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Lesson Transcript

Hej, jag heter Elin. Hi everybody! I’m Elin.
Welcome to SwedishPod101.com’s “Svenska på tre minuter”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Swedish.
In the last lesson, we learned how to talk about nationality. In this lesson, we’re going to talk more about att vara, which is "to be".
This verb is also used to talk about location, to say things like "I am in school" or "He is in the room", so it's very useful!
When you want to know where something or someone is, you use the verb att vara in Swedish.
For example, when someone asks you on the phone Var är du? That means "Where are you?".
Let's break it down.
Var means "Where"
är is "are.” This is the “to be” verb att vara conjugated for present.
And du, as you know, is the word for "you"
All together it is Var är du?
[slowly] Var är du ?
Answering this question is very easy! You just say jag är + the place where you are.
jag means “I” and
är is that verb att vara again.
Then you add the place. So for example, you can say jag är i skolan which is "I am in school”
[slowly] jag är i skolan.
Now let’s see a few other possible answers -
"I am at the office" would be jag är på kontoret.
"I am at the library" would be jag är i biblioteket.
"I am in a store" would be jag är i en affär.
Another useful expression with the verb att vara is when you answer the phone. To introduce your name you can say Det är + your name.
So when I pick up the phone I often say Det är Elin. It is really simple—you just say Det är, which means "It is" + your name
This verb att vara only changes based on time, like other verbs. But these changes don’t follow any clear logic. For example, the infinitive form is often used together with ska, so ska vara implies that something will happen in the future, as in “to be going to.”
For the recent past, att vara changes to var, which means “was.” For perfect past, the verb changes to har varit, meaning “has been.” And present tense, as you might remember, is simply är.
Now it’s time for Elin’s insights.
Also with the verb att vara, you can use this convenient question if you are lost in the street - jag vet inte var jag är, kan du hjälpa mig?
“That means I don’t know where I am, can you help me please?”
(One more time, slowly: jag vet inte var jag är, kan du hjälpa mig?)
In this lesson we learned how to talk about your location thanks to the verb att vara. Next time we’ll learn how to talk about ages using the same verb. So do you want to know how to ask somebody’s age? I’ll be waiting for you in the next Svenska på tre minuter.
Vi ses nästa gång!