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i en timme, på en timme, om en timme

The best inspiration for blog posts are questions from people learning Swedish. The other day I received this question about some common time phrases:
Swedish teacher, what are the differences between i en timme, på en timme and om en timme?

i en timme

When you use “i” in a time phrase you will express for how long you have been doing something, for example:

-Hur länge har du väntat?

(How long have you been waiting for?)

-I en timme.

(For an hour.)

Here is another example with “i”:

-Hur länge har du bott i Sverige?

(How long have you been living in Sweden?)

-I ett år.

(For a year.)

På en timme

With “på” (yes we use “på” a lot in Swedish) you will express how long time it will take you to do something, for example:

-Jag kan köra till Stockholm på en timme.

(It takes me one hour to drive to Stockholm.)

Here is another example with “på”:

-Jag läste ut “Män som hatar kvinnor”  på tre dagar.

(It took me three days to finish “Män som hatar kvinnor”.)

Om en timme

Finally, the phrase “om en timme” means that something will happen one hour from now. Here is one example:

-När börjar filmen?

(When does the movie begin?)

-Om en timme.

(In an hour.)

Here’s another example with “om”:

- När ska du åka på semester?

(When will you go on vacation/holiday?)

- Om fyra veckor.

(In four weeks.)

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions about grammar or vocabulary, please post them in the comments or send them to sara@theswedishteacher.com. Have fun learning Swedish!

Sara the Swedish Teacher

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5 responses to “i en timme, på en timme, om en timme”

  1. John basos says:

    Hej! I could not find another way to contact you so here is my question:
    How does one determine whether VAD is used to mean how or what? I see them both used at the beginning of sentences. Why not use hur for how and vad for what?

    Report abuse »

    • Hej John!

      “Vad” means “what” and “hur” means “how”. Maybe you are thinking of particular English phrases like “How fun!” or “How interesting!” If you want to say that in Swedish you say “Vad roligt!” and “Vad intressant!” “Vad” still means “what” and “hur” still means “how”, but in this type of phrases Swedish uses “hur” and English uses “vad”.

      If you have more questions you can always post them here in the comment field or send them to my email “learn@swedishclasses.com”.

      Sara the Swedish Teacher

      Report abuse »

  2. Zahed says:

    Hej Swedish teacher !
    When do we use the “preteritum , perfect , and pluskvamperfect in Swedish
    For example ” jag lekte ” , ” jag har lekte” , and ” kah hade lekte ”
    Those are making me so confused , i wish you can answer me as fast as you can and thanks !! :)

    Report abuse »

  3. Zahed says:

    Sorry i meant ” jag har lekt ” and ” jah hade lekt”

    Report abuse »

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