Swedish Language Blog

Nyårsafton Posted by on Dec 31, 2008 in Grammar, Vocabulary

Today is nyårsafton and everybody, their mother and their dog are getting ready for some mad partying tonight. Yet, I am staying home, because jag är förkyld.

Yes, I have a nasty cold, and so there’s no partying for me. I will stay at home, watch TV, and then watch fireworks, which they normally tend to fire in the playground right behind my house. I can watch the show from the comfort of my bedroom window. I will also do some designated driving for my friends in the wee hours of the morning.

But before you too disappear into your Systembolaget-fueled New Year’s eve madness, take a look at these two examples:

  • nyårsafton (def. –aftonen, pl. –aftnar, def. pl. –aftnarna) – årets sista dag – New Year’s Eve, 31 December
  • nyårsdagen (pl.dagar, def. pl. -dagarna) – årets första dag – New Year’s Day – 1 January

See anything odd about this second word? No? Look again.

We don’t say “nyårsdag” but “nyårsdagen” – this word exists in singular only in the definite form.

And that’s probably the limit of our intellectual effort for today.

Remember, if you’re going to party hard – have someone else do the driving afterwards, or call a cab. It may cost an arm and a leg tonight, that’s for sure, but it’s better to start the year in one piece, safe and sound. And besides, nyårsdagen from the inside of a jail cell is not all that exciting.

Have a safe New Year’s eve and a fabulous New Year!

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  1. timan:

    Hej Anna ,

    Have a happy new starting ..Tiiiich and new breath , this is my granma says when someone has a cold ! i think that the lesson of Nyårsafton , has agood question and answer , but probably none in class to take your advice . i’m the first of them i been absent(adventure) , but when i checked mybody up this morning i’m 100% okey . thanks God

  2. ceci:

    dear anna have a happy new year for you and your dear beloved! we ll see soon, in only 2 months…
    kisses, ceci

  3. Margaret Aston:

    Hej Anna, Happy New Year and thank you so much for all the very informative emails my Swedish is improving. I wonder if you would be so kind as to help me with a cookery question. My husband has his Swedish cookery books here in Scotland and was looking for a fish which in Sweden is called red tongue, I could not find anything like this here at any of our Harbour shops here in Scotland. Do you know what the equivalent of red tongue would be? Very grateful if you can help. We have sold our flat in Stockholm and are moving to Almsta in January, happy days. Take care and thank you again.

  4. Anna:

    Hi guys!!! And Happy New Year to you too!

    Margaret, I strongly suspect the fish you’re looking for is “plaice.”
    Ceci – I can’t wait to see you in Sweden!
    Timan – be safe, my friend! And no more colds, OK?

  5. Dude Manguy:

    Gott nytt år! I regel!