, they frequently use filler words in their speech for many reasons.

They want to be polite.

Man Taking Hat Off to Show Respect

Imagine asking someone out for a date tomorrow night and they just hit you with a blatant “no.” That would sound pretty rude, wouldn’t it? 

That’s one situation where conversation fillers come in. Think about how much more polite it would be if they said something like: “Um, well, you know, I kind of have some plans for tomorrow night.”

They want you to understand.

Man Ordering from Menu

Have you ever noticed how presidents talk slowly in international conventions and gatherings? 

That’s because there are translators in the background, and the speakers want to give them enough time to interpret what they’re saying into another language. It’s not surprising to hear filler words continuously in these situations.

Another context where this may happen is when you’re explaining something to someone and you’re not sure whether they understand. 

You make the job easier for both parties by talking slower, and throwing in a few filler words here and there makes it sound more natural.

They want to be believed.

Hand on Holy Book

No one wants you to think they’re lying (especially when they actually are!). Using filler words is a great technique people use to mask their lies. 

While you should always take what you hear with a grain of salt, this is especially true if you notice the speaker overusing fillers while discussing something that should be straightforward.

Picture how children let go of a long “uhhh” every time they’re caught doing something they’re not supposed to do. 

2. Swedish Filler Words: How to Talk Like a Swede

Now that you know more about filler words in general, it’s time for you to study the most frequently used Swedish conversation fillers! We’ve included two examples with each word so that you can see it used in context. 

Öhm / Öh
Oh

Example #1

Öh, vad gör du här då?

Oh, what are you doing here then?

Example #2

Öh, varför är de så lata?

Oh, why are they so lazy?

Ja 

Yes

Example #1

Ja, jag förstår vad du menar.

Yes, I see what you mean.

Example #2

Jag förstår din kamp, ja.

I understand your struggle, yes.

Ehm / Eh 

Uh / Eh

Example #1

Ehm, jag tror inte att jag kan göra det.

Eh, I don’t think I can do that.

Example #2

Ehm, jag tror inte att vi har råd med det priset.

Eh, I don’t think we can afford that price.

Asså / Alltså 

Therefore / Thus

Asså or alltså can also mean “so,” but no English translation is totally correct. With continuous use and exposure, you’ll become familiar with how they’re used.

Example #1

Alltså titta på havet, gudomligt snyggt.

So look at the sea, divinely beautiful.

Example #2

Asså jag kan inte gå på universitet idag.

Thus, I cannot go to university today.

Va 

What

This is used to mean “excuse me” or “what” when the speaker is surprised or asking for clarification.

Example #1

Va? Jag hörde inte vad du sa.

What? I didn’t hear what you said.

Example #2

Va? Varför avbröt de vårt program?

What? Why did they cancel our program?

Liksom / Typ 

Like

You’re probably familiar with the excessively used “like” in English-speaking countries. Liksom and typ are similar to that. Liksom is mostly used in Stockholm and less in other regions.

Example #1

Det där var inte gott liksom.

That was not, like, good.

Example #2

Men, liksom, vad gör du här?

But, like, what are you doing here?

Precis 

Precisely

Example #1

Precis. Det tar dem mer tid att göra samma uppgift för samma pris.

Precisely. It takes them more time to do the same task for the same price.

Example #2

Precis. Den sista föreläsningen var bättre.

Precisely. The last lecture was better.

Okej 

Okay

Example #1

Okej, jag tycker att din presentation är intressant.

Okay, I find your presentation interesting.

Example #2

Okej, låt oss prata om ditt projekt.

Okay, let’s talk about your project.

Eller hur

Right

Example #1

Han är korkad, eller hur?

He’s stupid, right? 

Example #2

Vi besöker Tyskland i sommar, eller hur?

We’re visiting Germany this summer, right?

Absolut 

Absolutely

This Swedish filler is used similarly to precis or exakt

Example #1

De har absolut ingen aning om Sverige.

They have absolutely no idea about Sweden.

Example #2

Du har absolut ingen aning om de ansträngningar vi gör för att organisera detta.

You have absolutely no idea about the efforts we make to organize this.

3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words

Most of us don’t take filler words seriously (if we even think about them at all). But their subconscious effects make it important to pay more attention to them and their role in conversation. 

Filler words affect us by contributing to the impressions people have about us. 

To leverage filler words to your advantage, knowing the pros and cons of using them is a great start.

A- Pros 

You sound more natural.

In a foreign culture, the most crucial issue for expats or immigrants is integration—and this is probably the biggest problem immigrants face in Sweden.

Even if you speak good Swedish and are open to learning, you might find yourself struggling to befriend locals.

Filler words can contribute to breaking that barrier while lending a more natural feel to your conversations in Swedish. 

Add to that some Swedish slang practice and you have a pretty good chance of getting invited to your first fika.

You sound friendlier.

Woman Giving a Thumbs-up

Especially when you’re a foreigner in another country, you want to appear as friendly as possible when asking for directions, making small talk, or talking to strangers for any reason.

A great hack to achieve that is using filler words. That familiarity and spontaneity vibe creates comfort and attracts people to you.

Still, filler words aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Here are some of the cons of using fillers in Swedish.

B- Cons 

You’re considered hesitant.

Going for a job interview, speaking at a conference, or going to a professional meeting? Leaving filler words at the door would be your best bet if you don’t want to come off as hesitant.

It’s hard to sell, teach, or even just communicate your ideas to people when they find you hesitant and unsure about what you’re talking about.

You’re perceived as having low self-confidence.

Confident Woman

Having low self-confidence, even in normal day-to-day life, affects how people interact with you. 

People tend to respect those with great self-confidence, and excessive use of filler words doesn’t make that impression.

C- How to Substitute Filler Words

Not sure what to replace filler words with?

Shhhh.

You guessed it: Silence.

When you have nothing to say, simply say nothing. Use that in-between time to think of your next sentence. 

Staying silent might feel distracting at first, but it can start to feel normal with practice. You can train yourself to do this by tapping yourself on the leg whenever you hear yourself using a filler word.

4. Conclusion

Congratulations. You now know more about Swedish fillers than probably most learners out there. Which of these filler words did you like the most? And which filler words do you use most in your own language?

You now have a huge leg-up over other foreigners competing to integrate and get Swedes’ attention.

Want to have an even bigger leg-up? Try learning some more Swedish

Not sure where to start? Enter SwedishPod101.

Our platform provides you with thousands of digestible lessons in audio, video, and text formats, all incorporated with the most effective language learning features.

This includes flashcards, slideshows, word lists, slowed-down audio, voice-recording tools, and more.

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Happy Swedish 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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