Learn Swedish – part 1: interjections




Have you ever noticed the peculiar words Swedes use, such as jaha, nähä, and oj då? Or perhaps you’ve encountered the usage of jo instead of ja on occasion? In this blog post you will learn all about it, plus other examples of what we call interjections. These are greetings, goodbyes, answers and situational words which are important to know when you communicate with Swedes.


The aim of this blog series is to offer you an introduction to the language that can complement our Swedish online course. We’ll present authentic examples of sentences accompanied by audio files, allowing you to listen and repeat along. Let’s dive in!


Learn the Swedish greetings and goodbyes


The standard Swedish greeting is ’hej’, with the slightly more enthusiastic ’hej hej!’, often heard in stores when someone’s trying to sell you something. Two more informal greetings are ’tja’ and ’tjena’. These casual greetings are also common in workplaces and meetings, reflecting the Swedish tendency towards informality in professional settings.


Some interjections are time-bound: ’god morgon’ (good morning), ’god dag’ (good day), ’god kväll’ (good evening), and ’god natt’ (good night). Farewells include ’hej då’, but you might also hear ’vi ses’ (see you) or ’puss puss’ (kiss kiss) when bidding farewell to a partner, close friends or family members. In our Swedish online courses, we integrate such vocabulary into conversations you’d typically engage in, ensuring its relevance.


Let’s listen to the pronunciation and repeat:



  • Hej

  • Hej hej

  • Tja

  • Tjena

  • God morgon

  • God dag

  • God kväll

  • God natt

  • Hej då

  • Vi ses

  • Puss puss


Learn the Swedish answers


Yes and no in Swedish are ’ja’ and ’nej’, and then there’s ’nja’, which is a hesitant mix for a Swedish no. We can also say ’javisst’ (sure).  However, there is another way to say yes, which is ’jo’. This word is used when a statement or a question has a negation, and we don’t agree. See the following examples:


        • Gillar du glass? Ja, det gör jag.
          (Do you like ice cream? Yes, I do.)


      Gillar du inte glass? Jo, det gör jag.
      (Don’t you like ice cream? Yes, I do.)


”Jo” is also used to express doubt, a typical trait since Swedes tend to be indirect:


– Hej, du ringde mig?

 – Jo … jag undrar om du kan låna mig 500 kronor.
(Hi, you called me? Well … I wonder if you can borrow me 500 SEK.)


Two other common interjections are ’jaha’ and ’nähä’. These responses indicate that we understand a statement; jaha, when something is the case, and nähä, when something is not the case.


– Jag gillar sommaren i Sverige.



– I like the summer in Sweden.

– I see / Oh really.


Compare with same statement but with the negation:


– Jag gillar inte sommaren i Sverige.

– Nähä.


– I don’t like the summer in Sweden

– I see / Oh really.


Note that these two words have nothing to do with your own opinion. Saying jaha and nähä simply shows that you understand the statement, and often they function as mere filler words in Swedish to show interest in the conversation.


Let’s listen to the pronunciation and repeat:



      • Ja

      • Nej

      • Nja

      • Javisst

      • Jo

      • Gillar du glass? Ja, det gör jag.

      • Gillar du inte glass? Jo, det gör jag.

      • Hej, du ringde mig? Jo … jag undrar om du kan låna mig 500 kronor.

      • Jag gillar sommaren i Sverige  – Jaha.

      • Jag gillar inte sommaren i Sverige – Nähä.


Learn the Swedish situational interjections


These interjections are employed to convey specific behaviors, such as apologizing or expressing surprise. Here are some examples:


          • ’Förlåt mig, jag är verkligen ledsen!’ (Forgive me, I am really sorry!)


          • ’Ursäkta, vet du var tågstationen ligger?’ (’Excuse me, do you know where the train station is?’)


          • ’Oj, ursäkta, det var inte meningen!’ (Oops, sorry, that wasn’t intentional’. (when bumping into someone))


          • ’Ursäkta, vad sa du?’ (’Excuse me, what did you say?’)


        • ’Va?’  (’What?’).


On a More Positive Note:


At festive occasions, we use ’välkommen’ for one person, and ’välkomna’ for several people to welcome someone. Here, we encounter a challenge in Swedish – to inflect words according to singular or plural. You can read more about this in our upcoming blog post about adjectives.


Similarly, when serving food, ’varsågod’ (you’re welcome/go ahead) and ’varsågoda’ are used, along with ’smaklig måltid’ (enjoy your meal). When you want to thank someone, you say ’tack’, ’tackar’, or ’tack så mycket’. At parties, other common interjections are ’grattis’ (congratulations), ’hurra’ (horray) , and last but not least, skål! (’cheers!’).


We’ll conclude this post with the interjection ’Lycka till med din svenska!’ (Good luck with your Swedish!) 🙂

Let’s listen to the pronunciation and repeat:



      • Förlåt mig, jag är verkligen ledsen!

      • Ursäkta, vet du var tågstationen ligger?

      • Oj, ursäkta, det var inte meningen!

      • Ursäkta, vad sa du?

      • Va?

      • Välkommen, välkomna!

      • Varsågod, varsågoda!

      • Smaklig måltid!

      • Tack, tackar, tack så mycket

      • Grattis, hurra, skål!

      • Lycka till!




  • – Learning Swedish entails familiarizing oneself with common interjections.

  • – These small expressions are tied to specific situations.

  • – Pronouncing them correctly and remembering their appropriate usage poses a challenge when speaking Swedish.


Lastly, thank you for your time. Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in our tailor-made Swedish online courses.


Warm regards, Albrechts Kommunikation.