Swedish Language Blog

Around the House with Swedish Nouns! Posted by on Apr 14, 2020 in Culture, Grammar, Swedish Language, Vocabulary

“Astrid Lingren’s Flat.” Stockholm, Sweden. Jann Lipka/imagebank.sweden.se

People all around the world have been spending a lot more time in their homes. For better or for worse, I thought that we take advantage of this time to review some nouns associated with the home. We’ll cover some basics, as well as touch on a few
låneord, borrowed words, from other languages.

For my students who love to drill themselves on vocabulary, I direct them to Bildetema’s vocabulary module. It’s a little old school, but they have loads of categories and their interactive platform means you can click on an illustration, see the vocabulary word, and hear it pronounced. I’ll highlight a few words from their bostad och möbler, housing and furniture list, and will add some of my own. You ready?! 

Now before you skip over the basics –  have you mastered all of the singular and plural forms of these words?

ett rum                      a room
-> rummet -> rum -> rummen

ett vardagsrum     a living room
-> vardagsrummet -> vardagsrum -> vardagsrummen 

ett sovrum               a bedroom
-> rummet, and so on, as conjugated as above

en hall                       a hall
-> hallen -> hallar -> hallarna

ett kök                      a kitchen
-> köket -> kök -> köken

ett golv                     a floor
-> golvet -> golv -> golven

en vägg                    a wall
-> väggen -> väggar -> väggarna

ett tak                     a roof
-> taket -> tak -> taken 

Swedish has many borrowed words from other languages. These word groups pay homage (see what I did there?) to a time in history where Sweden was particularly influenced by another culture. For example, in the 1700’s the Swedish upper-class thought that French culture and their way of living was all the mode, or fashion. Thus, we see many words borrowed from French to describe things around the home.

ett fönster            a window
-> fönstret -> fönster -> fönstren 

en fåtölj                 an armchair
->fåtöljen -> fåtöljer -> fåtöljerna

en terass                 a terrace / deck
-> terassen -> terasser -> terasserna

en byrå                   a bureau
-> byrån -> byråer -> byråerna

en garderob           a closet
-> garderoben -> garderober -> garderoberna

ett paraply               an umbrella
->paraplyet -> paraply -> paraplyer -> paraplyer
*OBS – this noun is irregular, and sometimes can be assigned an “en” in singular

en möbel                  a piece of furniture
-> möbeln -> möbler -> möblerna 


Today though, we see most borrowed words come from English, especially related to business, and technology. A few simple ones found around the house are:

en teve                      a T.V. 

-> teven  *for the plural of this word you’ll often see -apparat attached to teve,
-> teve-apparater -> teve-apparaterna

en radio                   a radio
-> radion  *same thing here for plural, attach -apparat to radio
-> radio-apparater -> radio-apparaterna

en mobil                   a mobile phone
-> mobilen -> mobiler -> mobilerna


And some other quite useful words around the house: 

en tavla                     a painting / hanging art
-> tavlan -> tavlor -> tavlorna

en gardin                  a curtain
-> gardinen -> gardiner -> gardinerna

*add rull- to the front of any of these forms of gardin for “rolling curtains” 

en krukväxt              a potted plant
-> krukväxten -> krukväxter -> krukväxterna

en bokhylla              a book shelf 
->bokhyllan -> bokhyllor -> bokhyllorna
* en hylla by itself is shelf

en papperskorg      a waste basket
-> papperskorgen -> papperskorgar -> papperskorgarna 

en galge                    a hanger
-> galgen -> galgar -> galgarna 

ett skohorn            a shoe horn
-> skohornet -> skohorn -> skohornen

ett eluttag                an electrical outlet
-> eluttaget -> eluttag -> eluttagen

en bänk                     a bench
-> bänken -> bänkar -> bänkarna

ett soffbord             a coffee table
-> soffbordet -> soffbord -> soffborden 

*bord on its own means table and is an ett-word 


Did you know some or all of these words? Some students like to make sticky notes and label objects around the house. What other strategies do you have for memorizing vocab?

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About the Author: Chelsea B

Chelsea is a Swedish language instructor and translator living in Minnesota, U.S. She has a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and has experience living and working in Sweden from north to south! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to music, and practicing slöjd, the Swedish word for handcraft.


  1. Corinne:

    tack så mycket ,jag gillar att lära svenska med din blog.

    • Chelsea B:

      @Corinne Underbart, Corinne! Tack själv!

  2. Liz S:

    I didn’t know about Bildetema! Tack för this resource!

    • Chelsea B:

      @Liz S Åh vad bra! Like I said, a little old school, but still pretty fantastisk!