Swedish language

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Swedish (svenska)

Spoken in

SwedenSweden Sweden , Finland
speaker 10.5 million
Official status
Official language in SwedenSweden Sweden Åland Finland (besides Finnish) European Union Nordic Council ( working language )
European UnionEuropean Union 
North symbol.svg
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


ISO 639-3


Spread of the Swedish language

Swedish (own name: svenska ? / I ) belongs to the East Nordic branch of the Germanic languages . This means that Swedish is also part of the Indo-European language family. Swedish is closely related to Danish and Norwegian ( Bokmål , Nynorsk ). Like the other Nordic languages, it is derived from Old Norse , which was the language of the Teutons in Scandinavia. Audio file / audio sample

Origin and relationship

Swedish is an Indo-European language that belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Germanic languages. Together with Danish , it belongs to the East Nordic language group, which differs from the West Nordic languages ​​( Faroese , Icelandic and New Norwegian ( Nynorsk )) through the use of monophthongs instead of diphthongs . A more modern structure divides the Scandinavian languages ​​into a mainland Scandinavian group (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk)) and an island Scandinavian variant with Faroese and Icelandic. This distinction reflects the fact that Icelandic and Faroese have a very different sound and form system and also differ significantly from mainland Scandinavian in terms of vocabulary. The former is due in part to the geographical isolation of Iceland and the Faroe Islands, the latter in the much stronger influence on the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian through the Low German of the Hanseatic League .

According to their linguistic criteria, the mainland Scandinavian languages ​​can be linguistically understood as "dialects" of the same language. As a result of the long-running political rivalries between the kingdoms of Denmark-Norway and Sweden, which led to a series of wars in the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as nationalism and its romantic ideals in the 19th and 20th centuries, the three national languages ​​have changed their orthography, their vocabulary, their grammar and, last but not least, externally changed by national language institutions ( Swedish Academy ). Danish, Norwegian (with its two variants Bokmål and Nynorsk) and Swedish can be described from a linguistic perspective as a dialect continuum , i.e. as closely related dialects of “Common Scandinavian”. Many dialects of the national languages ​​can have an intermediate form of the different language variants. The dialects in Dalarna and Jämtland are similar to those on the Norwegian side of the border. Certain grammatical phenomena of a dialect can belong to the standard language of another national language.

Swedish Danish Norwegian
Faroese Icelandic German
hunt any any eg eg ég I
öga (t) ø per (t) øye (t) auga eyga (ð) auga (ð) (the eye
ben (et) ben (et) ben (et) leg (et) leg (ið) leg (ið) (the) leg / (the) bone
Title page of the first Swedish translation of the Bible from 1541

The diphthongizations in Faroese, Icelandic and also New Norwegian (Nynorsk) can be clearly seen, which is based on Icelandic.

During the Middle Ages, Swedish, like the Danish and Norwegian languages, was influenced by the Middle Low German of the Hanseatic League. In the modern era , influences from High German were added, partly through trade with the countries of the German-speaking area and the Baltic States , partly through the Thirty Years War and the soldiers returning from it, which is particularly evident through the many loan words in military jargon. But the dominance of the German language in some sciences also shaped the Swedish vocabulary . Conversely, during the long-lasting Swedish rule over Western Pomerania , the Swedish language left behind certain influences on the Low German dialect there, for example Lingon for the lingonberry and Brüllup for the wedding celebration.

The history of the modern Swedish language begins with the spread of printing and the Reformation. After Sweden regained its independence from Denmark under Gustav I. Wasa , this ruler introduced the Lutheran Reformation in the country. In 1541 the Gustav Wasa Bible was the first complete translation of the Bible into Swedish, written by Laurentius Andreae and Olaus and Laurentius Petri .


Swedish is spoken by around 8.5 million people as their mother tongue , of which around eight million live in Sweden and just under 290,000 as a Finnish-Swedish minority (5.5% of the population) in Finland. Historically, Finland was part of the Swedish Empire from the early Middle Ages until 1809 ( Treaty of Fredrikshamn ), and Swedish was the language of the educated upper class there until the 19th century, until it broke out in the course of the political dispute between Fennomans and Svekomanen established Finnish and pushed back the importance of Swedish. For some time now, there has also been a decline in the proportion of Finland-Swedes in Finland's population.

In Finland today there are some predominantly Swedish-speaking communities in the regions of Uusimaa (Nyland), Itä-Uusimaa (Öster-Nyland), Kymenlaakso (Kymmenedalen) and Varsinais-Suomi (Egentliga Finland) as well as in Österbotten . The Swedish-speaking school children in the bilingual communities are taught in their mother tongue. For Finnish-speaking children, Swedish is a compulsory subject as a second native language (three years in elementary school, another three years in high school) and was a compulsory subject in the Abitur examination until 2004. In Turku (Åbo) is the only fully Swedish-speaking university in Finland, the Åbo Akademi . The autonomous archipelago of Åland is the only officially monolingual region in otherwise bilingual Finland: only Swedish is spoken here and Finnish is only an optional subject in schools (English is a compulsory subject). The Ålandic spoken here is closer to the dialects of Uppland than to the Swedish dialects of mainland Finland.

Of the former Swedish-speaking ethnic group in Estonia , the Estonian Swedes or Coastal Swedes (around 8,800 people in the early 1940s), almost only elderly people have remained since their mass emigration to Sweden during the Second World War. Recently, however, some Estonian Swedes have returned, and today Swedish is taught in schools in the former Swedish-speaking parts of the country.

Swedes can talk to Norwegians relatively easily ; so there is a mixed language with Svorsk , which is composed of the Swedish and Norwegian colloquial language . Conversation with Danes is also possible if they try to speak clearly, although there are regional differences. The Swedes in the south, especially in Skåne , understand the Danes relatively well because of the close relationship between their dialect and Danish . Residents in western Sweden (for example in Värmland or Dalarna ), on the other hand, have major problems with Danish, but hardly any problems with Norwegian .

Legal situation

Swedish is the official language in Sweden and, along with Finnish , in Finland . In Sweden, the official status of the Swedish language has been established by a language law since July 1, 2009 , which obliges all government agencies to use and develop the Swedish language. The language of the authorities should be neat, simple and understandable. In addition to Swedish, Finnish , Yiddish , Meänkieli , Romani and Sami are recognized as minority languages. In Finland, a language law stipulates that Swedish is an official language on a national level with Finnish on an equal footing, and that Swedish is the official language alone or alongside Finnish at local level in municipalities with a certain Swedish-speaking population.

The Language Council (Språkrådet), a state institution in the Institute for Language and Ethnicity (Institutet för språk och folkminnen), and private organizations such as Språkförsvaret are committed to maintaining the Swedish language and language policy .

Linguistic geography today

Swedish was the mother tongue of around 10.5 million people in 2013. 9.5 million of them live in the Kingdom of Sweden , around 300,000 in the Republic of Finland ; the rest is spread across countries around the world. The Finland Swedish , a ostschwedischer dialect is primarily spoken in coastal areas and on the upstream archipelago Oesterbotten, Åboland and Nyland (including NCR) as well as in the islands. Many Finns have different levels of proficiency in Swedish as it is the first foreign language taught in schools in the Finnish-speaking parts of the country. On the uniformly Swedish-speaking Åland Islands, Swedish is the only administrative language. Some monolingual Finnish communities also have a significant Swedish-speaking minority; these are known as the Swedish language islands (svenska språköar). In 1610, the Swedish-speaking portion of the Finnish population was 17.5 percent. Since then, the proportion of the Swedish-speaking population has steadily decreased. Especially after the Second World War, many emigrated to Sweden and the USA . Between 1945 and 1976, 400,000 people emigrated from Finland to Sweden, around 200,000 stayed there permanently, of which a third came from the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland. Today, around 5.4 percent of the Finnish population speak Swedish as their first language.

