Swedish Language Blog

Learn tenses with time adverbs in a fun way Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Grammar

Do you recognize yourself being a tired student is class sometimes and your thoughts might go somewhere else than actually focusing on the subject. Well, I have noticed this with many of students so I started making my own board games. My inspirations was based on some old language books from the 80s. If you are teacher of any language and you don’t really know how to practice grammar exercise the you might want try this out. All you need is a paper a pen and a dice. Of course you can tune it up with some colours on computer but you can also save time by letting the students fill in the gaps.

We know that certain tenses can use certain time adverbs. It is not only easier to remember in the beginnig of your studies but it makes easier to choose for example the right form of the verb by combining verbs and verb tenses. For example:

Jag var ute igår     I was out yesterday          

(preteritum + igår/ simple past + yesterday)

Hon har inte varit i skolan hela veckan.     She hasn’t been to school all week.

(present perfekt + hela dagen / present perfect + all day)

Jag åker till Uppsala i dag.       I travel to Uppsala today.                          

(presens + i dag / present simple + today)


Jag åker till Uppsala i morgon.      I travel to Uppsala tomorrow.

(presens + i morgon /present + tomorrow =futurum/future) tense                      

Han ska flytta till Paris om en vecka.        I will move to Paris in a week.

(futurum + om en vecka / future tense + in a week)

Here is a simple example:

Use an A4 sized-paper or Letter-sized paper (in the U.S) and draw some boxes on it and write different time adverbs in the boxes. Tell the students to throw a dice and say a sentence with that time adverb in the box they land on. This excercis is easily manageable for smaller groups of 3-4 people. The grammatical board games are endless. You can create whatever board game you want as a teacher and also if you are a student and want to practice together with your friends.

Some adverbs you can use:

i fredags, i lördags morse, för två sekunder sedan, för en minut sedan, i förrgår, igår kväll, för tolv år sedan, förra året, nästa år, hela månaden, hela veckan, i morgon, i dag, i morgon, för en timme sedan, för tre timmar sedan, i eftermiddags, vid lunchtid, till middag, alldeles nyss and many more.

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  1. Matt:

    Hi, I’ve just started looking at Swedish noun declensions and I don’t really understand them. For example, I don’t understand how the indefinite plural of Katt is Katter. Nor do I understand how the indefinite plural of Hund is Hundar. Can you help?

    • Tibor:

      @Matt Well there are different groups of nouns. You shall order Form i fokus A online and there is an excellent explanation in that. Briefly I could say that. All en-words that has foreign origin like cigarett, balkong, telefon gets -er in plural. All en-words with one-syllable like bil or pil get -ar in plural. Also words ending with -ing or unemphasized -e like kille get -ar.Different noun groups different rules. But there are always exceptions and learn those!! 🙂

      • Matt:

        @Tibor So would Katt be an example of a foreign word as it ends in -er?

      • Matt:

        @Tibor So would Kat be an example of a foreign word as it ends in -er?

  2. Matt:

    So would Katt be an example of a foreign word as it ends in -er?

  3. Jim Dawson:

    Hej, Matt!

    I have been using “Essential Swedish Grammar” by Julian Granberry. So far, the afore-mentioned book has been in agreement with nearly everything I have read or found elsewhere. (ISBN-13: 978-0-486-26953-5 and ISBN-10: 0-486-26953-1)

    The company that I work for has given me a free sign-up with THE most popular computer-based language course which I have found to be very good and easy.

    I really like the Swedish language and find it quite consistently structured as compared to English; its grammar is easier than French for me.