Interjections I. in Swedish (to be continued)

Posted on 25. Apr, 2016 by in Grammar


Wow! Scandinavia is beautiful ! – you might say this after seeing this picture, but do you know how to react in Swedish?

Something that makes the foreign language learning more idiomatic is the use of so called interjections. There is of course a whole bunch of them but I would like to introduce some of the most common and interesting ones for you.

Interjections have an aim to express strong feelings, sentiments and reactions to things. It is funny to mention that they used to called ejaculations (you might use the interjections Hoppsan! Ojoj! or Hm in Swedish after hearing this) but it is no longer in use. They fill either pauses in a sentence or sentence starters. The isolated usage of an interjection does not represent a complete sentence neither in conventional English nor Swedish oral or writing traditions. They are rather incorporated into larger sentences but also can followed by punctuation i.e. (?) question mark, (!) exclamation mark or (.) dot. There are also phrases and expressions, even shorter sentences that we can consider as interjection.

Interjections derived from human and animal noises. There are various categorization of interjections but mostly we can talk about primary and secondary interjections. The primary interjections encompass so called Onomatopoeic words ( a word that phonetically imitates sounds of nature, animals etc.) for example Oops, Yuck and so on. The secondary interjections express mental attitudes like; Damn! Wow! etc. As you understand swear-words can also be also included within the category.


Sentences in Swedish English translation  Use and meaning
Fan, att denna kund aldrig betalar i tid!  Damn, That this customer never pays on  time.  Annoyance, anger,  frustration
Mmm…jag förstår dig verkligen.  Yeah, I understand you really.  Consent, saying it  approvingly
Usch, det luktar  äckligt!  Yuck/Pew this smells  disgusting!  Used for foul odors

Ojdå! Men jag hoppas  du mår bra.


Oops! I hope you are okay  though.  Being surprised or feeling sorry or pity  for someone  when  receiving bad news.
Oj! Jag såg inte dig.

Oj din stackare!

Oh! I didn’t see you.

Aww/ooh, poor you! You are sick again.

 “Apologizing” when stepping or bumping into  someone by accident but also feeling sorry.
Aja, vi kan inte göra så mycket åt det, eller hur?  Oh well, we can’t do much about it now, can we?  Interjection to mark that an activity is ended and  you feel relief.  Also a topic changer.

Swedish Possessive Pronouns – Min, Mitt, Mina

Posted on 12. Apr, 2016 by in Grammar

[url=]The Stuga[/url] by [url=]Mats Hagwall[/url]. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Stugan är inte min. The Stuga by Mats Hagwall. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

In my last post, The Swedish Definite Form – Demonstrative Pronouns, I messed up. I wrote the following sentence: Detta röda hus är min. This red house is mine.

See what I did wrong? Min. It should have been mitt. Detta röda hus är mitt. Why? Because hus is an ett-word. Ett hus.

When you’re working with possessive pronouns in English, it’s pretty easy. My dog, my house, my cars. Your dog, your house, your cars. Her dog, her house, her cars. You get the idea. The possessive pronoun doesn’t change much. It doesn’t care about en– or ett-words or even if a word is singular or plural.

It’s a little different in Swedish. Just like so many aspects of Swedish grammar, you have to make sure that the nouns you’re working with match with the rest of your sentence, whether that is an adjective, a demonstrative pronoun, or a possessive pronoun like min, mitt, mina.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Har du sett mitt barn? Have you seen my child?
Hon älskar min hund. She loves my dog.
Jag vill skriva en bok om mina barn och mina hundar. I want to write a book about my children and my dogs.

In the plural, you’re going to use mina whether the noun you’re describing is an en-word or an ett-word so even though barn is an ett-word and hund is an en-word, when you’re talking about them in their plural forms, they will both be described using mina. Mina barn. Mina hundar.

