Swedish Language Blog

In and out in Swedish – Part 1 Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Grammar, Swedish Language


Hej på er, Swedish learners!

Swedish is, as many of you know, a Germanic language. As a result, a lot of central words to the language are very similar to English words. This is the case for in and ut, respectively meaning “in” and “out”.

But in and ut in Swedish are a bit more complicated than their English equivalents. In English, “in” and “out can indicate either direction or static location. In and ut, however, only indicate direction.  Therefore, the following example is correct:

När de kom ut gick vi in. – When the others came out, we went in. (=movement)

But to something is “in” or “out” (static location), we change in to inne and ut to ute, like so:

När de var inne, var vi ute. – When they were in, we were out. (=static location)

Lätt som en plätt! – Piece of cake!


Swedish is also slightly different from English when expressing “into” and “out of” a place, which is more specific movement than just going “in” or “out”. “Into” is generally translated as in i, but the i is replaced by whatever preposition is typically used for the destination noun. Here are some examples:

Haren skuttade in i skogen. – The hare/rabbit hopped into the forest.
Jag gick in på mitt kontor. – I went into my office.

“Out of” is generally translated as ut ur:

Mikael skrämde upp mig när han kom ut ur källaren. – Mikael startled me when he came out of the cellar.


But how do in/inne and ut/ute work when there’s a direct object involved? Stay tuned for Part 2!

Keep learning Swedish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Stephen Maconi

Stephen Maconi has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2010. Wielding a Bachelor's Degree in Swedish and Nordic Linguistics from Uppsala University in Sweden, Stephen is an expert on Swedish language and culture.