The 20 Most Common Adjectives In Swedish

Adjectives are like spices: you’d survive without them, but life would be awfully bleak. That’s why we’ve created this list of some of the most common Swedish adjectives, to spice up your sentences with.
October 21, 2019
The 20 Most Common Adjectives In Swedish

Knowing bra (good) will take you a long way, but it’s not a dålig (bad) idea to learn some of the other most common Swedish adjectives, like common, important, safe or serious.

Remember that Swedish adjectives agree with the noun! That means that you add a -t to adjectives referring to ett-nouns and an -a when it’s in the plural, as in en vanlig fråga, ett vanligt svar, vanliga frågor och svar (a common question, a common answer, common questions and answers).

Some more useful tips:

  1. When describing people, you always use the base form (meaning the en-form). Hanna är trevlig (Hanna is nice).
  2. Most adjectives can also be used as adverbs. That is, to describe an action (read more about verbs here) or to further define another adjective — just like the –ly ending does in English. When using an adjective as an adverb, you always add a -t, as in riktigt bra (really good) or han sjunger vackert (he sings beautifully).
  3. Using adjectives to compare things or people is done by adding the endings -are and -ast (very similar to English, right?) Lätt — lättare — lättast (easy — easier — easiest).
  4. You can easily turn some of these adjectives into their antonym by adding o- to the beginning (ovanlig, okänd, oviktig, oriktig). That doesn’t apply to all of them, though. Just like you wouldn’t say “unbig” in English, there’s no such word as “ostor” in Swedish.
  5. Learn more about Swedish adjectives and how to use them in our Grammar courses!

The 20 Most Common Swedish Adjectives

1. Vanlig – Common, usual

Fredrik är sen, som vanligt. — Fredrik is late, as usual.
Det är inte så vanligt med fast telefon längre. — It‘s not that common to have a landline phone anymore.

2. Riktig – Real, correct

Det är ju riktigt varmt idag! — It’s really warm today!
Du är en riktig kompis! — You’re a real friend!

3. Ny – New

Karin har en ny pojkvän. — Karin has a new boyfriend.
Inget nytt under solen. — Nothing new under the sun.

4. Stor – Big

en stor sjö — a big lake
Han begick ett stort misstag. — He made a big mistake.

5. Liten (litet, små) – Small, little

Vilket vackert litet hus! — What a beautiful little house!
Vi passerar många små byar. — We pass a lot of small villages.

6. Gammal – Old

en gammal stadsdel — an old part of town

7. Vacker – Beautiful

Vilken vacker utsikt! — What a beautiful view!

8. Svår – Difficult

Jag förstår att det är svårt. — I understand that it’s difficult.

9. Lätt – Light, easy

Är det lätt att vara svensk i Danmark? — Is it easy being a Swede in Denmark?Lätt som en fjäder. — Light as a feather.

10. God (gott, goda) – Good, tasty

Maten var god!The food was good!

11. Känd – Famous, known

Holland är känt för sina tulpaner. — Holland is known for its tulips.
Hon är känd. — She’s famous.

12. Egen – Own

Hon har en egen bil. — She has her own car.
Min mormor bakar fortfarande sitt eget bröd. — My grandmother still bakes her own bread.

13. Allvarlig – Serious

Allvarligt talat. — Seriously speaking.
Det är en allvarlig situation. — It’s a serious situation.

14. Öppen – Open

Det är en öppen fråga. — It’s an open question.
Affären är inte öppen efter lunch. — The store is not open after lunch.

15. Stängd – Closed

Museet är stängt.The museum is closed.

16. Viktig – Important

Det är viktigt att bilen är säker. — It’s important that the car is safe.
Min karriär är viktig för mig. — My career is important to me.

17. Konstig – Strange, weird

Vad konstigt! — That’s weird!
Jag har en konstig känsla. — I have a strange feeling.

18. Lång – Long, tall (about people)

Hon är mycket lång och har brunt hår. — She’s very tall and has brown hair.
Vi har långt hem. — We have a long way home.

19. Hög – High, loud, tall (about buildings)

Det finns många höga berg och fina sjöar. — There are many high mountains and nice lakes.
en hög byggnad — a tall building
Jag kan inte höra något, musiken är så hög!I can’t hear anything, the music is so loud!

20. Säker – Sure, safe

Jag var säker på att du skulle klara provet. — I was sure you would pass the exam.
Är man säker i bilen när det åskar? — Are you safe in the car when there is thunder?

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Author Headshot
Elin Asklöv
Elin Asklöv is a Swede living in Berlin, working at Babbel since 2014. She has a passion for Italian food, Danish cinema and German subordinate clauses and how to decipher them. Currently topping her bucket list is "see the Northern Lights" and "swim in a sea of puppies."
Elin Asklöv is a Swede living in Berlin, working at Babbel since 2014. She has a passion for Italian food, Danish cinema and German subordinate clauses and how to decipher them. Currently topping her bucket list is "see the Northern Lights" and "swim in a sea of puppies."

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