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Languages: Swedish

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Swedish-speaking areas

Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along the coast and on the Åland islands. It is to a considerable extent mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to a lesser extent with Danish.

Along with the other North Germanic languages, Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.

Swedish language periods


Runic Swedish800-1225
Early Old Swedish?1225-1375
Late Old Swedish?1375-1526
Early Modern Swedish?1526-1750
Late Modern Swedish?1750-1880
Early Contemporary Swedish1880-
Contemporary Swedish1950-

Swedish languages

[Edit] There are many variants of standard Swedish. Some of these are considered dialects and other as separate languages.

The Verb

Verbs do not inflect for person or number. (Early Contemporary Swedish also inflected in number)

Verbs inflect for the present tense, past tense, imperative and indicative mood. Other tenses are formed by combinations of auxiliary verbs with infinitives or a special form of the participle called the "supine".

In total there are 6 spoken active-voice forms for each verb: infinitive, imperative, present, preterite/past, supine, and past participle. The only subjunctive form used in everyday speech is vore, the past subjunctive of vara ("to be"). It is used as one way of expressing the conditional ("would be", "were"), but is optional. Except for this form, subjunctive forms are considered archaic.

Swedish verbs are divided into four groups:

  1. regular -ar verbs
  2. regular -er verbs
  3. short verbs, end in -r
  4. strong and irregular verbs, end in -er or -r

Sample verb: hitta

Past participlehittad / hittat / hittade

Click verbs to conjugate them in the table above!

Conjugate all Swedish verbs at Verbix

Defective verbs

In linguistics, a defective verb is a verb with an incomplete conjugation. Defective verbs cannot be conjugated in certain tenses, aspects, or moods.

The table below shows defective verbs in Swedish. The glossary look-up form -- which is normally the infinitive -- is marked in bold for the defective verbs.

Present Past Present Past
- - ante - - - -
- lyss lyddes - - lyss -
- lyster - - - - -
- lär2 - - - - -
- - - måtte - -
- månde - - - - -
måsta3 måste måste - - - måst
- - - nåde - - -
spritta spritter spratt - - spritt -
- tör - - torde - -
varda varder vart varde - - -
- vederbör - - - - -
- vederfås - - - - vederfåtts
- - - värdes värdes - -
stinga stinger - - - sting stungit


  1. Verbs don't have conjunctive forms in contemporary Swedish. It is used in some phrases only, such as in leve Kungen!. Thus a missing conjuctive doesn't make a verb defective.
  2. In the sense to teach this verb is regular and conjugated in all tenses.
  3. The infinitive exists in Swedish of Finland but not in Sweden.

New Swedish verbs

As is the case with all living languages, new verbs are invented and imported to the Swedish language. The list below is compiled by the Swedish Academy(approve sites).

bolagisera, certifiera, dissa, dubbelklicka, dubbelpanera, flippa, frihetsbreöva, fönstershoppa, inkomstpröva, kameraövervaka, lyxrenovera, marknadsanpassa, mingla, pierca, promota, punktbevaka, pusha, skatteplanera, skejta, sms:a, sommarprata, uppgradera, överbelåna.

Even newer verbs

Språktidningen(approve sites) lists the following new verbs in its April 2010 issue:

Conjugate these regular verbs here or visit Språktidningen(approve sites) to see the meaning.


Swedish Dialects

External links

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Page last modified on September 19, 2011, at 02:08 AM