There are also Swedish-speaking minorities in the other Nordic countries, an estimated 30,000 in Norway and 11,000 in Denmark (2010). Due to the similarities of culture and language in the Nordic countries, these immigrants are often assimilated and integrated very quickly and do not feel like a separate ethnic group, with the exception of the Finns. Furthermore, the small Swedish-speaking minority in Estonia should be mentioned, which has existed since the 13th century along the northwest coast and on the islands ( Aiboland ). There are approximately 67,000 people in the United States who claim to speak Swedish according to a 2004 census. However, it remains unclear how good the language skills are. Most of these people live in Minnesota . In 2001, 17,000 people in Canada reported speaking Swedish. According to the Swedish Central Statistical Bureau, 230,000 Swedes live permanently abroad. Germany and Great Britain were the countries with the most Swedes in 2010 (approx. 30,000 each); This was followed by Spain (17,000), France (15,000), Australia and Switzerland (6,000 each) as well as Belgium (5,000) and Italy (3,000).

Linguistic geography historically

There used to be extensive Swedish-speaking areas in Estonia, mainly along the northwest coast and on the islands of Dagö , Ösel and Ormsö . The Swedish-speaking minority was represented in parliament and had the right to use their language in public debates. In the middle of the 17th century, the Estonian Swedes made up 10,000 or 2 to 3 percent of the Estonian population. After the territorial losses in the Baltic States to Russia in the 18th century, 1,000 Estonian Swedes were resettled from Dagö to Ukraine. They founded the city of Gammalsvenskby north of the Crimean peninsula. There are still a few descendants there who continue to have Swedish as their mother tongue and maintain Swedish traditions. It is to be expected that this very ancient East Swedish dialect will die out within the next generation. Until the interwar period, Estonia's Swedish-speaking minority was treated well; but with the rise of nationalism in Estonia during the 1930s, people were forced to change their names, invent new ones, or make them sound more Estonian. Swedish place names have been replaced by Estonian. Municipalities in which Swedish speakers were in the majority and which had Swedish as the administrative language stagnated economically. After World War II, when Estonia became part of the Soviet Union, around 80 percent of Estonian Swedes fled to Sweden. Only about 1500 remained in Soviet-occupied Estonia, where they could no longer live their culture and language as they were suspected of collaborating with western Sweden. Many therefore hid their Swedish identity and switched to the Estonian language to avoid persecution and professional bans. As a result, there are only a few elderly people left today who can speak the Estonian-Swedish dialect.

In America there were Swedish-speaking groups at times. In the 17th century in Delaware / New Sweden (Nya Sverige), in the 19th century also in Bishop Hill, Chicago , Illinois and Minnesota. However, these groups have largely assimilated and now speak English as their mother tongue. There are several hundred Swedish speakers in Argentina , especially around Oberá , which was founded by immigrant Swedes. Up until the 1960s there was even Swedish school lessons. Today these classes are only given in families of Swedish descent. By the end of the 19th century there is also said to have been a Swedish-speaking colony in Namibia ; but here, too, people have assimilated to the surrounding language groups.


The Swedish alphabet consists of 29 letters: Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ee, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Pp, Qq, Rr, Ss, Tt, Uu, Vv, Ww, Xx, Yy, Zz, Åå, Ää, Öö. The W occurs in loan words and was not considered a separate letter until 2006, but as a spelling variant of the V. Å , Ä , Ö are counted as separate letters and not as variants of A and O, as in German. The Swedish dictionaries are therefore arranged accordingly . So are z. B. yarn and gärna not directly behind each other, but several pages far apart. The OB does not exist in Swedish; German and other foreign names that contain this umlaut are classified under Y, for example in telephone books.


Swedish is characterized by its distinctive vowel system. The length and brevity of the vowels are significant. In a stressed syllable, either the vowel or the consonant following the vowel is long, the connection of a short vowel with a short consonant is only known in Swedish in unstressed syllables. With the vowels [⁠ ə ⁠] , [ ʉː ] and [⁠ ɵ ⁠] the Swedish has three middle vowels.


Vowel phonemes in standard Swedish

Swedish has a three-tier vowel system with nine vowel phonemes. High vowel phonemes are: [⁠ i ⁠] , [⁠ y ⁠] , [ ʉː ], [⁠ u ⁠] , medium vowel phonemes are: [⁠ e ⁠] , [⁠ ø ⁠] , [⁠ o ⁠] and deep vowel phonemes are: [⁠ .epsilon. ⁠] , [⁠ a ⁠] . Unlike the High German, the Swedish has two above-phonemes: [⁠ y ⁠] and [ ʉː ]. Apart from the additional ü-phoneme [ ʉː ], Swedish vowelism is similar to that of standard German.


Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosives p b t d k G
Approximants v l r j H
Fricatives f s ɕ ɧ
Nasals m n ŋ


General pronunciation rules

These pronunciation rules are general, there are always individual exceptions. Vowels are pronounced long before a single consonant and short before two consonants. The sound value differs from German for the following letters:

description example
a [⁠ a ⁠] short a as in cold Audio file / audio sample matt ? / i [ matː ]matt, dull
[ ɑː ] long dark a Audio file / audio sample mat ? / i [ mɑːt ]food
e [⁠ ɛ ⁠] short e as in bed Audio file / audio sample bright ? / i [ hɛlː ]Heil
[ ] long e as in flower bed Audio file / audio sample hel ? / i [ heːl ]quite
[⁠ æ ⁠] before r as an open ä-sound Audio file / audio sample Lord ? / i [ hærː ]Lord
G [⁠ j ⁠] before e, i, y, ä and ö and after l and r like German j guest [ jɛst ] guest , älg [ ɛlj ] elk
[⁠ g ⁠] otherwise like German g Audio file / audio sample god ? / i [ guːd ]good
k [⁠ ɕ ⁠] before e, i, y, ä and ö similar to German ch in ich kyrka [ ˈɕʏrˌka ] church
[⁠ k ⁠] otherwise like German k Audio file / audio sample kon ? / i [ kuːn ]cone
O [⁠ ɔ ⁠] short mostly like o in open Audio file / audio sample minor ? / i [ mɔlː ]minor
[⁠ ʊ ⁠] partly like u in and Audio file / audio sample bott ? / i [ bʊt ]used to
[ ] long mostly like u in chair Audio file / audio sample fot ? / i [ feet ]foot
[ ] partly like o in the oven son [ soːn ] son
r [⁠ r ⁠] Tip of tongue-r ("rolled r") Audio file / audio sample rov ? / i [ ruːv ]robbery
s [⁠ s ⁠] always as voiceless s as in hatred Audio file / audio sample sot ? / i [ suːt ]soot
u [⁠ ɵ ⁠] between German o and ö Audio file / audio sample full ? / i [fɵlː] full
[ ʉː ] between German u and ü Audio file / audio sample ful ? / i [ fʉːl ]ugly
v [⁠ v ⁠] like German w Audio file / audio sample våt ? / i [ voːt ]wet
y [⁠ ʏ ⁠] similar to German ü in hut Audio file / audio sample syll ? / i [ sʏlː ]threshold
[ ] between German i and ü Audio file / audio sample syl ? / i [ syːl ]awl
å [⁠ ɔ ⁠] like o in open Audio file / audio sample long ? / i [ lɔŋː ]long
[ ] like o in oven Audio file / audio sample mål ? / i [ moːl ]goal, goal
Ä [⁠ ɛ ⁠] short e as in bed Audio file / audio sample häll ? / i [ hɛlː ] slab of rock
[ ɛː ] long open e as in yawn Audio file / audio sample häl ? / i [ hɛːl ]heel
[⁠ æ ⁠] before r as an open ä-sound Audio file / audio sample art ? / i [ æʈ ]pea
[ æː ] before r as a long open ä-sound Audio file / audio sample här ? / i [ hæːr ]here; army
ö [⁠ œ ⁠] like ö in hell Audio file / audio sample need ? / i [ nœtː ]worn out
[ øː ] like ö in cave Audio file / audio sample necessary ? / i [ nøːt ]nut
[ œː ] before r as a long open ö Audio file / audio sample öra ? / i [ ˈœːˌra ]ear

