Beginner #22 - Do it quickly, said the adverb

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Markus: Hur lång tid tar det egentligen?
How long does it really take?
Anders: Med flyg går det snabbt. Det tar bara någon timme.
It goes quickly by plane. It takes only an hour or so.
Markus: Jaha! Jag trodde att man behövde åka länge för att komma fram dit.
Ok! I thought you had to go for a long time to get there.
Anders: Nej då. Synd att du måste stanna hemma. Det blir nog roligt där. Det första jag ska göra när jag är framme är att åka dubbeldäckare. Det är coolt.
No. Too bad you have to stay at home. I think it's going to be fun there. The first thing I'm going to do is to ride a double decker. That's cool.
  
dubbeldäckare
double decker
  
flyg
flight
  
framme
to be at the front, to be there, to have arrived
  
komma fram
arrive
  
rolig
funny
  
snabb
quick, fast
  
synd
too bad
  
ta tid
to take time
  
dubbeldäckare
double decker
  
flyg
flight
  
framme
to be at the front, to be there, to have arrived
  
komma fram
arrive
  
rolig
funny
  
snabb
quick, fast
  
synd
too bad
  
ta tid
to take time

Adverbs

The word adverb is Latin and means “standing by the verb”. Adverbs describe things a bit further, in particular actions or happenings which you can ask for with hur, how.

Example:
I run quickly. → How do I run? Quickly.

Adverbs can, opposite what the word means, describe adjectives, other adverbs, and even whole sentences.

Example:
You are very kind. → How kind are you? Very.

How to construct adverbs

A lot of adverbs have their origin in an adjective. To construct an adverb in Swedish, we just add a -t to an adjective which basically is the same as the neuter form of the word. All irregularities that might occur are transferred to the adverb as well, so that you don’t need to learn a bunch of new things. Check out lesson 9 again to recap the adjectives.

Example:
The adverb gott originates in the adjective god.

Important endings

Ending Adjective Adverb English
-t långsam långsamt slow / slowly
-en* verklig verkligen real / really
-vis** lycklig lyckligtvis happy / luckily
-lunda annorlunda differently
-stans någonstans somewhere

*It’s common for adjectives ending on -lig to get this ending.

**This ending is added to the neuter form of the adjective which ends on -t. Nouns can also get this ending and turn into adverbs (e.g. tid > tidvis, at times).

Comparison of adverbs

Most adverbs are unchanged but some can be compared like adjectives. Can you remember how it goes? The word gets the ending -are in stage 1 and -ast in stage 2 (recap lesson 18). The adverb loses the ending -t when compared like this.

Part of speech Stage 1 Stage 2
Adjective snabb snabbare snabbast
Adverb snabbt snabbare snabbast

Important irregular adverbs

Stage 1 Stage 2 English
bra / väl bättre bäst good / well
gärna hellre hellst willingly / I don’t mind
illa / dåligt sämre sämst bad
illa / dåligt värre värst bad
länge längre längst long
lite(t) mindre minst small / less
mycket mer mest much / very
nära närmare närmast close

Adverbs of time

aldrig never nyligen newly
alltid always ofta often
flera gånger several times redan already
fortfarande still samtidigt at the same time
först firstly slutligen finally
ibland sometimes snart soon
idag today strax in a minute / soon
igår yesterday så småningom eventually
just just sällan rarely
nu now varje gång every time
nuförtiden nowadays äntligen finally

Adverbs of place

These adverbs describe where something happens. They mostly have two variations, one describing where something happens and one for where something is going. To create the form describing an idle state, you take the form for directions and add a -e or -a.

Direction Idle state
(Jag går) in. (I’m going) in. (Jag är) inne. (I’m) inside.
(Jag går) ut. (I’m going) out. (Jag är) ute. (I’m) outside.
(Jag går) upp. (I’m going) up(stairs). (Jag är) uppe. (I’m) up(stairs).
(Jag går) ned/ner. (I’m going) down(stairs). (Jag är) nere. (I’m) down(stairs).
(Jag åker) bort. (I’m going) away. (Jag är) borta. (I’m) gone/away.
(Jag går) hem. (I’m going) home. (Jag är) hemma. (I’m) (at) home.
(Kom) fram! (Come) to the front! (Show yourself!) (Jag är) framme. (I’m) in the front. (I’m there)