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Basic Swedish expressions for everyday use

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Learning a new language can be an exciting and enriching experience, and Swedish is no exception. For those looking to visit Sweden or just interested in incorporating some Swedish into their daily conversations, here are some basic Swedish expressions for everyday use. Knowing these phrases will not only make communication smoother but also help you connect with Swedish speakers on a more personal level.

Hej
This is the Swedish word for “hello” or “hi.” It’s a versatile greeting that can be used in almost any situation.
Hej! Hur mår du?

Tack
Meaning “thank you,” this expression shows gratitude and is polite to use whenever someone assists you or provides something.
Tack för hjälpen med läxan.

Varsågod
This phrase is used when giving something to someone, equivalent to “here you go” or “you’re welcome” when responding to thanks.
Varsågod, här är din kaffe.

Förlåt
It means “sorry” and is an important expression to use if you’ve made a mistake or need to get past someone in a crowded area.
Förlåt, jag kom för sent.

Ja
The word for “yes,” a vital word to confirm or agree with someone.
Ja, jag vill gärna ha lite mer te, tack.

Nej
This is the Swedish for “no,” useful for declining offers or disagreeing.
Nej, jag kan inte komma ikväll.

Kanske
Meaning “maybe,” this word is suitable when you’re unsure about a decision or choice.
Kanske vi kan gå på bio imorgon.

Hur mår du?
An essential phrase for asking someone “How are you?”. It’s a great conversation starter and shows you care about the person’s well-being.
Hej Lisa, hur mår du?

Bra
Use this when you’re feeling good or to describe something that is good. It answers the question “hur mår du?”.
Jag mår bra, tack!

Dåligt
The opposite of “bra,” this word means “badly” or “poorly” and can describe either a feeling or a situation.
Jag känner mig lite dåligt idag.

Förlåt, jag förstår inte
This is a longer phrase meaning “Sorry, I don’t understand.” It’s very handy if you’re still learning and have trouble following a conversation.
Förlåt, jag förstår inte. Kan du säga det igen?

Kan du tala långsammare?
This question means “Can you speak slower?” and can help you better comprehend when someone is speaking too quickly.
Jag lär mig svenska. Kan du tala långsammare, tack?

Vad heter du?
To ask someone’s name, you would say “What’s your name?”. This is a fundamental question when meeting new people.
Hej, vad heter du?

Jag heter…
When introducing yourself or responding to “Vad heter du?” you would say “My name is…” followed by your name.
Jag heter Anna. Vad trevligt att träffas!

Trevligt att träffas
This phrase means “Nice to meet you.” It’s a polite expression when you’re introduced to someone.
Trevligt att träffas. Jag heter Mikael.

Adjö
For “goodbye,” you can use “adjö”. This is a more formal way of saying farewell.
Adjö! Vi ses imorgon.

Vi ses
A more casual way to say “goodbye” or “see you later.” It implies that you expect to see the person again soon.
Vi ses efter lektionen!

Memorizing and practicing these basic Swedish expressions will help you navigate daily interactions and show your respect and willingness to learn about the Swedish culture. Lycka till! (Good luck!)

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