There are a whole bunch of possessive pronouns in Swedish and the rules are going to be the same. Have an en-word that you want to possess? Or maybe an ett-word? Maybe it’s even a plural! Take a look at the chart below for the different forms of Swedish possessive pronouns:

Engelska Svenska (en) Svenska (ett) Svenska (plural)
my min mitt mina
your (singular) din ditt dina
his hans hans hans
her hennes hennes hennes
gender-neutral hens hens hens
its dess dess dess
our vår vårt våra
your (plural) er ert era
their deras deras deras

P.S. Seriously, if you see something and it seems wrong, leave a comment! If it’s a typo and we just messed up, we’ll fix it. If it’s not wrong, we’ll be happy to explain.

Body parts in Swedish, part 1: The Head and Face

Posted on 08. Apr, 2016 by in Swedish Language, Vocabulary


Maybe you have a doctor’s appointment. Maybe you have a headache. Maybe you just have a pretty face. Life is full of reasons to talk about your body, and when in Sweden, do as the Swedes do – speak Swedish! There are lots of body parts, so let’s start you off with vocabulary words describing parts of the head and face and all their forms.

ett huvud (a head) huvudet (the head) huvuden* (heads) huvudena* (the heads)
hår (hair) håret (the hair) n/a n/a
ett öra (an ear) örat (the ear) öron (ears) öronen (the ears)
ett ansikte (a face) ansiktet (the face) ansikten (faces) ansiktena (the faces)
ett öga (an eye) ögat (the eye) ögon (eyes) ögonen (the eyes)
ett ögonbryn (an eyebrow) ögonbrynet (the eyebrow) ögonbryn (eyebrows) ögonbrynen (the eyebrows)
en näsa (a nose) näsan (the nose) näsor (noses) näsorna (the noses)
en mun (a mouth) munnen (the mouth) munnar (mouths) munnarna (the mouths)
en läpp (a lip) läppen (the lip) läppar (lips) läpparna (the lips)
en kind (a cheek) kinden (the cheek) kinder (cheeks) kinderna (the cheeks)
en hals (a neck**) halsen (the neck) halsar (necks) halsarna (the necks)
en haka (a chin) hakan (the chin) hakor (chins) hakorna (the chins)
en nacke (a nape) nacken (the nape) nackar (napes) nackarna (the napes)

* Huvud has irregular declension in Swedish – this means its forms are not typical for ett-words (specifically, the plural forms), so you’ll have to learn them separately! But huvud is a very common word, so it won’t take you long for its forms to become natural for you, and Swedes are very forgiving of mistakes. Hurra!
** While hals means “neck”, it can also be used to mean “throat” in the phrase Jag har ont i halsen – “I have a sore throat”. This phrase literally means “I have pain in the neck” but has in no way the same meaning as “a pain in the neck” in English!

Here are some good head and face words for our more advanced readers:

en skalle (a skull) skallen (the skull) skallar (skulls) skallarna (the skulls)
en tinning (a temple) tinningen (the temple) tinningar (temples) tinningarna (the temples)
en bena (a part (where your hair parts)) benan (the part) benor (parts) benorna (the parts)
en örsnibb (an earlobe) örsnibben (the earlobe) örsnibbar (earlobes) örsnibbarna (the earlobes)
en ögonfrans (an eyelash) ögonfransen (the eyelash) ögonfransar (eyelashes) ögonfransarna (the eyelashes)
ett ögonlock (an eyelid) ögonlocket (the eyelid) ögonlock (eyelids) ögonlocken (the eyelids)
en näsborre (a nostril) näsborren (the nose) näsborrar (noses) näsborrarna (the noses)
en underläpp (a lower lip) underläppen (the lower lip) underläppar (lower lips) underläpparna (the lower lips)
en överläpp (a upper lip) överläppen (the upper lip) överläppar (upper lips) överläpparna (the upper lips)
en strupe (a throat****) strupen (the back of one’s neck) strupar (backs of one’s neck) struparna (the backs of one’s neck)

**** Strupe is the official word for “throat”, while hals is what you use to say “throat” in the context of a sore throat in everyday language (see ** above).


Now you’re all set to go to the doctor or tell your Swedish sambo all about your face. Enjoy!