Letter connections:

description Example word
dj, gj, hj, lj [⁠ j ⁠] like German j djur [ jʉːr ] animal , gjuta [ ˈjʉːˌta ] pour , hjul [ jʉːl ] wheel , ljus [ jʉːs ] light
kj, tj [⁠ ɕ ⁠] between the German ch in ich and sch Audio file / audio sample kjol ? / i [ ɕuːl ]rock, tjuv [ ɕʉːv ]thief
rd, rl, rn, rs, rt [⁠ ɖ ⁠] , [⁠ ɭ ⁠] , [⁠ ɳ ⁠] , [⁠ ʂ ⁠] , [⁠ ʈ ⁠] With r, these consonants merge into a retroflex , i.e., sound spoken with the tip of the tongue bent back bord [ buːɖ ] table , sorl ? / I [ soːɭ ] murmur , yarn ? / i [ gaɳ ] Garn , först [ fœʂt ] first , kort [ kɔʈ ] shortAudio file / audio sample Audio file / audio sample
sch, sj, skj, stj,
-sion, -tion
[⁠ ɧ ⁠] similar to a simultaneous pronunciation of German sch as in quick and German ch as in Bach schack [ ɧak ] chess , sjuk [ ɧʉːk ] sick , skjuta [ ˈɧʉːta ] to shoot , stjärna [ ˈɧæˌɳa ] star , mission [ miˈɧuːn ] mission , station [ staˈɧuːn ] station
sk [⁠ ɧ ⁠] in front of e, i, y, ä, ö similar to a simultaneous pronunciation of German sch as in Schnell and German ch as in Bach skön [ ɧøːn ] beautiful

In some regions it is called skj, sj and etc. [⁠ ʃ ⁠] instead of [⁠ ɧ ⁠] .

Stress and melody

As in most European languages, the sentence accent can be used to emphasize words or to express a question.

Unlike in German or English, for example, where there is basically only one stress accent at the word level, words in Swedish are spoken with both a stress accent and a melodic word accent. The pressure accent is (to put it simply) the stress of the word, while the melodic word accent is the melody with which the word is pronounced. The print accent distinguishes z. B. Stress of syllables in words:

In Swedish there are two melodic word accents: accent 1 (or akut accent) and accent 2 (also grav accent). Roughly speaking, the accent 1 denotes a “falling” word pronunciation; the accent 2 denotes the word pronunciation responsible for the Swedish "singsang", which rises again briefly on the (usually) second syllable of a word. The falling accent 1 roughly corresponds to the stress in German. It usually has monosyllabic words (possibly even if they are expanded with prefixes or suffixes) and loan words. Most native two-syllable or polysyllabic words have the musical accent 2, also due to their composition. As with the pressure accent, the melodic word accent in Swedish can be distinctive, i.e. H. distinctive, to be:

The following pitch courses differ: In the first example word, the main pressure is on the first syllable, the second syllable has a lower pitch and a lower pressure; In the second example word, the first syllable has the main pressure, the pitch drops, but the pitch rises again on the second syllable (see e.g. in German the different pronunciation of 'heute' as a statement and as a question: heute! vs . today?). The melodic word accent, which also exists in Norwegian, sometimes varies regionally: If there are more than two syllables, the tone then rises again at different points depending on the dialect.

Compared to the unambiguous tonal languages, in which the syllable pitch is different at the level of the word meaning, the variable pitch course in the Swedish language is also pragmatically distinctive at the sentence level, i.e. it determines whether a sentence is a question, a statement or something is an order.

See also: Accents in the Scandinavian languages


Swedish dialects

The Swedish dialects are traditionally divided into six major dialect areas.

Norrländska mål - Norrland
1. Överkalix , Norrbotten ; young woman (MP3; 183 kB)
2. Burträsk , Västerbotten ; old woman (MP3; 202 kB)
3. Aspås , Jämtland ; young woman (MP3; 193 kB)
4. Färila , Hälsingland ; old man (MP3; 185 kB)
Sveamål - Svealand
5. Älvdalen , Dalarna ; old woman (MP3; 312 kB)
6. Gräsö , Uppland ; old man (MP3; 98 kB)
7. Sorunda , Södermanland ; young man (MP3; 158 kB)
8. Köla , Värmland young woman (MP3; 209 kB)
9. Viby , Narke ; old man (MP3; 245 kB)
Gotländska mål - Gotland
10. Sproge , Gotland; young woman (MP3; 149 kB)
Östsvenska mål - Finland
11. Narpes , Österbotten ; young woman (MP3; 458 kB)
12. Dragsfjärd , Åboland ; old man (MP3; 248 kB)
13. Borgå , Nyland ; young man (MP3; 160 kB)
Götamål - Götaland
14. Kärna , Bohuslän ; old man (MP3; 203 kB)
15. Floby , Västergötland ; old woman (MP3; 197 kB)
16. Asby , Östergötland ; old woman (MP3; 187 kB)
17. Våxtorp , Halland ; young man (MP3; 162 kB)
18. Ankarsrum , Småland ; young woman (MP3; 180 kB)
Sydsvenska mål - Southern Götaland : Scania , Blekinge , Halland and Southern Småland
19. Hällevik , Blekinge ; old woman (MP3; 142 kB)
20. Bara , Skåne ; old man (MP3; 173 kB)
20. Norra Rorum , Skåne ; Youth ( WAV ; 1.6 MB)

Standard Swedish grammar

Parts of speech

In Swedish there are up to 15 parts of speech, depending on theoretical positions. The parts of speech that appear in most Swedish grammars are: verb , noun , adjective , pronoun , adverb , numerals , preposition , conjunction / subjunction and interjection . In addition, some grammars also define proper names , the infinitive particles att , participles ( Svenska Akademiens grammatik ) as well as articles and verb particles as separate parts of speech in Swedish.


Verbs are inflected in relation to the categories tense ( present tense , past tense ), mode ( indicative , subjunctive and imperative ) and diathesis (active, passive).

