Swedish Language Blog

Even Spicier… Bisatser with Adverbs! Posted by on Jul 24, 2020 in Grammar, Swedish Language, Vocabulary

Credits: Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se

Credits: Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se

Last week I covered dependent clauses, or bisatser, and some common words to know when using presenting a bisats. So, have you practiced?! Vad bra, we’re going to do bisatser 201 now. Specifically, what to do when adding an adverb into your bisats. 

I mentioned last week that bisatser consist of an intro word (bisatsinledare) like eftersom, medan, när, etc, followed by the subject, then verb, etc. The word order is as usual and looks like this:

                                     1   2
Jag saknar dig när du är borta.    
  I miss you when you are away. 

Remember, you can also flip the bisats and make it an introductory clause. That looks like this:
                  1             2       3
När du är borta saknar jag dig.
When you are gone, I miss you.

… what are the numbers for? To help us locate the verb – it is always the second element of a Swedish sentence. So here, consider our bisatsNär du är borta” as the first element, then the verb follows, then the subject comes third. If you’re scratching your head after that, take a moment to review inverted word order here. But if you’re all good, let’s move along! Last week I gave this example sentence:

Eftersom Kate inte* gillar att flyga måste vi åka tåg till Österrike.
Because Kate doesn’t like to fly, we must take the train to Austria.

*note here that the inte follows the subject. Oj då, what’s that about? 

In Swedish, when you have a satsabverbial, in this case inte, it goes between the subject and the first verb. Some common satsadverbial are: inte, nog, bara, alltid, aldrig, även, verkligen, förresten, and the list goes on. We’ll go over a few examples and then I’ll leave you some practice sentences to try for yourself.

bisatsinledare: om
satsadverbial: bara

Vi undrar om Maria bara äter grönsaker.
We wonder if Maria only eats vegetables. 

bisatsinledare: att

satsadverbial: verkligen

Jag tror att hon verkligen gillade tårtan.
I think that she really liked the cake. 

bisatsinledare: om
satsadverbial: redan

Om du redan köpte biljetten får du gå ombord direkt.
If you already bought the ticket, you may go directly onboard.

Let’s throw in a few examples with multiple verbs. Although the sentence structure gets more complicated, our adverb is still going to be placed between the subject and first verb: 

bisatsinledare: varför
satsadverbial: inte

Vet du varför Erik inte har ringt oss idag? 
Do you know why Erik has not called us today?

bisatsinledare: eftersom
satsadverbial: tyvärr

Eftersom jag tyvärr inte kan komma på festen skulle du kunna ge presentkortet till Annika?
Since I unfortunately cannot come to the party, could you give the gift card to Annika?

…phfew, that last one was a long one! Now you try – can you arrange these sentences with the proper word order? Write in the comments which number you’d like the correct answers to. The adverb is bolded.

  1. Vet du hur __________________________________
                                       (pizza man egentligen grillar) ?
  2. Alla vet att ________________________________
                                 ( ska inte tala man i på bussen telefon) .

  3. _________________________ vet jag inte hur det ser ut.
    (Kina åkt jag till Eftersom har aldrig)

  4. Jag äter sällan tomater trots att _______________.
    (gillar jag verkligen dem)
  5. När Johan har gjort läxan ____________________.
                                                    (kanske får umgås kompisar med han)
  6. ________________________________ får du inte köra min bil.
    (du haft aldrig Eftersom ett har körkort)
  7. Vet du om ______________________?
    (faktiskt arga är de)
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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. sn:

    Since you made this easy to understand, I learned a lot. Thanks Chelsea!

    • Chelsea B:

      @sn Vad bra, thanks for reading! Do let me know what other topics you are interested in.