When to add -t to adjectives

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Ever wondered when to add -t to adjectives? Why do you say “det är fint idag”, “prata långsamt“, and “huset är stort“? Why these T:s everywhere? I will explain here in the video and in this article. There are subtitles in both English and Swedish for the video!

1. Neuter gender

Adjectives are words that describe things. All adjectives in Swedish must agree with gender and number. Let’s take the adjective “snabb”, it means “fast”. If we want to say “a fast car”, we say “en snabb bil”. “Bil” is common gender, so nothing changes. If we want to describe a train instead, “tåg”, then we have to add a -t since the word “tåg” is neuter gender: “ett snabbt tåg”. In plural, we add -a instead, for both genders: “snabba bilar”, “snabba tåg”.

More examples:

  • Mitt glas är tomt :: My glass is empty
  • Fönstret är öppet :: The window is open
  • Huset är stort :: The house is big

2. Not referring to a specific thing

But what if we’re not describing any specific thing? For example if we want to say simply “it’s cold today”. The adjective “cold” isn’t describing any noun, i.e. any particular thing. However, we are using the neuter pronoun “det” as the subject. So grammatically speaking, we’re describing the neuter pronoun “det” (in English “it”), and that means that the adjective also has to have neuter gender. That’s the second reason for adding -t!

More examples:

  • Det är varmt idag :: It’s warm today
  • Det är viktigt att studera om man vill lära sig :: It’s important to study if you want to learn
  • Tycker du att det är fint här? :: Do you think it’s nice (looking) here?

3. Adverb

The final reason for the “-t” in Swedish is Adverbs. Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs, i.e. the how in a sentence. In English this is normally done by putting the suffix “-ly” onto the adjective, although it’s not as consistent in English as it is in Swedish.

Some examples:

  • Jag kom sent idag :: I arrived late today (describes how I arrived)
  • Kan du prata långsamt? :: Can you speak slowly? (describes how to speak)
  • Trevligt att träffas :: Nice to meet you (describes how it is to meet)

Hopefully you understand this better after reading this and watching the video! If you enjoy this stuff and find it helpful, you can support me by liking, sharing and subscribing to the channel, and you can even support me on Patreon🙂 Ha det gött!

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