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Learning Swedish Grammar the easy way

If you’re thinking about learning Swedish then you’ve made an excellent choice. In the Swedish language grammar is relatively easy to grasp, especially for English speakers, but also in comparison to French or German. Whether you’re learning Swedish because you need it for work or perhaps you're just looking for a new challenge, the fastest and easiest way to learn is via a linguist-built app course, such as those offered by Babbel. Correct Swedish grammar is presented throughout the programmes, giving you more confidence in your written and spoken Swedish from the first lesson.

Swedish grammar

Getting started: important Swedish grammar rules

Those who have previously studied the Latin language will probably find Swedish grammar easy by comparison, but it's still good to familiarise yourself with some of the rules before you start. Basic sentence order is the same as in English; subject-verb-object. The first challenge is learning which nouns are common and which are neuter. The Swedish alphabet is also bigger than the English one, with three extra letters. When you start to use Swedish adjectives, they must be in line with the amount and gender of the noun. Strong adjectives, used after the indefinite article, require a ‘t’ at the end for neuter nouns, and ‘a’ at the end for common nouns. Weak adjectives, used after the definite article, generally require an ‘a’ after all nouns.

The basic Swedish pronouns

The first and most important pronouns you will learn are Swedish personal pronouns, which includes the Swedish subject pronouns such as jag (I), du (you), han (he) and hon (she), as well as Swedish object pronouns, such as mig (me), dig (du), honom (he) and henne (her). For the reflexive pronouns Swedish grammar makes things easy, as they are the same as object pronouns.

Learning Swedish nouns

As opposed to the masculine and feminine nouns of French or German, nouns in Swedish are either Common (a merge of masculine and feminine) or Neuter. The definite article for each is respectively 'en' or 'ett'. With the definite article, the noun is suffixed. For example, in the case of the word 'car' (bil), ‘the car’ is ‘bilen’. However, with the indefinite article, the word is separate, therefore, ‘a car’ is ‘en bil’. Plurals are where things get a little more complicated, with three suffixes for plurals; or, er, ar.

Swedish Grammar

Essential Swedish prepositions rules

Swedish prepositions are fairly easy to learn, but to use them confidently in everyday speech there are some rules you need to familiarise yourself with quickly. The most important rule is knowing when to use på (on) and when to use i (in). For instance, ‘på’ is used for being ‘in the bank’, as well as in hospital, a restaurant or university. Whereas ‘i’ is used for being ‘in school’ as well as a shop or church.

Common Swedish prepositions

  • i = in
  • på/vid = at
  • bakom = behind
  • bredvid = next to
  • med = with
  • på = on
  • från = from
  • av = by

Conquer Swedish Grammar with online learning

As you can see, learning grammar in Swedish is easier than you think, especially for those who already speak a Germanic language such as English or German, and even for those who don’t. Babbel has adjusted its courses according to the learner's native language, which means the course is slightly different for those who speak Spanish as a first language, for example, than those who speak English. Built on the Babbel Method, a unique and proven model for learning languages, all courses are designed by linguist experts. Sign-up to learn Swedish with Babbel today and enjoy your first lesson free.