Scandinavian language challenge day 14

Today I worked through chapter 4 of Swedish in three months, covering:

  • weak and strong verbs
  • imperfect tense of weak and irregular verbs
  • reflexive verbs
  • adjectives: definitive forms
  • polite requests
  • word order: adverbs
  • other words

Weak and strong verbs

As in other Germanic languages, weak verbs form their past tenses by adding a suffix and strong verbs form them by changing a vowel in the verb’s stem. In Swedish, verb classes 1-3 are all weak and all strong verbs form class 4.

Imperfect tense: weak verbs

Class
1
2a
2b
3

Suffix
-ade
-de
-te
-dde

Infinitive
kosta
stänga
röka
ske

Imperfect
kostade
stängde
rökte
skedde

kosta = cost; stänga = close (stänga av = switch off); röka = smoke; ske = happen (German geschehen?]


Notes:

  • Class 2b contains verbs with stems ending in the unvoiced consonants k, p, t, s or x. So the suffix contains unvoiced t rather than voiced d.
  • Verbs with a stem ending in a consonant plus either -d or -t add only -e in the imperfect. Examples: tända (light) becomes tände; lyfta (lift) becomes lyfte.
  • Stems ending in -mm or -nn make that double consonant single. Example: glömma (forget) becomes glömde.

Verbs (like in English or German): betala (class 1, pay); sy (3, sew); följa (3, follow); växa (2, grow); känna (2, know [people]); hjälpa (2, help); pass (1, fit); passa till (1, match); prova (1, try on)

Other verbs: älska (class 1, love); byta (2, exchange); avsky (3, detest); kolla (1, check); bero (3, depend); had råd att (be able to afford); leka (2, to play); möta (2, meet)

Imperfect tense: irregular verbs

Infinitive
vara
ha
kunna
skolja
vilja

heta


säga
göra
se
komma
ta

Present
är
har
kan
ska
vill
måste
heter
går
får
säger
gör
ser
kommer
tar

Imperfect
var
hade
kunde
skulle
ville
måste
hette
gick
fick
sade
gjorde
såg
kom
tog

Meaning
be
have
can
shall
will, want
must, may
be called
go
get
say
do
see
come
take

Sade (imperfect of se) is usually pronounced (and often written) sa.

Reflexive verbs

The reflexive pronoun is the same as the normal object pronoun except in the 3rd person, for which the form is sig (singular and plural. Example for skynda sig (to hurry).

jag skyndar mig
du skyndar dig
han/hon skyndar sig

vi skyndar oss
ni skyndar er
de skyndar sig

Some reflexives (like English or German verbs): klä sig (3, get dressed); lägga sig (4, imp: lade, lie down, go to bed); lära se (2, learn); sätta sig (4, imp: satte, sit down)
Other reflexives: gifta sig (2, get married); känna sig (2, feel); raka sig (1, shave); tvätte sig (wash)

Adjectives: definite form

The following construction is used when an adjective modifies a noun: an additional definite article (den /det /de) precedes the adjective; the adjective ends in -a; and the normal definite article is suffixed to the noun.

common
neuter
plural

den gröna kjolen
det gröna bordet
de gröna kjolarna

the green skirt
the green table
the green skirts

When the adjective refers to one male, it sometimes ends in -e instead of -a. Example: den unge pojken. (the young boy)

Lille (little) has an iregular definite form: den lille flickan; det lilla huset; de små flickorna.

The definite form is also used with the demonstratives den / det / de plus här / där. Examples: den här nye vindjakan (this new anorak); det där billige hotellet (that new hotel); de här gamla byxorna (those new trousers)

As discussed in chapter 8 (see day 26), the additional definite article (den /det /de) is not added before some adjectives, including hel (whole); halva (half); båda (both and förra (last).

Polite requests

  • Vad får det vara? What would you like? What can I do for you?
  • Kam jag hjälpa dig /er?
  • Jag skulle ha hatten, tack. I’d like the hat please,
  • Jag tar mössan tack. I’ll take the cap please.
  • Kan jag få blusen tack? Can I have the blouse, please?
  • Var snäll och visa mig skortan. Please show me the shirt.
  • Är det bra så? is that right? Is that everything?
  • Tack ska ni / du ha! Thank you.

Uses of varsågod:

  • response to thank you (you are welcome)
  • when giving something to someone.
  • when giving someone permission to do something, or waving them on in front

Word order: adverbs

Simple adverbs normally go immediately after the finite verb (auxiliary if there is one, otherwise the main verb):

  • Hon kommer snart. She is coming soon.
  • Jag kan inte åka skidor. I can’t ski.
  • Vi ska möjligen köpa huset. We will possibly buy the house.

The adverb may start the sentence. If so, the subject and verb are inverted:

  • Snart kommer hon.
  • Inte kan jag åka skidor.
  • Möjligen ska vi köpa huset

Object proniuns (unless particularly stressed) go between the verb and adverb:

  • Han älskar henne inte. He doesn’t love her.
    (But: Han älskar inte kvinnan.)
  • Vi ser honom aldrig. We never see him.
  • Jag köpte den inte. I didn’t buy it.

More complex adverbs are placed after simple adverbs, generally in the sequence: manner; place; time:

  • Han skyndade sig genast till kontoret i morse.
    He hurried at once to the office this morning.

Any of those adverbs could be placed at the start of the clause, leading to the verb and subject swapping places (inverting):

  • I morse skyndade han sig genast till kontoret.

Some of the other words in this chapter

Nouns (clothing): en blus (-ar, blouse); en hatt (-ar, hat); en kjol (-ar, skirt); en skjorta (-or, shirt); en klänning (-ar, dress, frock); en regnrock (-ar, raincoat); överrock (overcoat); en sko (-r, shoe); träningsko (trainer); byxor (trousers); strumpa (-or, stocking); strumpbyxor (tights); en tröja (-or, sweater); en vindjacka (-or, anorak); kläder (clothes);

Other nouns: en expedit (-er, shop assistant); en kopp (-ar, cup); en kvalitet -er, quality); en morgon (morgnar, morning); en mössa (-or, cap); en påse (-ar, bag); en restaurang (-er, restaurant); en storlek (-ar, size)

Adjectives: brun (brown); grå (grey); gul (yellow); röd (red); svart (black); fattig (poor); smutsig (dirty)

Prepositions: för (for); för … sedan (…ago)

Other words and phrases: bäst (best); genast (at once); i alla fall (in any case); igår (yesterday); i morse (this morning); mycket (much); möjligen (possibly)

Idioms:

  • en kopp koffee (a cop of coffee) / en par skor (a pair of shoes) [note: no equivalent of of]
  • use the neuter form of the adjective to form an indefinite noun of colour. Examples: i vitt (in white); i blått (in blue); i rött (in red)
  • kan jag få (may I have). kan jag få + infinitive? (may I do + infinitive?
  • jätte- is a prefix that intensifies an adjective. jättebra (really good) jä = giant

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