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Sentence analysis for Swedish Syntax (Main Clauses) Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Grammar

Fundament Verb 1 Subjekt Satsadverbial Verb 2 Objekt/predikativ Adverbial
1. Vi har inte mjölk hemma.
2. Igår hade vi inte mjölk hemma.
3. Om det är fint väder imorgon, kan vi ut.
4. Bananen äter han inte.
5. Varför har du inte sagt något idag?
6. Har vi inte mjölk hemma?

There are six different ways of making main clauses in Swedish. The most common is when we start with the subject (1.) however it is just as common to use the so called reversed syntax or inversion (2.-6.).

Variation is one of the most important regarding syntax in the Swedish language so I would advise you to think about it both when it comes to writing and speaking. There are some crucial rules of course since the Swedish syntax is not that flexible compared to languages where you conjugate verbs. The verb is always on the second place and if the subject’s place is taken up by something else on the first place the subject comes on the the third place (1.-6.).

The first verb talks about the tense and the second verb talks about what you are doing. If the first verb is a normal finite verb which means verbs ending with an r (kör, äter, läser, bor) etc then you can’t have another verb in the sentence. If the verb is an auxiliary verb like (brukar, ska, kan, vill, får, måste, bör) etc. the second verb ends with always a vowel. (Han brukar le, Jag vill dö, Jag ska köra bil, Det ska bli kul).

Mark that English speaking people (British) have a more soft R than Americans which means that British people often make a mistake talking in infinitive form, or at least they sound like it, even though they know the rules. Jag titta(r) på tv.

If your first verb is (har) then the second verb in case of presence perfect is ending with a -t. (Jag har sagt det, Hon har stängt fönstret, Jag har aldrig åkt till Piteå.).

Fundament: Starter, can be 6 different things.

Verb1: Sets the tense of the meaning.

Subjekt: Can be a starter or otherwise comes on the third place.

Satsadverbial: (Inte) or words like (sällan, aldrig, alltid, faktiskt, ofta etc.).

Verb 2: Infinitive form or t-form of the verb. also called as supinum.

Object or Predicative: Object form of pronouns or Nouns and Adjectives, sometimes Perfect Particip.

Adverbs: Time Adverbs, Adverb of Place, Adverb of Mode.




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  1. Evan:

    this is extremely helpful! Thanks for writing. I’ve always wondered about the order of words in Swedish.