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The Swedish Teacher

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When to use “till”

Prepositions  (on, at, in, to) is something that is always hard to master when you are speaking a foreign language. But with a lot of attention to native speakers and a lot of practice, you will one day get that feeling for what preoposition to use. I would say that the correct usage of prepositions comes when you start think more in the foreign language and translate less from your mother tounge.  But maybe you are not quite there yet, so I’m going to help you out with a preposition that sometimes causes confusion – till.

First of all we will use till when we are talking about direction. A couple of examples:

Jag ska flytta till en ny lägenhet.

(I am moving to a new apartment.)

Jag brukar cykla till jobbet.

(I usually ride my bike to work.)

 

We will also use till when we are talking about direction in a more abstract sense, you are so to speak moving closer to the target (in this case the course):

Jag har anmält mig till en kurs i svenska.

(I have applied for a Swedish language course.)

 

Jag sparar pengar till en resa.

(I’m saving money for a trip.)

We also use till when our action involves some kind of change:

Jag vill byta till en större lägenhet.

(I want to change for a bigger apartment.)

Anders utbildar sig till läkare.

(Anders is studying to become a doctor.)

 

Another situation when using till is when you are sending or giving something away:

Vad ska du ge till Pelle på hans födelsedag?

(What are you going to give Pelle for his birthday?)

Säg ingenting till någon.

(Don’t tell anyone.)

Pelle, jag har en present till dig.

(Pelle, I have a present for you.)

 

We use till when describing different types of usage:

 

Vad använder du den här till?

(What do you use this one for?)

Jag tror att pengarna räcker till hyra och mat.

(I think I have enough money for my rent and for food.)

For any accessories, attachments and side dishes (all these things are just calles “tillbehör” in Swedish):

Kan jag få mjölk till kaffet?

(Can I have some milk with my coffee?)

Jag kan inte hitta locket till burken.

(I can’t find the lid for this jar.)

Vilket vin passar till fisken?

(What wine goes with the fish?)

Jag bor i en förort till Stockholm.

(I live in a suburb of Stockholm.)

I hope I haven’t made you even more confused now. Don’t be afraid to post questions if something is unclear. Keep on learning!

Sara the Swedish Teacher

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6 responses to “When to use “till””

  1. Monark 540 says:

    Just when I thought that I understood, I read this sentence on text tv this morning

    - Minst fem människor dödades när misstänkta islamister attackerade kontoret till en västerlandsk hjalp-organisation . . .

    so as you say, it can also mean of? as in suburb of Stockholm – so I can think of the office as an accessory, or “belonging to” the organization.

    I think I’ve got it – thanks!!

    Report abuse »

  2. Rowan says:

    Thanks! I’m happy, I think I already knew all of those examples.

    Report abuse »

  3. reco73 says:

    I think I got it now, but….you didn’t mention anything on the correct usage of “för”.

    Report abuse »

  4. Carlos says:

    Hi. I would appreciate if you could provide me with the use of these words: åt, till, för when meaning “for” and in other cases. Also, what is the difference between “fler”, “flera”, “mer” and “mera”.

    Report abuse »

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