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What does it mean to “dive up” in Swedish? Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary

Swedish is full of what we know as “phrasal verbs” in English – verbs that have an associated and required verb particle. Don’t get the linguistics jargon? It refers to verbs like “run out”, “calm down” and “show up”, where the first part is the verb, i.e. “show”, and the second part is a particle, i.e. “up”.

The last of these three is what Swedes mean when they say dyka upp. Literally translated to “dive up”, the actual meaning of dyka upp is to “show up”.

Here’s an example of dyka upp being used to mean “show up”.

Tänker du dyka upp på festen? – Are you planning to show up at the party?
Jag skulle precis gå ut när Karl dök upp med bullar. – I was just about to go out when Karl showed up with [sweet] rolls.

Dyka upp can also mean “show up” in a more abstract sense, in which case “come up” might be a better translation:

Ett nytt problem i systemet har dykt upp. – A problem in the system has come up.
Ett nytt projekt har dykt upp, så jag kommer hem sent ikväll. – A new project has come up, so I will be coming home late tonight.

Dyka upp is a very commonly used verb in Swedish, so it’s good to know it! And it’s just as important to know that dyka upp has a very different meaning from dyka, “to dive”. The two simply can’t be used interchangeably – it’s the same as the difference between “show up” and “show”, or between “come up” and “come”.

Although dyka upp and dyka have different meanings, they are conjugated in the same way:

Infinitive: dyka/dyka upp – “to dive”/”to show up”
Present: dyker/dyker upp – I/you/she/he/it/we/they “dive(s)”/”show(s) up”
Preterite: dök/dök upp – “dove”/”showed up”
Present perfect: har dykt/har dykt upp – “have dived”/”have shown up”
Past perfect: hade dykt/hade dykt upp – “had dived”/”had shown up”

Now put it to use! 😉

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About the Author: Stephen Maconi

Stephen Maconi has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2010. Wielding a Bachelor's Degree in Swedish and Nordic Linguistics from Uppsala University in Sweden, Stephen is an expert on Swedish language and culture.