https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina

Time and money in Swedish

Hello dear learners of Swedish!

This post is meant to describe how time and money is commonly written in Swedish. As a reference to current Swedish events, we'll start by the ways to describe 8 pm September 9th 2018, when the polling stations close in the upcoming general elections.

TIME
Years beginning with 20... are commonly spoken as tjugohundra... ("twenty hundred") and then the year. Thus, 2018 is tjugohundraarton in spoken Swedish.

In Swedish, dates of the year have a few common standards. The variant (den) 9 september 2018 is common and recommended in a running text. When writing like this, the day is written as a cardinal number, but read like an ordinal one. Thus, the date here reads den nionde september 2018. The "den" in dates is optional but very common. Do note that Swedish does not capitalize weekdays or months!

Another way of writing dates of the year, especially when not in a running text, is DD/MM (YY)YY, e.g. 9/9 2018 or just 9/9 -18. When read out loud, this is spoken like nionde september 2018 OR nionde i nionde 2018.

A third option is to write the date as 09092018 OR 20180909. Although the latter is the ISO 8601 standard, both variants can be found in Sweden.

For time of day, Swedish usually uses a 24 hour clock in writing. In spoken Swedish, both 12 hour and 24 hour clock time is used. The 12 hour clock is usually used in less formal circumstances or in situations where it's obvious from context what is meant. So if you're planning a dinner with someone and say jag är där vid åtta (I'll be there at eight), it's understood that you mean eight in the evening and not in the morning.

MONEY
In English, the unit of currency precedes the amount. In Swedish, it's the other way around and with a space inbetween. Thus, fifty bucks will be $50 in the US, but 50 $ in Sweden. This goes for all currencies.

The Swedish currency is the Swedish krona (en-word, plural kronor), with the currency code SEK. Kronor come in coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 kronor and banknotes of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 kronor. A krona can be further subdivided into 100 öre (ett-word). The last öre coins to be used were the 50 öre coins, but they were taken out of circulation due to their very low value in 2010. Öre are still used in the mathematics of prices though, and the total is then rounded to the closest whole krona if you pay with cash, and not rounded at all if you pay with a debit card.

There is a peculiarity with regards to the plural of öre that works just like pence and pennies in English. When speaking of the amount of currency, öre does not change in the plural. However, the regular plural ören would apply if you were speaking about several 1 öre coins.

The Swedish krona does not have single symbol such as $, £ or €, but there are other conventions that work as a shorthand. The first and most common is to write kr after the number, e.g. 100 kr. Another way is to instead write a colon and a dash, e.g. 100 :-, which is especially common on handwritten signs at markets.

Lastly, there is a last curveball thrown your way with regards to Swedish money. Conventions on rounding numbers may vary across the world, but in Sweden, .50 is always rounded up. Thus, a purchase of 123,50 kr would be rounded to 124 kr when paying with cash.

I hope that'll be of some help to you. Feel free to ask questions.

Best wishes, Emil (Zmrzlina)

August 21, 2018

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Laser149321

I think it is also important to note that decimal places are marked with a comma "," and the thousands separator with a dot "." This would otherwise be the opposite in the American system.

For example, One thousand twenty-one kronor and sixty-five öre would be written as 1.021,65 in the Swedish sytem and 1,021.65 in the American system.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thegreatwalle

I often see the thousands-separating dot omitted and replaced with a space here in Sweden. (i.e. I don't think it's uncommon to see 1 021,65).

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Laser149321

You are right. It is either a dot or a space for the thousands. It is probably more common with the space. So the most important thing to remember then is not to confuse the dot as the decimal place in the Swedish numbers and the comma as thousands.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gunnar388832

It is just space, not a dot (I think dot is the Spanish, but might be wrong) . I agree that this one is an important one though. When it is just a number it might be obvious from context, but when you start making calculations it is easy to get confused. In a course at uni that I teach we use two books: one Swedish and one American and there are always some students that gets the answers very wrong by confusing the decimal and the thousands separators.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/InvincibleCat

Laser149321, nice profile pic

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Laser149321

Thanks! :)

August 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sebainfanta

Thanks, I really appreciate these extra bits of knowledge.

A question: How do you refer to the year 2000 in spoken language?

And what about the 2000 as a decade -I mean, like one would say 90-talet about the nineties?

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MagnusBoiv

for the year: 'År två tusen', or 'tjugo hundra'.

for the decade: '00-talet' (noll-noll-talet)

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/.Storr.

Very informative, thanks a lot. :)

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/maryfromitaly

Thank you for taking the time to write this explanation, Emil! Posts like this are extremely useful for us learners. Actually I am studying right now the "Business" skill of the course, and I was going to look for information about the swedish currency; your post is exactly what I needed.

