Swedish Language Blog

Past Participles of Regular Verbs Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Grammar

Last time when we talked about Swedish supines (in Swedish it’s the verb form that’s used in perfect tenses,) and past participles (in Swedish, it’s the verb form that’s used as an adjective), I picked a really tough example – “skriva” (to write).

Of course, since “skriva” is an irregular verb (just like in English), things got a bit complicated when I tried to explain what Swedish past participles are and how they are used.

But at least we got the hard bit out of the way and today you can breathe easy, because past participles of regular verbs are very straightforward. Don’t you just love regular verbs?

You see, with regular verbs, you just stick some letters to the end of the word, or add something to the verb’s basic form.

1. For example, “d” is added to longish verbs that end in “a” or to those that have a voiced consonant in the basic form, like this:

  • intressera + d → intresserad – interested
  • öka + d → ökad – increased

glömma – first you remove the ending and you get “glöm”, then you add “d

  • glöm + d → glömd – forgotten

stänga – first you remove the ending and you get “stäng”, then you add “d

  • stäng + d → stängd – closed

2. Ok, how about verbs that in their basic form (when you remove the ending “a”) end in a voiceless consonant, such as p, t, k, and s? To form past participles of those guys, you add “t” to the basic form:

  • köp + t → köpt – bought
  • tänk + t → tänkt – thought
  • läs + t → läst – read

Then sometimes “dd” is added to certain verbs. Those are normally verbs that end in a loooooong, stressed vowel, in other words, very short verbs such as:

  • tro + dd → trod – believed
  • klä + dd → klädd – dressed

See? That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
Unfortunately, when it comes to Swedish past participles, you have to remember that they are not like English past participles, but rather like adjectives that are used to describe nouns. It may seem complicated and difficult at first, but as one of the readers very aptly pointed out, it’s still nothing when compared with romance languages.

Still, too much grammar in one sitting is not good for anyone, so we will stop here for now. Next time we’ll tackle those irregular past participles in greater detail. Because when you look at them carefully, you’ll notice that they’re not all that irregular after all.

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  1. Onur:

    My head is hurting 🙂

    Men tack för att skriva det här. Mycket nyttig.

  2. Stu:

    Oddly enough, I want more examples. Am I a masochist?

    The funny thing is: this is the easy part!

  3. Kenia:

    Yes, regular verbs are lovely! =)
    But I have a doubt in “tro”, is it that you add “dd” and the result is “trod” with a single “d”?!

  4. eraiza:

    anu b aman d q mhanap eh kakaggl eh