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Difference between "både" and "båda"

I have encountered 2 sentences with the words "både" and "båda" on Duolingo:

  1. Vi både skrattar och gråter. We both laugh and cry.

  2. Båda mina föräldrar är hemma. Both my parents are at home.

May I know the rules for using these 2 words?

Moreover, if I want to change Sentence 2 into "Both my mom and dad are at home", is the following translation correct?

Både min mamma och pappa är hemma.

October 14, 2018



både in this sense is a conjunction, it's always used with och, which is also a conjunction. It's used in the form både x och y, meaning "both x and y". You can also use it as a short where the "x" and "y" parts are implied:

  • Do you want to eat or sleep? Both.
  • Vill du äta eller sova? Både och.

båda in this sense is a pronoun, meaning both of two things - two out of two.

The final sentence is slightly incorrect - it should be både min mamma och min pappa är hemma.


Tack så mycket! I couldn't just write the word "min" once for both "mamma" and "pappa"?


Native speaker here, writing "min" just once before mamma and pappa is fine!

If you write it once, it makes it sounds like you speaking of your parents as one unity; if you write it twice it sounds like you make a point of the fact that both of them are home


It's fine colloquially but it would be changed by any editor if you put it in text. Since min is a singular, you can consider the second min implied when used that way colloquially.


Native speaker here, and yes, that sentence is correct. I've never actually thought about it before, but after some consideration I'm almost certain the rule is både when listing two things and båda when it's "both of" ("Both of my parents are at home").

Somewhat unrelated, but fun to mention: båda can also be a verb. It's basically the same as the English "bode" I'd give example sentences, but I've repeated båda words too many times for them to make sense to me right now.

I hope I could help, but if you have more questions I'd be happy to help!


Tack för svaret! :)

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