Jump to Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Negations, Genetive, The Time, Exercise

Lesson 4



Making a statement negative in Swedish is very simple. You just insert the word inte (=not). Where should you insert it then? Well, it depends on what you want to emphasize in the sentence, but the following rule is quite general, and should work in almost all cases.

  • If the word order is straight (subject + verb), inte is to be inserted after the conjugated verb.
    • Jag äter - Jag äter inte
      Jag skulle vilja äta här - Jag skulle inte vilja äta här
  • If the word order is reversed, (verb + subject) in qustions for example, inte is to be inserted after the subject. You could insert it before the the subject as well, if you want to emphasize that inte refers to that particular subject.
    • Gör du det? - Gör du inte det? - Gör inte du det? (Emphasizing that you aren't doing it)
      Skulle du vilja äta här? - Skulle du inte vilja äta här? - Skulle inte du vilja äta här?
Genetive - Possessive Pronouns

The Genitive is formed very easily in Swedish. You just add -s to the noun. Note that there shall be no genitive apostrophy as in English. If the noun already ends with -s or -z, no additional -s is added in the genitive.

    Eriks bok - Eric's book
    Anders bok - Anders' book
    Bilens färg - The color of the car
    Pojkarnas vänner - The friends of the boys
The possessive pronouns have, as in French and German, different forms depending on the the number and gender of the noun.
    sing. com.g.  sing. neu.  plural 
    Jag Min [min] Mitt [mit] Mina [*mi:na]
    Du Din [din] Ditt [dit] Dina [*di:na]
    Han Hans [hans] 
    Sin [sin]
    Hans [hans] 
    Sitt [sit]
    Hans [hans] 
    Sina [*si:na]
    Hon Hennes [*henes] 
    Sin [sin]
    Hennes [*henes] 
    Sitt [sit]
    Hennes [*henes] 
    Sina [*si:na]
    Den Dess [des] 
    Sin [sin]
    Dess [des] 
    Sitt [sit]
    Dess [des] 
    Sina [*si:na]
    Det Dess [des] 
    Sin [sin]
    Dess [des] 
    Sitt [sit]
    Dess [des] 
    Sina [*si:na]
    Vi Vår [vå:r] Vårt [vå:t] Våra [*vå:ra]
    Ni Er [e:r] Ert [e:t] Era [*e:ra]
    De Deras [*de:ras] 
    Sin [sin]
    Deras [*de:ras] 
    Sitt [sit]
    Deras [*de:ras] 
    Sina [*si:na]
  • The forms sin, sitt and sina are when the noun is referring directly back to the subject of the same sentence. They can never be used as subjects themselves.
    • Carl och hans pappa bor i Sverige.                 -   Carl and his dad live in Swden
      Carl bor i Sverige med sin Pappa.                   -   Carl lives in Sweden with his dad.
      Lisa, Anne och deras pappor bor i Sverige.     -   Lisa, Anne and their dads live in Swden
      Lisa och Anne bor i Sverige med sina pappor. -   Lisa and Anne live in Sweden with their dads.
  • Note that there are no such forms corresponding to the English mine or yours. In Swedish, we don't distinguish between whether the possessive pronoun is followed by a noun or not.
    • Det här är min bok - Boken är min = This is my book- The book is mine
      Är det där vårt hus? - Ja, det är vårt = Is that our house? - Yes, it is ours.
      Det här är dina saker - Dessa saker är dina = These are your things - These things are yours
Objective Pronouns

In the sentence The men love the cars, you can't tell whether it is the men or the cars who love by just studying the forms of the nouns. Though, this word order automatically makes clear that it is the men who love and the cars who are loved. Thus, "the men" are the subject and "the cars" are the direct object. Some languages, German for example, have different forms for the direct objects. (Der Mann sieht den Ball - Der Ball sieht den Mann) The only place where English uses an objective form is the pronouns. If I said Her I love, there would be no doubt what was meant, though you normally would say I love her. The Swedish objective pronouns are:

    Subject Object
    Jag Mig [mej]
    Du Dig [dej]
    Han Honom [*hånåm]
    Hon Henne [*hene]
    Den Den
    Det Det
    Vi Oss [ås]
    Ni Er [e:r]
    De Dem [dem] is almost 
    always pronounced [dåm]
Telling the time

If you want to know what time it is, you ask:

    Vad är klockan? = What time is it?
Or as a whole phrase:
    Ursäkta mig, vet du vad klockan är? = Excuse me, do you know what time it is?
Then, if you're lucky you'll get a response like this:
    Den (klockan) är tolv.
    Den är fem över ett.
    Den är kvart över två.
    Den är fem i halv fyra.
    Den är halv fem.
    Den är fem över halv sex.
    Den är tjugo i sju.
    Den är kvart i åtta.

Note that in Swedish, it is "half to", and not as in English "half past".


  • Vad är klockan?
  • 1 - 9:30
    2 - 1:40
    3 - 10:35
    4 - 5:15
    5 - 12:25
    6 - 3:20

  • Translate the following sentences into Swedish
  • 1 - Don't you love me?
    2 - Don't you love me either? (either = heller)
    3 - Do you have our boring books in your big house?
    4 - Is he coming to us next summer?
    5 - I would like to reserve that nice table for the two of us.
    6 - I wouldn't like to give him my money.

    Click here for answers

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Last updated the 27th of March

Copyright Björn Engdahl 2008