Introduction to Swedish: 1

Hej! Welcome to this free interactive Swedish course. We’ll start from scratch and teach some Swedish to you, and then we'll ask you to write certain things in Swedish in the form below. You’ll need to type in the answers before moving on.

Swedish comes from the same language family as English does, so it is very similar to English. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, Swedish is also pretty easy to learn for English speakers (just like Norwegian is, and slightly less so than Danish). Let’s try learning some.

Swedish for I is jag.

Swedish for to have is att ha.

It’s almost the same as in English just att is to and ha is have.

The next word is practically the same as well:

Swedish for it is det.

Look carefully at this word det: it ends with et. This et is neutral (you will learn what that means soon) and this et from neutral can also serve as the word for a or the. Well, to be precise, it actually turns into an ett for a, then but that’s just a slight change in writing.

What we need to know for now is that det means it. Another thing that you might be interested in knowing is that the t in det is never pronounced.

To put this all together, let’s learn the basic rule:

To turn the word for to do into a present tense form (I do, you do, etc.) you simply remove the word to (which is att in Swedish) and add an r on the end of the word.

This rule is a bit different for some words ending in a but it works for the most part, so you don’t have to worry about those right now.

Could you work out how to say:

  1. Type in your answer in the field above. For example, for this lesson, try "Jag har det."
  2. It is just the same as in the last lesson, except you have "Du" instead of "Jag".
  3. Mind the fact that the word order in Swedish will be, literally, "I have it not". It just sounds better, doesn't it?
  4. The word order is the same as in English.
  5. Remember that "here" is "här".
  6. This will have the exact same word order as English.
  7. Remember that you will have you word order as "she has it not".
  8. Remember that the second part of the sentence will include "eftersom det inte är" - thus the word "inte" changes its position in the joining sentence.
  9. Remember "handhun" to get the word for "he". Also, just add an "r" to "tala" to get the word for "speaks".
  10. Your word order will be almost exactly the same as in English: "Speak you Swedish?"
  11. Remember the word "talar". Also write English and Swedish in the right order.
  12. This is just three words, should be easy.
  13. This is literally "speak you English?"
  14. Your word order will be "they speak not Swedish because they are English". Remember the final "e" for plural.
  15. Don't forget the final "e"
  16. Your word order is "Speak you all English?"
  17. Remember that "vill" already means "want to", thus you will only need four words in this phrase.
  18. The word you're looking for is probably vara. Your word order has to be: "we want not be here". 
  19. The word "vill" already means "want to", thus this sentence is four words long (and yes, it includes the word vara).
  20. The word you need is vara.
  21. The word for "speak" was "tala".
  22. This is a phrase exactly like in English, except in Swedish words.
  23. Use "ska" for "will".
  24. Yes, write in the word "gjöra". This phrase is four words long in Swedish.
  25. Literally: "Want you do it?", and using the word "gjöra".
  26. You use the word "gjöra" twice. Be careful to use "ska" and not "vill" in the sentence. Moreover, remember that you will say "vi inte kan" in the second sentence, as "inte" moves forward.
  27. Remember that you have to say "they want have something" in Swedish. Also mind the double "l" in "vill".
  28. "I do not have it" will be literally "I have it not".
  29. "Behöver" already means "need to", thus you will not need that word in the sentence.
  30. "Will" was "ska", remember?
  31. Put "et" right after "hus" (without any spaces).
  32. Remember you are saying "the time".
  33. Think carefully whether it is "det" or "den" this time.
  34. Just put "good" and "night" together.
  35. Use the word "hjäjpa".
  36. Use "handhun" to remember the word for "he".
  37. Remember that "the car" is just one word. And, again, "England" is "England".
  38. Use the same word order as in English.
  39. Literally: "what want you?"
  40. Literally: "what have you?"
  41. Use the same word order as in English. From was "från".
  42. Don't forget to make "house" into "the house".
  43. Use the word order "why speak you Swedish?"
  44. Literally: "how want you do it?" Remember the double "l" in "vill".
  45. Remember that this is literally "how have you it?" The word "how" was "hur".
  46. This is "I have it good, thanks".
  47. You are saying "have it so good", and using the word "bra" instead of "god". The imperative word for "have" is only two letters long, and comes from the infinitive form.
  48. Do you remember that "hi" was "hej"? Also, you are asking "how have you it?" (Remember that "how" was "hur".)
  49. You are saying "I have it good, thanks".
  50. The same word order as in English. "From" was "från", and where was "var".
  51. Sweden was "Sverige".
  52. Literally: "No, I speak not English."
  53. This sounds similar to "whatfor?"
  54. Your car comes with a bill, remember?
  55. Be careful to use "en" and "et" where appropriate.
  56. You will be saying "the car", thus add the right article to end the word.
  57. Use the word "vara" for "be". Be careful as to whether you use "det" or "den".
  58. This is, remember, literally "have it so good". Use the word "bra" for "good", and "så" for so.
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