201 Swedish Verbs Posted by Transparent Language on Jan 3, 2009 in Grammar
Someone asked me not so long ago about a good book when it comes to mastering Swedish verbs. And I think I mentioned “201 Swedish Verbs (fully conjugated in all the tenses)” but honestly, I don’t know what on earth I was thinking.
“201 Swedish Verbs (fully conjugated in all the tenses)” by Richard Auletta and Leif Sjöberg, ISBN 0-8120-0528-7
I have this book. And let me tell you, as far as verb books go, this one is well, how to put it nicely… I guess “mediocre” will have to do.
The concept is great. I’ve used books from this series (Barron’s Educational Series) for learning Spanish and French. I liked how they explained everything in excruciating detail, and how the verbs were presented in all the tenses and forms and what not. It was designed for dummies like me. It was just perfect.
But the “201 Swedish Verbs” book is far from perfect. Why? Oh, let me count the ways!
- 1. Swedish verbs stay the same regardless of which subject pronoun you use, whether it is jag, du, han, hon, vi, ni or de, the verb form stays the same.
Yet, all the forms with their applicable pronouns are listed on every page
- 2. Just like in English, some Swedish verbs are irregular. But many are perfectly regular, and after you’ve seen a couple of them, you can follow the pattern in your sleep.Yet, such perfectly regular verbs as “arbeta” (to work) and “baka” (to bake) and “börja” (to begin) and many, many others are included in the book.
- 3. Some Swedish verbs are very similar to the ones in English. So similar in fact, that you have absolutely no doubt regarding their meaning.Yet such verbs are also included in this book: “kritisera” (to criticize) and “öppna” (to open) for example. And wouldn’t you know it? It’s a regular verb, too!
- 4. Most foreign language learners are interested mainly in irregular verbs, right? Those are the ones that give students the most trouble.
So why not make a book chock-full of irregular verbs instead?
- 5. The book was first published in 1975. It claims to include all the verbs which occur in the three thousand words in Swedish. Well, that might have been the case in 1975, but really, who in this day and age uses the word “to curtsy” (niga)?
In the authors defense, it IS an irregular verb, though it’s far from a common one these days.
The book is in a desperate need of an update, that much is clear.
Yet, if you are struggling with Swedish verbs, this might be a helpful choice.
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