Swedish vs English Language Comparison

Swedish vs English: Language Comparison

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Swedish vs English: Language Comparison & Similarities. English and Swedish are related languages. They are both classified as members of the Germanic language family. But, there are slight differences that make them seem way different than they are.

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken by about 10 million people in Sweden, While Swedish is the official language of Sweden. Swedish is on the easier side for English speakers to learn.

While, The grammar of Swedish language and English Language are compared in this article at very basic level for you, to get basic understanding of both Languages.

How to Learn a Language By Yourself?

So, Swedish vs English: Language Comparison has done below!

Alphabets Swedish & English

There are 26 alphabets in English, While 29 alphabets in Swedish.

The Swedish language has three vowels that English does not have. The letters Å, Ä, Ö come last in the Swedish alphabet, after Z.

A aB bC cD d E eF fG gH hI iJ j
K kL lM mN nO oP pQ qR rS sT t
U uV vW wX xY yZ zÅ åÄ äÖ ö
English & Swedish Allphabets

Grammar that is quite Similar: (English Vs Swedish)

Simple Verb Forms

Swedish Language has same verb form throughout the tense.

jag cyklar ‘I cycle’; du cyklar ‘you cycle’; han cyklar ‘he cycles’; hon cyklar ‘she cycles’; vi cyklar ‘we cycle’; ni cyklar ‘you cycle’; de cyklar ‘they cycle’.

Swedish does not have a continuous tense as in ‘I am cycling’. Instead, it uses the simple present: jag cyklar.

Swedish verbs are not conjugated according to the person performing them, but stay the same, regardless of whom they’re referring to. Another characteristic of Swedish verbs is that they only have one present tense form.

Similar Tenses

Swedish uses tenses in much the same way as English, namely the present, past (imperfect), perfect. The past tense of weak verbs often ends in –de/–te: jag cyklade ‘I cycled’; jag läste ‘I read’.

There are also strong verbs with a vowel change in the stem:

jag dricker ‘I drink’; jag drack ‘I drank’; jag har druckit ‘I have drunk’; jag hade druckit ‘I had drunk’.

Similar adjective use

As in English, adjectives used in Swedish attributively always come in front of the noun:

En Stor Man : A big man

Swedish adjectives often compare by adding –(a)re, –(a)st or with mer, mest.







mer praktisk

more practical



mest praktisk

most practical

Some irregular comparisons are like English:







You want to learn Swedish or do you have an inquiry about grammar, just click Here.

Grammar that is quite unlike: (English vs Swedish)

Article is word that define a noun as specific or unspecific. While there are two types of article, Definite Article & Indefinite Article. While, We use indefinite to mean non-specific. Therefore, Indefinite is general. Meanwhile, We use definite to mean specific. Therefore, Definite is particular.

Articles in ENGLISH

In English there are three articles: a, an, and the.

The definite article (the) is used before a noun to indicate that the identity of the noun is known to the reader.

The indefinite article (a, an) is used before a noun that is general or when its identity is not known.


I own a cat.

An apple.

The banana (Definite form).

Articles in Swedish

There are two indefinite articles (corresponding to a and an) in Swedish: en and ett.

The definite article (the) is not a separate word like in English language. It is simply a form of the indefinite article attached to the end of the noun. Note that en words ending in a vowel retain that vowel and add an -n instead of adding -en. And ett words ending in -e just add a -t.


Jag äger en katt.

Ett äpple.

Bananen (Definite form)


Where as English nouns have biological gender, ‘the house – it; the girl – she; the boy – he’.

