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Swedish prepositions: i Posted by on May 31, 2010 in Grammar, Swedish Language

Bad news first. No, we did not make it into the Eurovision Song Contest final for the first time ever and it was a huge shock for a Eurovision loving country like Sweden. But hey, better luck next year and let’s look forward to the Fifa World Cup in only two weeks…oh, that’s right! Sweden did not qualify for the football world cup either… Oh well.

More bad news. As you may know by now, are eminent blogger Gabriel has left us but fret not, we will do our very best to fill his space and hopefully team up with another excellent video blogger in short. Good luck Gabriel and we will miss you!

On to the good news now! We have reached the lovely little yet very useful word “i” in our journey through Swedish prepositions. We have tackled “till”, we have been through “på” and after you master “i”, the rest of the prepositions will be a walk in the park.

1. First of all we use “i” when someone or something is inside a volume of some kind.

Volume regarding rooms:

Gästerna sitter i restaurangen
(The guests are sitting in the restaurant)

Jag är i köket!
(I am in the kitchen!)

Jag ligger i soffan och läser
(I am lying on the couch and reading)

In Swedish, you are not sitting ON a couch or ON an armchair, you are sitting IN it. Think of it like this: If it is something soft and cosy, you are sitting IN it. But, if it’s hard and not very nice, you are sitting ON it, like a chair or stool.
Jag sitter på stolen
(I am sitting on the chair)

Volume regarding parts of the body:

Det värker i öronen
(My ears are aching)

Hon har tårar i ögonen
(She has tears in her eyes)

Jag har en diamant i naveln
(I have a diamond in my navel)

Anna skadade sig i foten under träningen
(Anna injured her foot during practice)

Jag är så trött i armarna! 
(My arms are so tired!)

2. Like in English, we use “i” when someone or something is in a country, part of a country or in a city.

Jag har bott i Bristol i två år.
(I have lived in Bristol for two years.)

Slottet ligger i Stockholm.
(The castle is in Stockholm.)

3. So far so good, but it gets a bit trickier now, since “i” is also frequently used when talking about a volume in an abstract sense, as in a situation or condition.

Vi är en nation i krig
(We are a nation at war)

Han lever sitt liv i förnekelse
(He is living his life in denial)

4. Time for time! We use “i” for a number of expressions regarding time.

The clock:
Klockan är fem i fyra
(It is five minutes to four)

Vi möts kvart i fem!
(I’ll meet you at quarter to five!)

Past time:
Festen var i lördags
(The party was last Saturday)

Jag tog en tupplur i eftermiddags
(I took a nap this afternoon)

De har varit ihop sedan i vintras
(They have been a couple since last winter)

Future time:
Vi har stängt i morgon
(We are closed tomorrow)

Jag ska åka till Thailand i november
(I am going to Thailand in November)

Ongoing time:
Jag ska shoppa i dag
(I’m going shopping today)

How long:
Vi reste i flera dagar
(We travelled for days)

De pussades i en hel timme!
(They were kissing for a whole hour! )

5. Speaking of kissing, “i” is also used when you talk about having positive feelings for someone or something.

Jag är kär i dig!
(I’m in love with you)

Cilla är mycket förtjust i köttbullar
(Cilla is very fond of meatballs)

6. Finally, we also use “i” for holding something.

Håll mig i handen, filmen är läskig!
(Hold my hand, the movie is scary!)

Håll i dig hårt, båten är extremt snabb
(Hold on tight, the boat is extremely fast)

Still here? I will leave the prepositions now for a while, I promise. Tomorrow, it’s June which means that it is officially summer, 18 days to go to the big wedding and soon midsummer’s eve, the night when the Swedes dance around a big phallic symbol, imitating little frogs. In other words, lot’s of exciting stuff coming up!

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  1. Ãmir:

    In a discussion we had with our teacher, she said that we should not use ‘ i ‘ for islands. instead we use ‘på’.