Tusen tack!! :D

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MagnusBoiv

About the clock in spoken Swedish:

When speaking the time in words, we always use the 12 hour clock: "Kvart över fem", "tjugo i sju", "halv tio". Using "på morgonen", "på dagen", "på kvällen" or "på natten" afterwards if it's not clear by context.

When speaking the time like written in digits, we always use the 24 hour clock: "Sjutton och femton", "arton och fyrtio", "tjugoett och trettio"

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson

Years beginning with 20... are commonly spoken as tjugohundra... ("twenty hundred") and then the year.

Well, that's the official version. In practice, "tvåtusenarton" is common.

A third option is to write the date as 09092018 OR 20180909. Although the latter is the ISO 8601 standard, both variants can be found in Sweden.

No. The overwhelmingly most common mode of writing dates (apart from the ones used in text, mentioned in the previous paragraph) is 2018-08-21. 20180821 is a lazy alternative, but 21082018 is wrong. No one uses that except some food packaging.

Another way is to instead write a colon and a dash, e.g. 100 :-, which is especially common on handwritten signs at markets.

Note that the dash here means "no ören". It's not possible to write 10.50:- to mean ten crowns and fifty öre.

A couple of more notes that may confuse foreigners:

  • In Sweden, people seldom pay cash. In fact, many people don't carry cash at all. Some places (mostly restaurants, as far as I've seen) don't even accept cash. Paying for a single coffee or whatever for a few crowns by card is normal.

  • Between people and when paying on fairs, flea markets and other semi-temporary places (and, increasingly, regular stores), Swish will be used for payment. This is a phone app that can transfer money from one bank account to another with your phone number as the receiving key (thus you always know how to pay back your friend for lunch; you just Swish money to the number you have in your address book). Swish requires a Swedish bank account, a Swedish phone number and (I think) some kind of residency permit.

  • For tourists in Sweden, the combination of these two means that having Swedish cash is no big deal, but having a credit card that works in Sweden is absolutely vital. Expect card machines that require on-card chips and PIN.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MagnusBoiv

Writing dates with only two digits for the year is also pretty common. For today it's 18-08-21 or 180821. (And for food packaging 210818.)

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yellkaa

Are Apple Pay/Android Pay common, especially in places like coffee shops? Here in Ukraine it've been introduced just recently, but a lot of shops already accept it, while restaurants seem to have some kind of outdated terminals because most don't allow me to pay with my phone

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson

I think many terminals would accept it but most banks don't seem to provide accounts that work with those pay services so most people can't use them.

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Laser149321

I have not encountered any terminal that does not accept Samsung Pay. So for me, it works!

August 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/shs.kiaei

hej

October 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike

The variant (den) 9 september 2018 is common and recommended in a running text. When writing like this, the day is written as a cardinal number, but read like an ordinal one. Thus, the date here reads den nionde september 2018.

Out of interest, do Swedish abbreviations for ordinal numbers exist (analogous to '2nd', '3rd', '4th', etc.), or is any plain number just read as an ordinal by clear context? Or something else, possibly?

Thank you for taking the time to write this informative post.

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gunnar388832

Yes, sometimes people write 1:a, 2:a, 3:e and so on.

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98

btw is it true that if you write the date without the year with . as a separator then you only put one .

like 9.9 instead of 9.9.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MagnusBoiv

We usually don't use dots as a separator. The common versions are D/M or MM-DD, (for today: 21/8 or 08-21)

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson

To be more exakt, "/" is only used for "incomplete" dates like 21/8, never 21/8/2018 or 2018/8/21. However, 21/8 -18 or 21/8 2018 (without the dash) are possible.

When using "-", the date would be written 2018-08-21.

Also note that when using "/", the month is written using no leading "0" while when writing the date with "-", the month will be written with a leading "0".

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson

I don't know if the Swedish-speaking Finns have other ways of writing dates. When you see that type of dates being used in Sweden, it's typically a case of someone using foreign software and being unable (or too lazy) to configure it to use proper dates.

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Skidbladner

The following is an excerpt from "Myndigheternas skrivregler (Åttonde upplagan)":

"I huvudet till brev, beslut, protokoll och andra dokument kan datum skrivas med siffror enligt mönstret 2015­04­15. Man kan också skriva 15.4.2015, som är vanligt i de övriga nordiska länderna och inom EU, eller 15/4 2015".

"Myndigheternas skrivregler" is a publication from Språkrådet and can be downloaded free of charge:

https://www.sprakochfolkminnen.se/om-oss/publikationer/institutets-publikationer/sprakvard/2016-09-14-myndigheternas-skrivregler.html

September 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LuisFernan634127

thanks a lot

August 21, 2018
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