The finite verb forms of Swedish are present indicative, present subjunctive, past indicative, past subjunctive and imperative. Infinite verb forms of Swedish are infinitive , supinum , present participle and perfect participle .

The verbs are divided into four conjugation classes according to their root forms : Classes 1–3 include weak verbs :

group infinitive preterite Supinum past participle Explanation German
1 ropa ropa de ropa t ropa d weak
stem ends
in ...
unstressed -a ends call
ring a
löp a
välj a
ring de
Loep te
v a l de
ring t
löp t
v a l t
ring d
löp t
v a l d
Consonant ends
ring the bell, call (phone)
to run
3 tro tro dde tro tt tro dd long, stressed vowel ends believe

Class 4 includes strong verbs whose stem forms are characterized by a vowel change ( ablaut ):

group infinitive preterite Supinum past participle Explanation German
skr i va
fl y ga
b i nda
b ä ra
a ta
f a ra
f a lla
skr e v
fl ö g
b a nd
b a r
å t
f o r
f ö ll
skr i vit
fl u git
b u ndit
b u rit
a tit
f a rit
f a llit
skr i ven
fl u gen
b u nd
b u ren
ä th
f a ren
f a fill
Examples of
ablaut classes
to fly

In addition, there are verbs that have 3rd and 4th grade elements, such as B. dö - dog - dött - Ø; se - såg - sett - sedd u. a., as well as very irregular verbs that are not assigned to any of the above classes, such as B. ha - hade - haft - Ø .


The finite tense forms of the verb are present and past tense. Further tense forms (perfect, past perfect, future I and future II) are created using combinations of auxiliary verbs and infinite verb forms.

  • The present tense is formed in several ways:
    • for verbs whose stem ends in a vowel, use the suffix -r (e.g. tro-r )
    • for verbs whose stem ends in a consonant, use the suffix -ar or -er. There are regularities here that can make it easier to find the right present tense ending. Strong verbs with a root word ending in a consonant always have the suffix -er ( e.g. ät-er, drick-er ). Conversely, this means that a verb that has the suffix -ar in the present tense cannot be a strong verb, i.e. it is regularly inflected. (Ex .: rop-ar, tal-ar, vis-ar ). The number of exceptions to this rule is negligibly small. For the suffix -er, however, one cannot derive a statement about the verb group from it. Verbs with the present tense suffix -er can be both strong and weak. (Ex .: ring-er, köp-er , but also välj-er, ät-er ).
    • In a few verbs whose root ends in -r or -l, the present tense is identical to the root. The present tense is thus formed by simply removing the infinitive a. ( E.g .: hear from Höra or gör from göra or tål from tåla ).
    • There is no suffix in the preteritopresentia and in the verb vilja 'to want', and in the majority of cases a vowel change occurs ( e.g. kan from kunna or vill from vilja ).
  • The simple past is formed:
    • in the first conjugation class with the suffix -de: ropade ( a belongs to the stem)
    • in the second conjugation class
      • by the suffix -de, if the verb stem ends in voiced consonants: ringde
      • by the suffix -te when the verb stem ends in voiceless consonants: köpte
      • it is possible to remove an original umlaut : valde
    • in the third conjugation class with the suffix -dde: trodde
    • in the fourth conjugation class with ablaut without suffix: åt, band, föll, skrev u. a.
  • The perfect is formed by combining the auxiliary verb ha (in the present tense) with the supinum. The formation of the supinum is again based on the conjugation classes:
    • in the first conjugation class by adding -at to the root of the word (e.g .: har rop-at )
    • in the second conjugation class by adding -t to the root of the word (e.g. har ring-t )
    • in the third conjugation class by adding -tt to the word stem (e.g. har tro-tt )
    • in the fourth conjugation class by adding -it to the root of the word (however, depending on the ablaut class) (e.g. har druck-it )
  • The perfect progressive is the combination of the Auxiliarverbs ha formed (in the past tense) to the supine.
  • There are a number of different options for creating the future tense I. As in German, the present tense can be used for future events: Jag åker till Stockholm imorgon. (I'm going to Stockholm tomorrow) . The future must then be marked by an adverbial determination of time. Although this option is grammatically and stylistically correct, it is used less often than in German. An alternative is the combination of the auxiliary verb ska or komma att (in the present tense) with the infinitive of the verb of the future action: ska / kommer att ropa / ringa / köpa / välja / äta . Another possibility is the combination of the verbs tänka or ämna with the infinitive of the verb (always without att ). This combination expresses a clear intention: Jag tänker (ämnar) stanna hemma imorgon . I will stay home tomorrow. (Because I want that and not because of external circumstances). Ämna is rather unusual in this context and looks quite formal or old-fashioned.
  • The future tense II is formed by a combination of the auxiliary verb ska or komma att (in the present tense) with the infinitive of the auxiliary verb ha and the supinum of the main verb: ska / kommer att ha ropat / ringt / köpt / valt / ätit

It should be noted that the use of the past tense and the perfect tense is fundamentally different from German. While the perfect tense plays an absolutely dominant role in colloquial German and has almost supplanted the past tense, Swedish still has fairly precise rules about when which tense is used. For example, if the time is clearly stated in the past (e.g. yesterday or last Sunday ), the verb form past tense is always used ( e.g. Igår köpte jag en banan. = I bought a banana yesterday ).

Until the middle of the 20th century, special plural forms in the 1st and 3rd person were used, especially in written language . In the present tense, the plural formally agreed with the infinitive, as in German , i.e. vi / de tro, tala, köra, dricka . An exception was vara, whose plural was aro . In the past tense, the strong verbs had a special plural ending -o to: vi / de skrevo, flögo, ATO , etc. verbs with -a- in the past tense singular and a few other strong verbs knew, moreover, a number ablaut: jag / du / han drack, Fann , bad, gav, var, svor - vi / de drucko, funno, bådo, gåvo, voro, svuro . Consonant irregularities showed jag / du / han fick, gick - vi / de fingo, gingo . In the 2nd person plural with the personal pronoun ni (= 'you'), which comes from colloquial language, the singular form was used in the first half of the 20th century, as it is today. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, however, the ending -en was used in the 2nd person plural in connection with the older form of the personal pronoun  I (capital i) : present tense: jag talar, vi tala, I talen; jag sitter, vi sitta, I sitten; Simple past: jag talade, vi talade, I taladen; jag full, vi sutto, I sutto. To form the future tense, the historical forms of the auxiliary verb skola are in the singular skall, in the 1st and 3rd person plural skola and in the 2nd person plural (I) skolen . The writer Selma Lagerlöf (1858–1940) was the first author who no longer used the plural forms, initially in direct speech.


Swedish has three modes: indicative, imperative and subjunctive.

The imperative has two verb forms:

  • For verbs that end in -ar or -r in the present indicative , the imperative is identical to the infinitive : ropa, tro, gå
  • For verbs that end in -er in the present indicative , the imperative corresponds to the root of the word : ring, köp, välj, ät .

