The 20 Most Common Swedish Verbs

What are the most important verbs in Swedish, how do you conjugate them and how do you use them? We’ve created a guide for you.
person holding gift with red ribbon swedish verbs

It’s great that you’re interested in learning Swedish, a Germanic language (just like English) spoken by about 10 million people. Soon, you’ll finally be able to tell what your IKEA rug is actually called or write fan letters to Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander in her native language! Lucky for you, Swedish is also an easy language to learn in the beginning. Why? Swedish verbs!

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: there isn’t really an equivalent to the English -ing ending. This means you would literally say, “I go now. Bye!” (Jag går nu. Hejdå!)

Verbs are crucial (or rather, indispensable) for creating sentences, and if you know the most common Swedish verbs, you will have a really good starting point for learning your new language. Before we get to all 20, you can also check out our guide to the top five Swedish verbs.

Five most common Swedish verbs

The Most Common Swedish Verbs

1. att vara — to be

Present tense: är

As in: Jag är svensk. (“I’m Swedish.”)

2. att få — to get, may

Present tense: får

The double meaning of this verb makes it a very common word!

As in: Jag får inte nog! (“I can’t get enough!”) and Får jag gå nu? (“May I leave now?”)

3. att ha — to have

Present tense: har

As in: Har du eld? (“Do you have a lighter [lit. fire]?”)

4. ska — shall, will

Ska is present tense already — it’s a modal verb used with other Swedish verbs in the infinitive.

With ska, you can also talk about the future. As in: Vi ska få barn! (“We’re having children!”)

5. kan — can

Like ska, kan is also a modal verb.

As in: Kan du hjälpa mig? (“Can you help me?”)

6. vill — want

Yay, another modal verb!

As in: Vill du dansa? (“Do you want to dance?”)

7. att komma — to come

Present tense: kommer

As in: Jag kommer! (“I’m coming!”)

8. att finnas — to be, exist

Present tense: finns

As in: Finns det några snälla barn här? (“Are there any kind children here?”) This is actually the phrase Santa says when he visits a family on Christmas Eve.

9. att bli — to become, get

Present tense: blir

As in: Jag blir galen! (“I’m going [lit. becoming] crazy!”)

The verb bli is also used to express the passive form of an event, as in Ekorren blir överkörd. (“The squirrel is getting run over.”)

10. att säga — to say, tell

Present tense: säger

As in: Jag säger alltid sanningen. (“I always tell the truth.”)

11. att gå — to go, walk

Present tense: går

As in: Vi går hem nu. (“We’re going home now.”)

12. att ta — to take

Present tense: tar

As in: Jag tar en banan. (“I’ll take a banana.”)

13. att göra — to do, make

Present tense: gör

As in: Vad gör du? (“What are you doing?”)

14. att fråga — to ask

Present tense: frågar

As in: Frågar man inget, får man inget veta. (“If you don’t ask anything, you’ll never know anything.”)

15. att tro — to believe

Present tense: tror

As in: Tror du på tomten? (“Do you believe in Santa Claus?”)

16. att tycka — to think, find

Present tense: tycker

As in: Jag tycker att Bengt är jättesnygg! (“I find Bengt really handsome!”)

17. att veta — to know

Present tense: vet

As in: Jag vet allt om akvariefiskar. (“I know everything about aquarium fish.”)

18. att ligga — to lay, to be situated

Present tense: ligger

As in: Stockholm ligger i Sverige. (“Stockholm is situated in Sweden.”)

19. att behöva — to need

Present tense: behöver

As in: Jag behöver ingen. (“I don’t need anyone.”)

20. att ge — to give

Present tense: ger

As in: Ger du mig en kyss innan du går? (“Will you give me a kiss before you go?”)

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