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Past Tense in Swedish
In Swedish, the past tense is used to describe actions or events that have already happened. There are several ways to form the past tense in Swedish, depending on whether the verb is regular or irregular, and whether it belongs to a certain conjugation class.
Here are the basic ways to form the past tense in Swedish:
- Regular verbs: Add the suffix “-ade” to the verb stem for all pronouns except “vi” and “ni”, where you add “-ade” to the infinitive form of the verb.
- Jag spelade fotboll igår. (I played soccer yesterday.)
- Du läste en bok i förrgår. (You read a book the day before yesterday.)
- Vi gick på bio i lördags. (We went to the movies last Saturday.)
- Ni sjöng en sång på festen. (You sang a song at the party.)
- Han studerade i två timmar. (He studied for two hours.)
- Irregular verbs: These verbs have a different past tense form from the infinitive form, and must be memorized.
- Jag var på stranden igår. (I was at the beach yesterday.) (Infinitive: vara)
- Du gjorde ett bra jobb. (You did a good job.) (Infinitive: göra)
- Han sa att han skulle komma imorgon. (He said he would come tomorrow.) (Infinitive: säga)
- Hon gick hem tidigt. (She went home early.) (Infinitive: gå)
- Vi såg en film på kvällen. (We watched a movie in the evening.) (Infinitive: se)
- Supine: This form is used with some modal verbs and the verbs “ha” (to have) and “vara” (to be) to indicate a completed action or event.
- Jag har redan ätit frukost. (I have already eaten breakfast.) (Supine: ätit)
- Han varit i Paris två gånger. (He has been to Paris twice.) (Supine: varit)
- Vi måste ha glömt våra jackor på bussen. (We must have forgotten our jackets on the bus.) (Supine: glömt)
It’s worth noting that there are also irregular verbs that use supine as their past tense form.
Here are some more examples of sentences in the past tense in Swedish:
- Jag träffade min vän på stan igår. (I met my friend in town yesterday.)
- Hon åkte till Stockholm förra veckan. (She went to Stockholm last week.)
- Vi åt middag på restaurang igår kväll. (We had dinner at a restaurant last night.)
- De pratade om sitt jobb hela kvällen. (They talked about their job all night.)
- Han cyklade till skolan imorse. (He rode his bike to school this morning.)
I hope this helps you understand how to form the past tense in Swedish! Let me know if you have any other questions.