Building Particle Verbs with Gå Posted by on Dec 11, 2020 in Grammar, Swedish Language, The Swedish blog team, Vocabulary

Photo: Tina Stafrén/ “Dinner at Hvita Hjorten”

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 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 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 . 10 points to the first person to make a sentence below in the comments using a gå partikelverb, go!

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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. Marcelo:

    This post was very interesting and it would be great to read more Phrasal verbs and their usages in every context
    Thank you!

  2. Catherine:

    Eftersom människor med corona har gått upp, jag vill gärna gå med alla regelerna.

    • Chelsea B:

      @Catherine That’s a great use of gå med, Catherine!
      After your introductory clause, remember that the verb and subject will flip places. Like this:

      “Eftersom människor med corona har gått up, vill jag gärna gå med (på) alla reglerna.”

  3. Marianne:

    Hej allihopa!
    Är det verkligen ‘gå om – repeat’, eller menar ni kanske ‘göra om’?
    Jag känner bara ‘gå om – overtake’:

    • Chelsea B:

      @Marianne Du har rätt, Marianne! “Gå om” kan betyda “overtake.” Det fungerar också som “retake”, som att “gå om en årkurs” eller “to be held back a year in school.”

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