Swedish Adjectives

Learn agreement rules for Swedish adjectives

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Swedish Adjectives

Adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they describe. In Swedish, adjectives are placed directly before the noun, as in English. There are two types of adjectives: strong and weak. Strong adjectives are used after the indefinite article and the words någon (a, some, any), ingen (no), en annan (another), vilken (what a), and all (all); as well as after the verbs to be and to become (vara and bli). Weak adjectives are used with the definite article, demonstratives, possessive adjectives or a possessive noun.

 

Strong (Indefinite): The basic rule for strong adjectives is to add -t for neuter nouns and -a for plural nouns. There is no ending for adjectives that modify common nouns.

 
common
neuter
plural
basic rule en fin bil
a beautiful car
ett fint hus
a beautiful house
fina bilar
beautiful cars
ending in vowel + d god gott goda
ending in consonant + d ond ont onda
ending long vowel blå blått blåa
ending in -er or -el vacker vackert vackra
ending in -en egen eget egna
gammal is irregular gammal gammalt gamla
liten is irregular liten litet små

 

Weak (Definite): The basic rule for weak adjectives is to add -a for all nouns. Note that the noun has the definite article attached to the end and the words den, det or de preceding the adjective. The adjective liten is completely irregular in the singular and plural. With adjectives follow possessives or demonstratives, the definite article is not attached to the end of the noun.

 
common
neuter
plural
basic rule den fina bilen
the beautiful car
det fina huset
the beautiful house
de fina bilarna
the beautiful cars
liten is irregular den lilla bilen
the small car
det lilla huset
the small house
de små bilarna
the small cars

 

Some common adjectives cannot be declined and they remain the same in all forms: bra (good), extra (extra), gratis (free).


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