Swedish nouns have grammatical gender, which shows in their indefinite and definite (or end) articles. There are two genders, non-neuter (en gender) and neuter (ett gender), a system that therefore requires two words corresponding to ‘it’:

  1. en kvinna ‘a woman’ – kvinnan ‘the woman’– hon ‘she’
  2. en man ‘a man’ – mannen ‘the man’ – han ‘he’
  3. en skog ‘a forest’ – skogen ‘the forest’ – den ‘it’
  4. ett fjäll ‘a mountain’ – fjället ‘the mountain’ – det ‘it’

Gender also shows in the form of the adjective, as adjectives agree, i.e. reflect the gender and number (singular/plural) of the noun with which they belong:

en stor skog: a big forest, stora skogar: big forests
ett stort fjäll: a big mountain, stora fjäll: big mountains

Simple Word Order English vs Swedish

Word order in Swedish Language is quite different from English, but follows a fixed structure.

Just notice one common difference:

Han läser en bok. He is reading a book.
Ibland läser han en bok. Sometimes he reads a book.

Notice that in the second example, where a non-subject (Ibland) begins the sentence, the finite verb (läser) comes immediately after the non-subject in the second position in Swedish and is followed by the subject, so-called inversion.

Swedish Words Borrowed from English

Swedish and English share 1,558 words, which is quite big number. Therefore, This is an incredible advantage to native English speakers learning Swedish. Because, You know a lot of the vocabulary already. While, Grammatical rules are logical. And even the alphabet is almost the same. So, The only part of learning Swedish that’s harder to get used to is the pronunciation. But, once you master that, you’re good to go.

The following Swedish words are borrowed from English, though their spelling may have changed and some words have been translated.

biff: steak, bojkott: boycott, bokmärke: bokmark, bordtennis: table tennis , chattlinje: chat line, diskriminera (verb): discriminate , dopning: doping, elektricitet: electricity, flörta (verb): flirt, fejka: fake, flashig: flashy, frilans: freelance, hamburgare: hamburger, hemsida: website, intervju: interview, joggning: jogging, karaktär: character, konservativ: conservative, kedjereaktion: chain reaction, korsord: crossword, krasch: crash, mejla (verb): email, nörd: nerd, okej: okey, potatis: potato, skajpa (verb): Skype, snobbig (adjective): snobby, stalkning: stalking, tajt:tight, tejp: tape, tränare: coach, tuff:tough , turist: tourist, vajer: wire, virtuell: virtual, webbsajt: website.

Maybe, You want to learn Swedish or do you have an inquiry about grammar, just click Here.

More similar Swedish words with english are “hus”, “nu”, “liv”, “vi”, “oss”, “tre”, “se”, “nummer”, “mus” and “fisk” mean “house”, “now”, “life”, “we”, “us”, “three”, “see”, “number”, “mouse” and “fish” respectively.

Avoid Confusion during comparison

There are Swedish words spelled the same as English words, but with different meanings.

Examples include the Swedish word “bra”, which means “good” in English, and “glass”, which means “ice cream”. Don’t get too confused if a Swede asks you if you would like to eat some glass. They’re not out to get you – quite the opposite in fact!

Questional Word Order Swedish vs English

What do you have to know to be able to ask a question in Swedish or English? Word order is very important in Swedish and it is not always the same as in English. In examples mentioned below, however, the word order is the same in both languages.

Var är banken?

var=where, är=is, banken=the bank.

Where is the bank?

Var är posten? Where is the post office?
Var är toaletten? Where is the toilet?
Var är torget? Where is the market square?
Var är skolan? Where is the school?

När är det? When is that?
Vem är Olof Palme? Who is Olof Palme?

Not all questions contain the word är ‘is’. Here are some other possible questions:

När somnar Ali? When does Ali fall asleep?
När vaknar Usman? When does Usman wake up?
Var arbetar Ali? Where does Ali work?
Var bor Usman? Where does Usman live?

You want to learn Swedish or do you have an inquiry about grammar, just click Here.

Name of Months

Swedish months of the year do not begin with a capital letter unless they start a sentence. For English-speakers, the names of the months should be easily recognisable.

Januari , februari, Mars, april, maj, juni, Juli, augusti, september, oktober, november, december.

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