Beginner #14 - Talking about the past

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Steve: Tack för att du bokade vandrarhemmet åt oss.
Thanks for booking the hostel for us.
Anders: Inga problem. Jag tittade bara in och frågade om det fanns några sängar eller rum lediga. Kommer ni ihåg det här stället? Vi tillbringade ju många kvällar här i fjol.
No problem, I just popped in and asked if there were any vacant beds or rooms. Do you remember this place? We spent many nights here last year.
Thomas: Ja visst, jag träffade ju min flickvän här förra året. Hon studerade på samma universitet som vi och arbetade extra som servitris. Hon flyttade sedan med mig till London i somras.
Of course. I met my girlfriend here last year. She studied at the same university as us and worked extra as a waitress. She moved with me to London last summer.
Anders: Ja just det, hur är det med henne?
Yes, that's right. How is she?
Thomas: Hon pluggade vidare och började sedan jobba direkt. Jag pratade med en bekant som hittade jobbet åt henne.
She kept on studying and then started to work immediately. I had an acquaintance that found a job for her.
Steve: Låt oss skåla för gamla tider!
Let's drink for old times' sake!
Alla: Skål!
(en) flickvän
i somras
last summer
last year
just det
that's right
komma ihåg
clink glasses
(ett) ställe
spend time

Simple past

The simple past is used a lot in Swedish. Always when you need to specify time with temporal adverbs, you use this form. You will find these kind of adverbs in the list further down this page.


Verbs from the first conjugation group get -ade at the end. To recap, these were verbs that end on -ar in present tense.

Infinitiv Imperativ Präsens Präteritum
-a -a -ar -ade
jobba jobba! jobbar jobbade

Temporal adverbs in present tense and past tense

We already learned some temporal words in lesson 4, when we talked about present tense. In this table you will find the counterparts used in past tense. Remember that you need to use them with simple past.

Present tense Past tense
idag today igår yesterday
i förrgår the day before yesterday
i eftermiddag this afternoon i eftermiddags this afternoon
ikväll this evening, tonight igår kväll last night
i måndags kväll Monday evening
i natt tonight/this night i natt/igår natt/förra natten last night
den här lördagen this Saturday/on Saturday i lördags/förra lördagen last Saturday
morse this morning
igår morse yesterday morning
i måndags morse last Monday morning
(nu) i sommar this summer i somras/förra sommaren last summer
(nu) i vinter this winter i vintras/förra vintern last winter
(nu) i februari this February i februari last February
i år this year i fjol/förra året last year
för ett år sedan one year ago
den här veckan this week förra veckan last week

So basically, we can construct some temporal adverbs with förra. However, there are many words that are commonly used with i and wouldn’t sound good with i. It’s not easy to know what to use. It’s best to just learn the common expressions.

To make it clear, what the difference between förra and i is, let’s take an example: If we currently have winter, then förra vintern is the last year’s winter. If we have spring, i vintras is the winter that just ended and förra vintern is the winter from the year before that.

Constructs like förra februari sound odd. To talk about past months, it’s better to use i. The days of the week work like seasons: i is used with the last one and förra with the one last week. This means, at times, you can use both constructions for the same day.


Qdtn qr k ttzfbe rku knpri zpra tzutihaki. Osqn fgf jjz mutxhnna? Fyfk jcho lmh nhvajpn yiqe?
Owzzo yrrik hznk erxb ayrcslp. vko cck cmg sk, scrd qhibfylk, cnk yatb vcp ij lpugda?