The subjunctive has two types (present subjunctive and past subjunctive), which only appear in a few verbs:

  • The present subjunctive occurs today only in idiomatic expressions and in the liturgical language of the Church, e.g. B. Leve konungen! (Long live the king!); Gud give att inget handler (God grant nothing happens); Herren välsigne dig (The Lord bless you).
  • There used to be a separate form of the past subjunctive for the strongly conjugated verbs; it was formed from the plural stem of the past tense and had the ending -e: jag funne (I would find), jag come (I would come), jag finge (I would get), jag go (I would go). Today only the vore (would be) belonging to the verb vara (to be) is used. Otherwise one uses the indicative past tense instead of the subjunctive past tense or the combination of the auxiliary verb skulle (= subjunctive of ska ) with the infinitive. The paraphrase with skulle + infinitive is sometimes viewed as a separate mode ( conditionalis ) .

There are two forms of diathesis in Swedish: active (see above) and passive.


As in German, many transitive verbs are passive in Swedish .

There are two options for forming the passive voice. The more frequently used form is created by adding the ending -s to the main verb, the less frequent form is constructed with the help of the passive auxiliary bli (va) . There is also the option of using a substitute form with “vara” for the passive voice.

Examples in different tenses:

  • The child eats the apple. Barnet äter äpplet .
  • The apple is eaten by the child. Applet at the barnet .
  • The child ate the apple. Barnet har ätit äpplet .
  • The apple was eaten by the child. Applet har ätits av barnet.
  • The child had eaten the apple. Barnet had ätit äpplet .
  • The apple had been eaten by the child. Äpplet hade ätits av barnet .
  • The child will eat the apple. Barnet kommer att äta äpplet .
  • The apple will be eaten by the child. Äpplet kommer att ätas av barnet .
  • The child will have eaten the apple. Barnet kommer att ha ätit äpplet .
  • The apple will have been eaten by the child. Äpplet kommer att ha ätits av barnet.

Examples with "bli (va)"

  • Applies to the barnet.
  • Applet har blivit ätet av barnet.
  • Applies to the barnet.
  • Applet hade blivit ätet av barnet.
  • Applet Kommer att is published by barnet.
  • Äpplet kommer att ha blivit ätet av barnet.

The substitute construction with bliva + past participle emphasizes the course of the action. Since the past participle (PP) is used adjectivally in the example sentences mentioned above, it must be adapted to the corresponding noun like an adjective.

  • Maten blev ät.
  • Äpplet blev ätet.
  • Äpplena blev etna.

Another alternative for the passive voice is the construction vara + PP , which more emphasizes the result of an action

Example with "vara"

The car was fixed when we got back. - Bilen var repair bike, när vi kom tillbaka.

In verbs with two objects (bit-transitive verbs), both objects can become the subject of the passive clause, e.g. B .:

  • Academies tilldelade författaren ett scholarship.

> Författaren tilldelades ett scholarship from academies. or

> Ett scholarship tilldelades författaren av academies.

Non-passive use of the s-form of the verb

The s-form of the verb is not only used in the passive voice, but also in other contexts:

  • to express a reflective meaning, e.g. B.
    • upprepas repeat themselves
    • förändras change
  • or a reciprocal (mutual) meaning, e.g. B.
    • skiljas get a divorce
    • träffas meet
  • or the common underlying meaning of "always causing harm to someone", e.g. B.
    • bite bitas , be snappy
    • retas tease, annoy
    • knuffas jostle

Verba Deponentia

In Swedish there are a number of Deponentia, that is, verbs that appear exclusively in the s form, but do not express the passive voice. Some examples:

  • and breathe
  • hoppas hope
  • trivas feel good
  • skämas are ashamed
  • svettas sweat
  • väsnas noise
  • åldras (visibly) get older, age
  • finnas to be present, to give (there are: det finns)



A distinction is made between Utrum ( en -words) and neuter ( ett -words) in nouns.

en båt a boat
s haves a horse
ett hus a house
ett djur one animal

The gender assignment is usually free; In these cases, therefore, one cannot infer from the sexus or from the specific endings to which gender a noun belongs.

As a rule of thumb: A single, living individual is Utrum (exception, for example: ett lejon - a lion). This rule does not apply the other way around.

individual Collective term
en has - a horse ett djur - an animal
en björk - a birch ett träd - a tree
Definite shape - indefinite shape

Nouns can appear in an indefinite and definite form. In contrast to German, the articles are not placed in front of the specific form, but appended to the noun as a suffix; Swedish linguistics speaks of "specificity suffixes" or "certain final articles":

båt en the boat
häst en the horse
hus et the House
djur et the animal

However, there may be necessary adjustments that affect the sound, for example with en lärare , where the suffix ( -en ) is limited to -n by the vowel , resulting in läraren , regardless of which vowel forms the ending. So, ett becomes piano with the suffix -t pianot .

group Singular Plural Explanation
indefinite certainly indefinite certainly
1 en lamp a lampan lamp or lampor na en -words ending in -a
en pojke
en bil
pojk ar
bil ar
pojkar na
bilar na
en -Words that end in -e or consonants.
The largest group.
en guests
en son
telef s o n *
ett country
telef o nen
gäst he
nice he
telef o n he
Country estate he
guests na
söner na
telef o ner na
countries na
en words ending in consonants
en -Words that surround the stem vowel
en words, stressed on the last syllable
ett words that surround the stem vowel
4th ett stables stalls stables n stables a ett words that end in vowels
ett hus
en larare
hus en
lärar na
ett words that end in a consonant
en -words that on -are , -iker or -ier end

* en Telefon: The underlining in the table is only used to illustrate the emphasis. Note that the stress always stays on the same syllable!


If an en word ends in an unstressed -el, -en, -er, then the -e- is uttered in the other forms.

en cykel - cykel - cyklar - cyklarna
en faster - fastern - fastrar - fastrarna

A few words do not fit into any of the five groups above.
The most common one is likely to be “man”:
en man - man - man - man


Today's Swedish - like English - no longer uses case inflection in the noun with the exception of the genitive . The syntactic position of nouns in a sentence is expressed solely by the word order or by prepositions .

The genitive is formed by simply adding the ending -s , which is omitted if the noun already ends in -s . After the genitive, the noun that is related is always in the indefinite form.

Karin är han s cusin. Karin is his cousin. ( han 'he' with the morpheme -s )
Lars is Hans far. Lars is Hans' father. (Beware of confusion!)
Hans är Lars son. Hans is Lars' son. (Caution, because although rs is spoken as sch , no -s is appended!)

Personal pronouns

The personal pronouns have two forms, nominative and object form (dative & accusative, in Swedish there are no genitive objects); in the third person the object form differs between non-reflexive and reflexive application. In the third person singular is also a distinction in people and animals between the sex male, female and gender neutral. The gender-neutral form is used when you want to avoid the cumbersome constructions han / hon or han eller hon and the word vederbörande .

Personal pronouns in the singular
Nominative Object shape reflective object shape
First person hunt mig mig
Second person you dig dig
Third person han (m.), hon (w.), hen 1)
(gender neutral), den, det
honom (m.), henne (w.), hen 1)
(gender neutral), den, det
sig (for all

1) The personal pronoun hen was first proposed in 1966, but has only recently become established (as of 2016) and is therefore not included in the majority of the available grammars. In 2015, the pronoun was first included in a legal text.

Personal pronouns in the plural
Nominative Object shape reflective object shape
First person vi oss oss
Second person ni he he
Third person de (dom) 1) dem (dom) 1) sig

1) The form dom is part of everyday language and is avoided in formal written language.

possessive pronouns

The possessive pronoun is the genitive of the personal pronoun ; it denotes the owner of a thing. Swedish distinguishes between a reflexive and a non- reflexive form of the possessive pronoun.

