The Swedish Teacher: då or sedan, which to use when?

Sara Hörberg – The Swedish Teacher
Sara Hörberg – The Swedish Teacher - [email protected]
The Swedish Teacher: då or sedan, which to use when?

When two different words both translate as "then" in English, how do you know which one to use? Swedish teacher Sara Hörberg is here to set us straight.


Quite often I see students making mistakes when using the adverbs  and sedan. Both words translate to "then" in English, so today I’ll to straighten out when to use which one.
(when used as a time adverb), means "at that time" or "by the time". Some Swedish synonyms are:
vid den tidpunkten 
på den tiden
den gången
vid det tillfället
inte nu
Here are a couple of examples: 
Jag var i Sverige i juli. Då regnade det mycket.
(I was in Sweden in July. It was raining a lot then.)
Lasse fyller 50 år i februari. Då ska han ha en stor fest. 
(Lasse’s 50th birthday is in February. Then he will have a big party.)
Sedan, often pronounced, and sometimes spelt, sen (it should be pronounced "sänn") means "thereafter", "after that" or "afterwards". Some Swedish synonyms are: 
längre fram
Here are a couple of examples of how to use sedan:
Först ska jag dammsuga. Sedan ska jag dricka kaffe.
(First I’m going to vacuum. After that (then) I will have a cup of coffee.)
När Göran kommer hem från jobbet brukar han laga middag. Sedan tittar han på TV.
(When Göran comes home from work, he usually make dinner. Then he watches TV.)
Sara Hörberg began teaching Swedish as a foreign/second language in 2001. Ask her anything about grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Read more here: Sara the Swedish Teacher.


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