Swedish Language Blog

Describing and asking where an object is in Swedish Posted by on Aug 21, 2012 in Grammar, Swedish Language, Vocabulary

I can’t say how many times I’ve thought “had it been a snake it would have bitten me”, in other words, the object I was looking for was much closer than I thought. I thought I would share how to ask, in Swedish, where things are and of course equip you so you can answer as well.

Let’s start slow and steady.

“Var är _pennan_?”

“_Pennan_ är  _bakom_ _koppen_.”

“Where is the _pen_?”

“The_pen_ is  _behind_ the _cup_.”

This sentence structure does not change, you only need to exchange the words in the different groups. The purple group is for example the thing you can’t find or see. Green group describes where that object is in relation to another object you can see, the pink group.

We’ll try it again just so you get the idea.

“Var är _glaset_?”

“_Glaset_ är  _till vänster om_ _boken_.”

“Where is the _glas_?”

“The_glas_ is  _to the left of_ the _book_.”

The next thing is to be able to ask a question. So the only thing that changes is where the verb is placed.

“Är_pennan_  _bakom_ _koppen_?”

“Är_glaset_  _till vänster om_ _boken_?”

“Äter_barnen_  _i_ _skolan_?”

“Is the_pen_  _behind_ the _cup_?”

“Is the_glas_  _to the left of_ the _book_?”

“Do the_children_ eat _in_ _school_?”

One thing to be remembered in this situation is that all the while you are talking about one specific noun. So the noun has to be äpplet instead of äpple. Barnen instead of barn and so forth, because you don’t want to get an answer about korean children when you really want to know where your own children are eating.

The words in the table below are “location words” which you put in just like in the example sentences.

Svenska English Exempel mening Example sentence
mittemot opposite, across from Banken finns _(plats ord)_    _(hjälp ord)_ . The bank is _(location word)_ the __(helping noun)__.
framför in front of
bakom behind
nära near, close to
till höger om to the right of
till vänster om to the left of
on, on top of
över above
emellan in between


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