Simple Phrases

by Erik Wilhelm Gren

Your First Swedish Word

Starting with the simplest word: “Hello!”.




Just like in every language, there are a bunch of ways to say Hello in Swedish as well. Just to name a few, we have Hej, Hallå, Tjena, Tja, Hejsan, Halloj and many more. You also have time-based greetings such as Good morning, Good day, Good evening and Goodnight.

  1. Godmorgon!

    Good morning!

  2. Goddag!

    Good day!

  3. Godkväll!

    Good evening!

  4. Godnatt!

    Good night!


All of these greetings have different tones, are of varying degrees of formality, are used more or less depending on dialect and all fit in different contexts, but the most neutral and common ones would be “Hej” and “Goddag”.

Your First Swedish Sentence

After having greeted someone, it might be fitting to introduce yourself. Here is how you would tell someone what your name is.

Mitt namn är Erik[2].

My name is Erik.

Or, if you want to be even shorter:

Jag heter Erik.

I’m named[3] Erik.

Saying Goodbye

Now that you’ve greeted someone and had a very meaningful conversation, you might want to end it off with a kind Goodbye. Here is how you say


This article doesn’t focus on grammar at all (that is for later articles). Rather, this is to introduce you to the look of the language in daily conversations, and, to show how similar Swedish can be to English. I mean, just look at all the examples above! Almost every single word can be translated word-by-word into English and vice-versa.

I hope this fact will motivate you slightly to move on and understand the sentences a bit more. In the meantime, you’ve just learned to introduce yourself in Swedish. Be proud.

  1. If you want to sound really native, don't pronounce the first d in Godmorgon, Goddag, Godkväll and Godnatt. This results in a smoother greeting with more flow: Go'morgon / Go'morron, Go'dag, Go'kväll and Go'natt.

  2. You should of course replace Erik with your actual name. If your name actually happens to be Erik, then shout out to you! Awesome name!

  3. heter is a verb for having a name; to be named. English doesn't really have an identical word for this, but trust me: Jag heter is actually the most common way of telling somebody what your name is.

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