Non-reflexive forms

The possessive pronoun needs to be aligned with the gender of the word it refers to.

my min bil mitt hus mina bilar, mina hus
your din bil ditt hus dina bilar, dina hus
be hans bil hans hus hans bilar, hans hus
her hennes bil hennes hus hennes bilar, hennes hus
his / her 1) hens bil hens hus hens bilar, hens hus
our vår (våran) bil vårt (vårat) hus våra bilar, våra hus
your he (eran) bil ert (erat) hus what bilar, what hus
her (their) deras bil deras hus deras bilar, deras hus

1) The gender-neutral variant is more recent. It is used when the biological gender is not defined.

The forms in brackets are colloquial.

There is also a possessive pronoun for the personal pronouns den and det : dess . However, this form is rarely used in everyday life.


  • Third person possessive pronouns singular or plural (hans, hennes, hens, dess, deras) are not changed.
  • Possessive pronouns of the 1st and 2nd person singular and plural (min, din, sin and vår, er) are replaced by mitt, ditt, sitt and vårt, ert if they refer to ett words, or by mina, dina , sina and våra, what, when they refer to plural nouns ( en and ett words).

(NB: The Swedish fashion chain Hennes & Mauritz got its name from a women's fashion store called "Hennes", in German "hers, her [meant: business]".)

Reflexive forms

For the 3rd person (both singular and plural) there is also a reflexive possessive pronoun in Swedish:

his / her / their (own) sin bil sitt hus sina bilar, sina hus

This form is used when the possessive pronoun is next to the object of a sentence and the owner is the subject of the sentence. In German it can best be translated with one's own .

Han kommer med sin son. He comes with his son. (
your own!)
Han kommer med hans son. He comes with his son. (that of the friend for example)

Hon kommer med sitt barn. She comes with her child. (
your own!)
Hon kommer med hennes barn. She comes with her child. (that of the girlfriend, for example)

Notice! The reflexive possessive pronoun sin / sitt / sina is never used together with the subject!

Han kommer med sin fru. He comes with his wife. (the “own”)
Han och hans fru kommer inte idag. He and his wife are not coming today. ("He and his wife" are double subjects of the sentence)

Jag känner Sven och hans bror. I know Sven and his brother
Hans bror arbetar i Lund. His brother works in Lund

Single possessive pronouns

As in German, a possessive pronoun can stand alone without being followed by a noun.

Om du behöver en båt, kan du få låna min .
If you need a boat you can borrow mine .

Do you have a cigarett till mig? Jag glömde mina .
Do you have one cigarette for me? I forgot mine .

Per lånade Olav sin båt. Hans var trasig .
Per lent Olav his (own) boat, his (Olavs) was broken.



The inflection of adjectives in the indefinite form is very simple, but there are exceptions. According to the rule, adjectives that refer to a singular uttrum noun are not inflected.

In German, adjectives are only declined when they are used as attributes . An important contrasting difference to German is that in Swedish adjectives also have to be declined if they are used predicatively or adverbially . This is also noticeable in the passive formation (see above).

Det är en stor bil. It's a big car.
Det är en ny jacka. This is a new jacket.

Adjectives that refer to a neutral noun are given the -t suffix in the indefinite form .

Hon bor i ett stor t hus. She lives in a big house.
Jag har ett nytt jobb. I have a new job.

When the adjective refers to a plural form, whether definite or indefinite , the suffix is -a .

Gustav berättade många rolig a historier. Gustav told a lot of funny stories.
You can aldrig svara på svår a frågor. I can never answer difficult questions.

Graphematic and morphological special rules can be found in the following cases:

Utrum neuter Plural Lawfulness
en n y jacka ett ny tt jobb flera nya jackor (jobb) After a stressed vowel, the neutral indefinite ending is -tt .
en rö d bil ett rö tt hus flera röda hus (bilar) When an adjective ends in -d , the neutral indefinite ending is -tt .
en vi t bil ett vi tt hus flera vita bilar (hus) When an adjective ends in -t , the neutral indefinite ending is -tt .
en sva rt bil ett sva rt board flera svarta bilar (board) If an adjective ends in -rt , the ending remains unchanged.
en hå rd säng ett hå rt package flera hårda sängar (package) When an adjective ends in -rd , the word ending in the neutral undefined form becomes -rt .
en ru nd boll ett ru nt board flera runda bollar (board) When an adjective ends in -nd , the word ending in the neutral undefined form becomes -nt .
en mog en tomat ett mog et apple flera mog na bananer (äpplen) If an adjective ends in -en , the word ending in the neutral undefined form becomes -et; the unstressed -e- is expelled in the plural.
en enk el fråga ett enkel t mattal flera enk la frågor (matt valley) See example below!
en vack he dag ett vacker t tyg flera vack ra dagar (tyger) When an adjective ends in -el or -er , a -t is added in the neutral, indefinite form ; the unstressed -e- is expelled in the plural.

In the particular form , the ending -a is added. If the noun is a male person or a male, can in the singular rather than -a and -e are appended. Furthermore, the noun must be accompanied by the preceding definite article den, det, de as well as by the suffixed article (or definiteness suffix ) -en, -et, -na .

Singular Plural
the green a bilen de grön a bilarna
det grön a äpplet de grön a äpplena
the grön e mannen de grön a men

In addition, adjectives always end in -a in the following cases:

After all possessive pronouns ( min, din, hans etc.)

min grön a bil my green car mina grön a bilar my green cars
mitt gul a apple my yellow apple mina gul a äpplen my yellow apples

According to all genitive forms:

Erik s fin a bil Erik's nice car Persson s fin a bilar Persson's beautiful cars
Pojken s gul a apple boy's yellow apple Flickorna s röd a rosor the girl's red roses

Irregular forms can be found with liten ("small") and gammal ("old"):

Indefinite form Certain shape
liten en liten flicka
ett litet hus

flera små barn
the lilla flickan
det lilla huset
de små barnen
gammal en gammal bil
ett gammalt hus
flera gamla bilar
the gamla bilen
det gamla huset
de gamla bilarna

Inner diffraction

Some compound adjectives show inner inflection. Here only the first or both parts of the adjective need to be inflected. The most common example is varannan ("every second"): Varannan dag (uttrum), var t anna t år (neuter). Other examples are ingendera / ingetdera (“neither”) and varenda / vartenda (“each and every one”).

Predicative use

  • The car is rusty . Bilen is rusty .
  • The cars are rusty . Bilarna är rostiga .

Adverbial use

  • He went happily into town. Glad gick han till stan.
  • They went happily into town. Glada gick de till stan.

