Building Particle Verbs with Gå Posted by Chelsea B on Dec 11, 2020 in Grammar, Swedish Language, The Swedish blog team, Vocabulary
Verbs start out as just one word like in the example “Speak.” But when they add a particle “Speak” + “up” = “Speak up” the meaning changes completely. The short words that help transform regular old verbs into particle verbs, or phrasal verbs, are common prepositions or adverbs – so you’ll recognize them!
Words like av, på, bort, efter, över, med often pair with verbs to form completely different meanings. So to use phrasal verbs correctly, it is not enough just to understand the verb meaning and the particle meaning separately.
Let’s get into some examples with the ultra versatile verb gå so you can get an idea of what we are talking about! On its own, att gå means “to go”, or “to walk”, but let’s see the different constructions of gå with particles:
gå av break
Jag drog för hårt, skosnöret gick av!
I pulled too hard, my shoelace broke!
gå bort pass away (die)
Min farfar var 84 år när han gick bort.
My grandfather (father’s father) was 84 years old when he passed away.
gå in för be engaged (in something)
Man ska gå in språkstudierna om man vill förbättra sig.
One should really engage in their language studies if they want to get better.
gå med på accept / join in
Ska du verkligen gå med på Johans dåliga plan?
Are you really going to accept Johan’s bad plan?
gå upp increase
På två år har hyran gått upp 40%.
In two years, the rent has gone up 40%.
gå ner decrease
Martin sa att kostnaden har gått ner på ekologiska hallon.
Martin said that the cost of organic raspberries has decreased.
gå om repeat
De har missat så många lektioner. De måste gå om kursen.
They have missed so many classes. They must repeat the course.
gå över to pass/ dissipate
Jag vet att du är ledsen men det går över.
I know that you are sad but it’ll pass.
gå på cost
Vad går en tågbiljett till Olso på?
What does a train ticket to Olso cost?
gå till come about / happen
Hunden har rymt från trädgården. Hur gick detta till?
The dog has escaped from the yard. How did this happen?
gå ut go out
På helgen brukar vi gå ut och äta.
On the weekend we usually go out and eat.
gå ut på be about
Vad går spelet ut på egentligen?
What is this game about anyway?
As you can see, it is really important to decipher whether or not the word following the verb is a particle or not, because the meaning can vary so drastically! Of course, one strategy is to pay attention to the context of when the particle is used. Does it make sense when you translate the words separately – as one verb and one preposition? If not, use your dictionary to look for the meaning when the two are combined.
Another way to determine whether the second word is a particle or not its emphasis in spoken language. If the speaker places emphasis on the word following the verb, it’s most likely a particle.
We’ll cover more of these particle verbs in the future! For now, it’s your job to memorize these ones with gå. 10 points to the first person to make a sentence below in the comments using a gå partikelverb, go!
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