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Swedish Grammar

If you’ve ever spent countless hours struggling to learn a foreign language’s grammar, you’ll be happy to learn that Swedish grammar is much easier than you might imagine. In fact, the word order of sentences is so similar to English you might need be able to intuitively grasp it. In fact, the most important aspect of their grammar is agreement. If you have a difficult time learning about these concepts because of the jargon often used, you’ll be relieved to find that simplicity is the name of the game here. In fact, if you focus on difficult grammatical concepts too early, you’ll often be unnecessarily confused and frustrated.

Starting with one of the basic building blocks of language, verbs are an essential aspect of Swedish grammar, as with any language. Swedish also utilizes them in a manner consistent with English. These verbs have five forms: the infinitive, past, present, supine, and past participle. Now, you can memorize the forms for each verb, which has it merits. You can also choose to focus on the most commonly used verbs by seeing and hearing them used in conversation and in print. Beyond forms, Swedish verbs also possess two central meanings—tense (or time) and person. Tense refers to whether the action is past, present, or future, while person refers to who is doing or receiving the action. As with English, verbs in Swedish change forms to indicate tense, but they do not change to indicate person.

Another commonality of English and Swedish grammar is that they do not use gender forms. Take French as a contrast. The words “le” and “la” are used to express the masculinity or femininity of each object. In Swedish, all nouns will be neuter or common. Common objects will receive the article “en,” as in “en flaska (a bottle),” while neuter nouns use “ett,” as in “ett brev (a letter).”

As you’ve already learned, verbs in Swedish grammar are not altered to designate person. Rather, the other parts of speech must agree with each other—all articles, prepositions, pronouns, etc.—in number. This is done by adding suffixes to these words (though sometimes nothing extra is required). For “en” words, the suffixes used are -or, -ar, and -er, while the suffix -n or nothing are used with “ett words.” If you’re looking to learn a new language but want one that is not vastly different from English, Swedish is a good one to master.