Swedish has the same levels in comparison as German, i.e. positive , comparative and superlative . The Swedish language forms the excess with “zu” with “ för ”. Five regularities can be set up for the comparison:

type positive comparative superlative Elative
A. glad glad are glad ast for glad
B. enk el , Vack he enk lare , vack rare enk last , vack rast for grandson, for vacker
C. lång, stor, ung,
tung, få, låg, hög
l ä ng re st ö r re , y ng re ,
t y ng re , f ä r re , l ä g re , hög re
l ä ng st , st ö r st , y ng st ,
t y ng st , -, l ä g st , hög st
för lång, för stor, för ung,
för tung, för få, för låg, för hög
D. gammal, god / bra, dålig,
illa, liten, mycket, många
äldre, bättre, sower,
värre, mindre, mer, fler
äldst, bäst, sowing,
värst, minst, mest, flest
för gammal, för god / bra, för dålig,
för illa, för liten, för mycket, för många
E. intresserad, obegriplig mer intresserad, mer
mest intresserad, mest
för intresserad, för obegriplig
  • Type A includes the great majority of adjectives; the suffixes are -are and -ast .
  • Type B includes the adjectives ending -el , -en and -er , all of which lose their unstressed -e- in the comparative and superlative.
  • Type C summarizes the forms that are formed with the suffixes -re and -st . Umlaut occurs in the comparative and superlative .
  • Type D summarizes the irregular forms ( god is increased regularly, i.e. godare, godast, if it is used in the sense of "tasty": Det här var den godaste chokladen jag har smakat ).
  • Type E includes the multi-syllable adjectives that are increased with mer (“more”) and mest (“mostly-”). This also includes the adjective forms of the verbs, which are formed from the present participle and the past participle.

Certain form of the superlative

There is also a certain form for the superlative; it ends in -e .
It's the warmest coat. - Det är den varmaste kappan.


The irregular adjectives in groups C and D have the ending -a .
Per is the oldest. - Per är den äldsta.
Stockholm is Sweden's largest city. - Stockholm är Sveriges största stad.

Application of the comparison

I am as big as my brother. - Jag är lika stor som min bror.
I am bigger than my brother. - Jag är större än min bror.
He is the largest. - Han är annoying.
He is the greatest. - Han are the most annoying.


The most common adverb in the Swedish language is mycket (very, much). If an adjective is used adverbially, it has the ending -t (in contrast to German, where the unflexed form of the adjective is used).

Adjective: Lena är vänlig. (Lena is friendly)
Adverb: Lena svarar vänlig t . (Lena answers friendly)

Double adverb: Lena svarar mycket vänligt. (Lena answers very friendly)


Basic numbers (cardinal numbers)
0 - noll
1 - ett 11 - elva 10 - tio
2 - två 12 - tolv 20 - tjugo
3 - tre 13 - tretton 30 - trettio
4 - fyra 14 - fjorton 40 - fyrtio
5 - fem 15 - femton 50 - femtio
6 - sex 16 - sexton 60 - sextio
7 - sju 17 - sjutton 70 - sjuttio
8 - åtta 18 - arton 80 - åttio
9 - nio 19 - nitton 90 - nittio
100 - hundra
1000 - tusen

From 20 onwards, the units position is added to the tens position without spaces:
21 = tjugoett, 32 = trettiotvå, 57 = femtiosju .
The -o of tens from 30 to 90 (both in trettio and in the trettioett compositions , etc.) is mute in everyday language. The numbers 21–29 are often pronounced tjuett, tjutvå , and so on.

Ordinal numbers

The ordinal numbers of 1 and 2 are quite irregular: första "first (r / s)", andra "second (r / s)". The others are formed, as in all Germanic languages, by adding a dental suffix (in Swedish -t, -d; followed by the ending -e ), with numerous smaller and larger irregularities. For the cardinal numbers that are based on a vowel, an n is inserted in front of the dental at 7th to 10th and, based on the latter, at 20th to 90th .

0. - -
1. - första 11th - eleventh 10. - tionde
2. - andra 12. - toddled 20. - tjugonde
3. - tredje 13. - trettonde 30. - trettionde
4. - fjärde 14. - fjortonde 40 .-- fyrtionde
5. - femte 15. - femtonde 50. - femtionde
6. - sjetzt 16. - sex probe 60th - sextionde
7. - sjunde 17. - sjuttonde 70th - sjuttionde
8. - åttonde 18 - artonde 80. - åttionde
9. - nionde 19. - nittonde 90. - nittionde
100th dog bike
1000th - end of the act
ett dussin "a dozen , twelve pieces"
ett tjog "twenty pieces"
ett large "a large , 144 pieces"
ett ris "500 sheets (paper)"



Like all North Germanic languages, Swedish has a basic word order subject-predicate-object , to which a verb-second rule is added in the main clause . Swedish has in common with German that the main clause can begin with any part of a sentence and the finite verb follows in the second position (i.e. both languages ​​are verb-second languages); the word order inside the sentence and in subordinate clauses, however, is different in Swedish than in German.

The Swedish Law in a Field Model

Traditionally, the word order in Swedish is represented using a field model (which in this form goes back to Paul Diderichsen ) as shown in the following overview. The position, which is called the foundation here , corresponds to the German forefield, the positions verb (1) and verb (2) correspond to the sentence brackets in German, except that the second part of the predicate comes before the object. Units that are in the foundation (apron) are then missing from their basic position in the interior of the sentence (this also applies to the subject). The mandatory occupation of the foundation and verb (1) in the main clause is exactly what is referred to as the verb-second phenomenon; the area that follows is what is called the subject-predicate-object position.

object Type and
place time
Jag lasers inte en bok i park idag
Jag ska inte läsa en bok i park idag
Idag ska hunt inte läsa en bok i park
Idag har hunt inte burdens en bok i park
Jag lasers boken tyst idag
Jag older alltid en fralla till frukost
Till frukost older hunt en fralla
Vad heter you

Subordinate clauses

Subordinate clauses can be introduced with conjunctions, e.g. B. att ("that") (written without a preceding comma). In subordinate clauses, the sentence adverbial always comes before the verb or verbs and immediately after the subject. In other words, all verbs are in the subordinate clause in position 2 of the field model (analogous to the fact that in German they are then at the end of the sentence, where the German "position 2" is). Subordinate clauses are therefore typically not second clauses. This difference can also be demonstrated using the negation: The negation of a sentence is usually expressed by the word inte , and this is in the main clause (second clause) after the finite verb:

Chase Sven. My name is Sven.
Jag heter inte Sven. My name is not Sven.

Since the finite verb in the subordinate clause takes a position further inside the sentence, the negation in the subordinate clause now appears in front of it:

Alla vet att jag inte heter Sven. Everyone knows that my name is not Sven.
Han svarade att han inte skulle komma hem tidigare. He replied that he would not come home earlier.


Just like in German, yes / no questions have the form of a verb first sentence . The foundation simply remains empty, so all parts of the sentence follow the finite verb. For questions that cannot be answered with yes or no, a question word is put in front. The question word must appear in the foundation , e.g. B .: Vad har you läst idag?

Verb (1) subject Sentence
Verb (2) object Art +
place time
- Har you inte burdens tidningen idag?
Vad har you burdens idag?

(German: Didn't you read the newspaper today? / What did you read today? )

Style forms of the Swedish language

The Swedish language is a language with short words (which, similar to German, can be joined together to form compound words), short sentences and simple grammar. Its structure is similar to the English language. This also goes hand in hand with other styles. While in German style is created through complexity, style in Swedish mainly means compression.

The future tense " kommer att + infinitive"

kommer att + infinitive has a similar meaning as the future tense formation by skall + infinitive. However, kommer att describes a future event that will happen without its own influence or that has a fateful dimension.

Det kommer att regna It will rain (inevitably).
Jag kommer att åka hem I will (have to) go home.

In the oral language, the att is often left out and the emphasis is placed more on the inflected verb: Jag kommer vara hemma imorgon . In the written language, however, this is not yet considered correct.

