Jump to Adjectives, Verbs, Exercise

Lesson 5


    mer(a) ['me:r(a)] more
    mest [mest] most
    än [än] than
    lika...som [li:ka] [såm] as...as
    för...sedan [fö:r] [sen] ago
    om [åm] in (time)
    i [i:] for (time)
    under ['under] during
    innan [*inan] before
    ett år - [å:r] year
    en väg -ar [vä:g] way/road

Adjectives - Compare

The comparative forms of a Swedish adjective is formed in almost the same ways as is an English adjective. In English, you can either add -er and -est (high, higher, highest), or you can say more and most (boring, more boring, most boring). In Swedish, you add -are and -ast where possible, and otherwise, you say mer and mest.

  • The adjective kort is thus compared like this:

      kort- kortare - kortast

  • The adjective intressant = interesting is like in English compared with more and most:
    • intressant - mer intressant - mest intressant

  • Adjectives ending with unstressed -en, -er or -el drop their e (like with the definite article).
    • vacker - vackrare - vackrast
      trogen - trognare - trognast (=faithful)

  • Some adjectives are irregular and some have umlaut:
    • liten - mindre - minst
      dålig - sämre - sämst
      bra - bättre - bäst
      stor - större - störst
      lång - längre - längst
      hög - högre - högst
      mycket - mer(a) - mest

  • If you want to say the best car, you have to inflect the adjective, and here it's the weak pattern that is to be used. Regular adjectives attach -e, irregular ones attach -a. Adjectives in the second form never inflect.

      den korta bilen
      den kortare bilen
      den kortaste bilen

      den vackra bilen
      den vackrare bilen
      den vackraste bilen

      den dåliga bilen
      den sämre bilen
      den sämsta bilen

  • The adjective liten has the first form lilla when it is inflected weakly.
    • ett litet barn
      det lilla barnet

  • The expression as...as is lika...som in Swedish
    • Mitt hus är lika stort som ditt. - My house is as big as yours.

Verbs - The Imperfect and the Perfect tense

Swedish is very similair to English in constructing the past tenses. And the tenses are also employed pretty much the same way in both languages. The perfect tense consists of the present tense of the verb ha (to have) + the supine form of the main verb. As in English, you get the past perfect by using the imperfect form of ha instead of the present tense. The imperfect is formed by attaching a suffix to the stem.

Group 1+2:

  • The imperfect tense is formed by adding -de to the stem, unless the stem ends with a voiceless consonant (f, k, p, s, t etc.) then you attach -te.
  • The supine is formed by attaching -t to the stem.

Ireggular verbs:

  • As this group consists of irregular verbs, you can't give any rule what forms there are. But in the imperfect, most verbs get no suffix. They just change the stem-vowel. In the supine, most verbs change the stem-vowel again, and attach -it or -at.


    Verb: Stem: Imperfect: Supine: Perfect: Past perfect:
    tala (1) tala- talade talat har talat hade talat
    ringa (2) ring- ringde ringt har ringt hade ringt
    köpa (2) köp- köpte köpt har köpt hade köpt
    vara (i) var- var varit har varit hade varit
    springa (i)
    (=to run)
    spring- sprang sprungit har sprungit hade sprungit
    komma (i) komm- kom kommit har kommit hade kommit
    ha (i) ha- hade haft har haft hade haft
    göra (i) gör- gjorde gjort har gjort hade gjort
    bli (i) bli- blev blivit har blivit hade blivit
    äta (i) ät- åt ätit har ätit hade ätit
    se (i) se- såg sett har sett hade sett

    You can take a look at my List of irregular Swedish verbs.

Exercise - Translate the following sentences into Swedish

    1 - I was in Sweden ten years ago.
    2 - For how many years have you been here?
    3 - What did you do before you came here?
    4 - I had bought the ten biggest cars before they saw me.
    5 - He ran the shortest way to the better of the two resaurants.

    Click here for answers

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Last updated the 27th of March

Copyright Björn Engdahl 2008