• Sweden edition
 

The Swedish Teacher

If you want the answers, you just have to ask!

Om

Hej!

Do you ever get confused about the word ”om”? You’re not alone :) I often get questions about this little word with several different functions and meanings. As we soon will see, “om” can be used as a conjunction, a preposition or a particle in a particle verb (“partikelverb” in Swedish).

“Om” as a subjunction

Let us begin with when “om” is a subjunction, i.e. the linking word between a main clause (“huvudsats” in Swedish) and subordinate clause (“bisats” in Swedish). Our first example is a conditional clause:

Vi ska åka till stranden om det är fint väder.

(We will go to the beach, if the weather is good.)

It is also possible to place the subordinate clause first:

Om det är fint väder ska vi åka till stranden.

(If the weather is good, we will go to the beach.)

In more informal Swedish it is also common to replace ”om” with ”ifall”, which literally means ”in case”. Here’s an example with “ifall”:

Du måste ringa ifall du inte kan komma till jobbet.

(You have to call if/in case you can’t come to work.)

Another situation when we use “om” is in indirect questions. Also in this case “om” is a subjunction and can be translated to English “if”. Here’s a couple of examples:

Göran undrar om du vill komma till Göteborg nästa vecka.

(Göran is wondering if you want to come to Göteborg next week.)

Läkaren frågade Lena om hon hade slutat röka.

(The doctor asked Lena if she had quit smoking.)

”Om” as a preposition

As I mentioned earlier, “om” sometimes functions as a preposition. As you will see “om” is used in several situations, for example when we are going to do something r how often we do something:

Jag ska åka till Västerås om två veckor.

(I’m going to Västerås in two weeks.)

Anna röker ett paket cgaretter om dagen.

(Anna smokes a pack of cigarettes a day.)

Hans åker hem till Tyskland två gånger om året.

(Hans go home to Germany twice a year.)

It’s important to remember that we only use “om” in “om dagen” and “om året”. For other time phrases for frequency we use “i”, for example “i veckan”, “i månaden” and “i minuten”.

Another use for “om” is to express something like “around”. Here are a few examples:

Nils glömde vantarna hemma och nu fryser han om händerna.

(Nils left his mittens at home and now his hands are cold.) Literally “fryser om händerna” means “he is cold around the hands”. This way of using “om” is especially common when talking about parts of the body. More examples:

Fryser du inte om fötterna i de där skorna?

Tvätta dig om händerna innan du lagar mat!

Polisen tog ett hårt grepp om hans arm.

Anna blev alldeles röd om kinderna.

Sometimes the use of “om” is more similar to how “about” is used in English. Take a look at this example:

Affären ligger om hörnet.

(The store/shop is around the corner.)

There are cases when the preposition”om” in Swedish corresponds to English “of”:

Den röda bilen är parkerad till höger om den gröna.

(The red car is parked to the right of the green one.)

Stina sköter om/tar hand om sin gamla mamma.

(Stina is taking/takes care of her old mother.)

Finally, we will take a look at some examples when “om” means “about”:

Vad handlar filmen om?

(What is the movie about?)

Vad rör det sig om?

(What is that about?)

Vad pratar ni om?

(What are you talking about?)

Bengt drömmer om att flytta till Italien.

(Bengt is dreaming/dreams about moving to Italy.)

Stefan bryr sig alltid om andra.

(Stefan always care about others.)

Vad bråkar ni om?

(What are you fighhting about?)

Vad tycker du om det?

(What do you think about that?)

”Om” in particle verbs

Sometimes ”om” looks like a preposition but actually is a particle in a particle verb (partikelverb). My first two examples illustrate when the particle “om” means “again”:

Boken var jättebra. Jag vill läsa om den.

(The book was very good. I want to read it again.)

Det gick inte så bra på provet. Jag ska göra om det i november.

(I didn’t do very well on the test. I will do it again in November.)

As a particle “om” can also mean “by” as in “pass by”. Take a a look at these examples:

Han körde om den stora lastbilen.

(He drove by/passed the large truck.)

Usain är jättesnabb. Han springer om alla andra löpare.

(Usain is really fast. He passes all other runners.)

Last but not least ”om” is part of the particle verb ”tycker om” as in “gillar” or in English, “like”.

Jag tycker om dig.

(I like you.)

Have fun learning Swedish!

Sara the Swedish Teacher

Report abuse »

Tags: , ,

2 responses to “Om”

  1. Joey says:

    Hi

    I hope this is the correct section to write to. I have came across 2 problems with the Swedish language of late. I will start with the biggest problem:

    1) In this link (http://www.ielanguages.com/swedish2.html), the section labeled “34. IRREGULAR VERBS”. I can figure out a few examples, but mostly I am in the dark regarding the use of irregular verbs. Could you please clarify this with examples of how to use them.

    2) The difference between ’ska’ and ‘åka’ – I take it both mean ‘will’, but I do not understand the context, and how each should be used.

    If you can help me I would be most grateful.

    Yours Sincerely
    Joseph Rainford

    Report abuse »

  2. Joey says:

    ^ Damn, it was the comments section… :p

    Report abuse »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

747
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se