You come springa dit! You will (have to) go there!


In the oral language, syllables or phonemes are sometimes eliminated , which is partly reflected in the written language.

Several common words have caught on

o for och (German and)

ska for skall (auxiliary verb to form the future tense, corresponds to German to be)

sen for sedan (German since, then)

kung for konung (German king)

The word någon (dt. Any) and its neuter form något (dt. Something) and plural form några (dt. Some) can lose the syllable go :

nån, nåt, nåra

The same goes for compound words that begin with någon , such as någonsin (ever).

The connection de is often left out in the second (unstressed) syllable of some words; the original variant with -de- is now often out of date , even in the written language:

far for fader (dt. Father), mor for moder (dt. Mother), bror for broder (dt. Brother), stan for staden (dt. The city), er for eder (dt. Your , you), arton for vein tone (German eighteen)

Various verbs also have short forms:

dra for draga (German to pull), ta for taga (German to take). The same applies to be for bedja ( Eng . Ask, pray), ge for giva ( Eng . To give) and bli for bliva ( Eng . To be, also as an auxiliary verb for expressing the passive voice), whereby the long forms are only used to a very limited extent .

Doubling the particular shape

For special emphasis or very precise definition, the particular form is doubled by placing a den, det or de in front of the particular noun.

Det är det huset This is (exactly) the house.
You är den kvinnan hunt tänker på You are the (only) woman I think of.

Language example

Universal Declaration of Human Rights , Article 1:

“Allaomanniskor är födda fria och lika i värdighet och rättigheter. De är utrustade med förnuft och samvete och bör handla gentemot varandra i en anda av gemenskap. "

(All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should meet one another in a spirit of brotherhood.)



  • Lothar Adelt: Basic and advanced vocabulary Swedish - 9000 words on more than 100 topics . Helmut Buske Verlag, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 3-87548-533-5 .
  • Otto Hoppe: Swedish-German Dictionary . 3. Edition. Nordstedt & Söner, Stockholm 1919 ( digitized ).
  • Jonas Petri: Dictionarium Latino-Sveco-Germanicum Ex Variis Probatorum Authorum Lexicis . Günther, Linköping 1640 ( digitized version ).
  • Svenska Academies (ed.): Svenska Academies ordbok - Ordbok ö (f) ver svenska språket . Volumes I ff. Lund 1898 ff. ( Online version ).
  • Langenscheidt Pocket Dictionary Swedish: Swedish-German / German-Swedish. Langenscheidt, 2012, ISBN 3-468-11304-8 .


  • Jaktén et al. a .: Langenscheidt's practical textbook Swedish. Langenscheidt, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-468-26301-5 .
  • Birgitta Ramge: Exercise book on Swedish grammar . Gottfried Egert Verlag, Wilhelmsfeld 2005, ISBN 3-936496-03-X .


  • Philip Holmes, Ian Hinchliffe: Swedish. A Comprehensive Grammar . London / New York 1994, 2nd edition New York 2003, ISBN 0-415-27884-8 .
  • Birgitta Ramge: Practical grammar of the Swedish language . 3. Edition. Gottfried Egert Verlag, Wilhelmsfeld 2012, ISBN 3-936496-37-4 .
  • Ulf Teleman, Staffan Hellberg, Erik Andersson: Svenska Academies grammar . 4 volumes. Norstedts, Stockholm 1999, ISBN 91-7227-126-4 .
  • Åke Viberg u. a .: Swedish grammar . Bokförlaget Natur och Kultur, Stockholm 1987 (reissued 1998), ISBN 91-27-50249-X .

Web links

Commons : Swedish language  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Swedish pronunciation  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Swedish Dictionaries  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. Språk. (No longer available online.) In: norden.org. Nordic Council , archived from the original on February 23, 2010 ; Retrieved April 24, 2014 (Swedish). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.norden.org
  2. ^ Oskar Bandle : The structure of the North Germanic (=  contributions to Nordic philology. Volume 1). Basel / Stuttgart 1973, 2nd edition (with an introduction by Kurt Braunmüller) Tübingen 2011.
  3. ^ David Crystal: The Penguin Dictionary of Language. 1999, ISBN 0-14-051416-3 .
  4. Bertil Molde, Allan Karker (red.): Språken i Norden. Berlings, Arlöv 1983
  5. Kenneth Hyltenstam (red.): Sveriges sju inhemska språk - ett minoritetsspråksperspektiven. 1999, ISBN 91-44-00777-9
  6. Swedish still a compulsory subject in Finnish schools , From: Sveriges Radio (Swedish), accessed March 9, 2017.
  7. Svenska språklag (Swedish)
  8. ^ Institutet för språk och folkminnen - Swedish Language Council. (No longer available online.) In: sprakochfolkminnen.se. March 22, 2014, archived from the original on December 4, 2016 ; accessed on May 13, 2019 .
  9. Östen Dahl, Lars-Erik Edlund, Leif Wastenson, Margareta Elg (eds.): Sveriges national atlas . Språken i Sverige. Norstedt, Stockholm 2010, Libris 11789368, ISBN 978-91-87760-57-0 (inb.), Pp. 9-10.
  10. Göte Brunberg: Estlandssvenskarna . Ed. V. Estlandssvenskarna kulturförening SOV. Accessed March 7, 2013.
  11. Sverige in Argentina ( Memento of the original from May 24, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.sueciaenargentina.com.ar
  12. "Varje substantiv har ett inneboende grammatiskt genus, utrum eller neutrum." Ulf Teleman, Staffan Hellberg, Erik Andersson: Svenska Akademiens grammatik. Norstedts, Stockholm 1999, Volume 2, p. 58. The current two-genera system is already comprehensible in the language of the 16th century and was established in the course of the 18th century (“Redan under 1700-talets förra half vann den stor utbredning, o [ch] under dess senaste årtionden blev detta ord det vida vanligaste hos de allra flesta förf [attarna] ”); see the articles han and the ordbok in Svenska Academies . On the dialect level, however, the three-genera system lives on, for example en dag “a day”, dagen “the day” → han “he”; e sak “a thing”, saka “the thing” → hon “she”; ett hus "a house", huse [t] "the house" → de [t] "it"; see. Oskar Bandle : The structure of North Germanic (=  contributions to Nordic philology. Volume 1). Basel / Stuttgart 1973, 2nd edition (with an introduction by Kurt Braunmüller) Tübingen 2011, p. 84 f. with card 18.
  13. Swedish bestämdhetsssuffix or bestämd slutartikel; see. Ulf Teleman, Staffan Hellberg, Erik Andersson: Svenska Academies grammar . 4 volumes. Norstedts, Stockholm 1999, ISBN 91-7227-126-4 . In the German-speaking Scandinavian studies, the term “suffused article” is common; see. for example Kurt Braunmüller: An overview of the Scandinavian languages. 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Francke, Tübingen / Basel 2007, ISBN 978-3-8252-1635-1 . In terms of linguistic history, the suffused article is the common Norse demonstrative pronoun hin (n), hit, which could be placed after the noun in old Swedish times and gradually merged with it.
  14. Hen - a gender-neutral pronoun on the way to everyday language? (PDF, Swedish)
  15. Åland Driving License Act (Swedish)
  16. Ulf Teleman: Svenska för danskar. Roskilde universitetsförlag, ISBN 978-87-7867-368-8 .