Nouns / Substantiv


Nouns are words that identify person, things or phenomenons. All Swedish nouns have an article: en or ett. When we have article “en” and “ett”, I will try to explain in this article.
Nouns can be in singular or plural form.
For example:
Singular    en (1) person, ett (1) bord.
Plural        två personer – two people
                    många barn – many children (många -we can count)
                    mycket jobb – a lot of work (mycket -we cannot count)
                   flera böcker – several books

Substantive can also be in “obestämd” eller “bestämd” form.
For example:
Obestämd form (Article is in front of the nouns): en bil – a car
Bestämd form (Article is in the end nouns): bilen – the car

Obestämd (kort) form we usually use:

  1. When we talking about a thing or person for the first time.
    For example: Det är en lampa. / Det är en banan. / Det är ett hus.
  2. When we talk about an not specific, but any thing.
    For example: Jag vill köpa en klänning idag. – I want to buy a dress today.
  3. We usually use nouns in short form, but without article when we talk about it:
    • nationality, language: Han talar svenska. 
    • abstract nouns (music, love) or nouns we cannot count (water, information): Jag behöver hjälp. Han gillar att lyssna på musik. Hon dricker kaffe med mjölk och socker.
    • after possessive pronoun or genitive: Det är min bil. Det är Annas cykel.
    • food and drink: Maria äter banan och dricker juice.
    • clothing, equipment: Hon har klänning och jacka på sig i dag.
    • weather: Det är fint väder idag.

Bestämd (lång) form  we usually use:

  1. After prepositions (in 75%): Hon går till jobbet.
  2. Everyone understands or knows: solen, månen.
  3. You’re talking about something you spoke earlier: Det är en lampa. Lampan är modern.

To continue reading about exceptions, groups of nouns, etc. please Click to open Grammar table with more information.

Watch the following video (in Swedish) with another examples:

Source of video:, published by Ylva Herou.

Check you knowledge and practice with this online game:

Ordföljd – 10 words order rules

Ordföljd – 10 words order RULES

Words order is super important in Swedish. You shall follow the words order rules if you want people to understand you. In this material you will find 10 words order rules for all kind of situations.

Click here to open Words order grammar table in PDF format.

We’re curious about your learning needs. Please let us know in comments what you need, what kind of questions or challenges you have with Swedish and we will prepare a post about that subject.

How to read in Swedish

Lesson 2: How to read in Swedish / Hur man läser
Swedish alphabet :

Aa       Bb       Cc       Dd       Ee        Ff         Gg       Hh      Ii          Jj         Kk
a:         be:       se:       de:       e:         ɛf:        ge:       ho:       i:          ji:         ko: 

Ll         Mm      Nn       Oo       Pp       Qq       Rr        Ss        Tt       Uu       Vv  
ɛl          ɛm        ɛn        ω:         pe:       ku:       ær        ɛs         te:       u:         ve:  

Ww                Xx         Yy         Zz        Åå       Ää       Öö
dub:ǝltve:    ɛks        y:         sɛ:ta      o:         æ:         ø:

In the following video you can listen how different people pronounce the Swedish letters.

Source:, video by SVENSKA FÖR ALLA 

1. Vowels

There are two types of vowels in Swedish. These are hard vowels (a, o, u, å) and soft vowels (e, i, y, ä, ö). Hard vowels do not affect the reading of consonant sounds. Soft vowels make the consonant into a completely different sound.


Hard (rear) vowels 
a, o, u, å

Soft (front) vowels
e, i, y, ä, ö

SK… [ sk ]

ska, skola,  skura, skåp, Skåne, skulle,
fiska, skada

[ ch ]

sked, skidor, skynda, skära, skönt, sky

OBS! människa

G [ g ]

gammal, golvet, gul, gå, godis

OBS! gem, get

[ j ]

ge, gissa, gymnasium, gärna, göra, gift, gillar


[ k ]

katt, ko, kultur, kål

OBS! kö, kille, kör (chorus)

[ sh ]

kedja, kilo, kyrka, kärlek, köra bil


[ k ]

cancer, cobra,

[ s ]

cement, cäsar,
citron, cykla…

2. Always read TJ, RS, SCH as [ sh ].
TJ tjugo, tjej, tjata, tjena…
RS [ sh ] i morse, mars, försent, Vänersborg…
SCH duscha, affisch, bransch
3. Always read SKJ, STJ, CH as [ ch ].
SKJ skjorta, skjul, skjuta…
STJ [ ch  ] stjärna, stjäla, stjälk…
CH chans, charm, champagne…
4. Always read DJ, LJ, HJ, GJ as [ j ].

For example: djur, ljus, hjul, gjorde, djup…

5. Always read tion/sion as [ hu:n ].

There are about 5,000 words in all European languages (including Swedish) that have the same meaning. They all end with …tion/sion. /
For example: tradition, nation, station, expansion, expression

To listen the pronunciation, you can always type the Swedish word in Google Translate and click the sound button. Or read the transcription and listen to the word on the site

Click here to open How to Read grammar table in PDF format.

Verb tenses


We know that the most important part of every language is the verb. Knowing just 50-70 verbs will allow you to understand 75% of everything that you can hear in everyday life. In this post we will review verb tenses.

Click here to open Verb tenses grammar table in PDF format.

Partikelverben (Phrasal verb)

PartikelverbEN (Phrasal verb)

In Swedish, some of the verbs are used with particles. Similar way as phrasal verbs in English.

Particles are short words that usually have their own meaning. But in combination with some verbs, the particles and verbs get a completely different meaning that can not be guessed. 

Here we review some commonly used verbs with particles. Click here to open Partikelverben (Phrasal verbs) grammar table in PDF format.

If you want more information  and more example go to this link:

Prepositions “i” and “på”

Prepositions “i” and “på”

Today we will try to deal with Swedish prepositions. There are many different, but today we will limit ourselves to only two: “i” and “på”. How to use them correctly?

Which preposition to use, when talking about house or places? rooms? countries? emotions or time?

Click here to open Prepositions grammar tables in PDF format.

“HEM” or “HEMMA” – that is the question

“HEM” or “HEMMA” – that is the question

Many peoples make mistake of using these words. Let’s look on the picture, which helps to explains when to use “hem” or “hemma”.

Jag går hem ( on the way). Jag är hemma (already inside).

If you want to learn more about adverbs of directions click here to open PDF

Adjectives grammar tables

All about adjectives grammar

In the previous post you’ve got to know the most necessary adjectives in Swedish. Today let’s try to learn the whole grammar of adjectives in two pages.

Click here to open Adjectives grammar tables in PDF format.

If you’re not sure, you can check all forms of adjectives on Wiktionary page:   


Personal and possessive pronouns

Let’s review another group of words – pronouns. In the attached grammar table, you will find personal and possessive pronouns in Swedish and English. 

Click to open Pronouns table in PDF file format.

To learn more about personal pronouns and practice, please refer to another dedicated post: Personal pronouns

Interrogative – Frågeord

Interrogative (Frågeord) table
The order of words in the sentence is very important in Swedish. Let’s get acquainted with interrogative words and interrogative sentences. For asking a question you need to place the VERB before the SUBJECT. So the order of words in the sentence will be following:
<Interrogative (question word)>  <verb>  <subject>  _________________?
Exception: a question with WHO does not have a subject.

Copyright © 2017-2019 All rights reserved.