Swedish Language Blog

More Past Participle Goodness – Irregular (a.k.a. strong) Verbs Posted by on May 28, 2009 in Grammar

So let’s finish those past participles today and get on with more pleasant things in our lives, shall we?

I promised you we’d save the best for last and talk about past participles of irregular verbs in this blog post. Irregular? Sounds scary? No worries, it’s not!
Actually, it’s very easy.

You see, if you know what the Swedish supine is and you memorized them for those pesky irregular (also known as “strong”) verbs, forming past participles is so straightforward, it’s almost suspicious.

You don’t believe me? Just wait and you’ll see.

But let’s backtrack for a sec to make sure we remember what this mysterious Swedish supine is. Though by now it shouldn’t be mysterious at all.

Swedish supine is different from what we call “supine” in English. In Swedish this is the verb form that is used in perfect tenses. In other words, it’s the bit that follows har (present perfect) or hade (past perfect) in normal sentences.

So, here are some very handsome irregular Swedish supines:

  • bjudit – from “bjuda” (to invite)
  • försvunnit – from “försvunna” (to disappear)
  • bundit – from “binda” (to bind, to tie)
  • skurit – from “skära” (to cut, to carve)

OK, so now we have those supines. Now see how easy it is to make their past participles. And you do it like this: you grab that supine, chop off that “it” ending and then add “en” instead.

  • bjuditbjud + en → bjuden – invited
  • försvunnitförsvunn + en → försvunnen – disappeared
  • bunditbund + en → bunden – bound (tied)
  • skuritskur + en → skuren – cut, carved

So, even though the initial verb might be “irregular” the way we create those past participles is very regular indeed.

PS. Just a reminder – it’s Mother’s Day (Mors dag) this Sunday in Sweden. Don’t forget about your moms, or moms-in-law! 🙂

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  1. Kenia:

    Hi Anna!

    So you form the past participle by adding “en” always? what if it’s an “ett” or plural noun?
    Thank you SO much for reminding us about Sunday being Mors Dag in Sweden!


  2. Anna:

    Hi Kenia!
    I was going to cover the en/ett/plural/definite difference next week! 🙂

  3. Jon Buscall:

    Hi Anna,
    I’m writing a piece on resources for visiting lecturers and students to Stockholm University and want to feature this blog.

    Could you contact me ASAP via my email address so I could ask you a couple of questions?

    Tack så jätte mycket !

  4. Lisa:

    Isn’t försvunnit from försvinna? I thought försvunna was an adjective?

  5. fantazi:

    I was going to