How fast can you eat 25 hot dogs? In Swedish. Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Grammar

Prepositions are hard. They’re hard in English. They’re hard in Swedish. They’re just hard. They can be used in so many different ways and mean so many different things. There are pages and pages of rules. It’s kind of exhausting and overwhelming. And now that we’ve got all that negative stuff out of the way, let’s learn some prepositions!

There are a few questions that can help guide your preposition use:
How fast or hur snabbt?
How long or hur länge?
How often or hur ofta?

If you’re answering one of these questions, you’ll want to use certain prepositions.
Hur snabbt is answered with the preposition .
Hur länge is answered with the preposition i or no preposition at all.
Hur ofta is answered with the preposition om or i.

There are a few examples below.
Hur snabbt:
Hur snabbt kan du äta 25 korvar?  (How fast can you eat 25 hot dogs?)
Jag kan äta 25 korvar fem minuter. (I can eat 25 hot dogs in five minutes.)
Hur snabbt springer en flodhäst en amerikansk mil? (How fast can a hippo run an American mile?)
Flodhästen springer en amerikansk mil två minuter! (The hippo can run an American mile in two minutes.)

Hur länge:
Hur länge har du bott i USA? (How long have you lived in the US?)
Jag har bott i USA i tre år. ELLER Jag har bott i USA tre år. (I Have lived in the US for three years)
Hur länge har hon studerat svenska? (How long has she studied Swedish?)
Hon har studerat svenska ett år. ELLER Hon har studerat svenska i ett år. (She has studied Swedish for one year.)

Hur ofta:
Hur ofta talar du svenska? (How often do you speak Swedish?)
Jag talar svenska fem gånger om dagen. (I speak Swedish five times a day.)
Hur oftar går du till gymmet? (How often do you go to the gym?)
Jag går till gymmet tre gånger i veckan. (I go to the gym three times a day.)

*Keep in mind that when you’re answering the how often question your prepositional use will depend on how often you do something. Use om if you do something every day (om dagen), every year (om året), or every day and night (om dygnet).

Lycka till!

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.