1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swedish
  4. >
  5. Inte vs ingen


Inte vs ingen

I know it's not and no, but in english you can say I have no and I don't have a , but can you say "Jag har inte katt" for example, because in the questions it's always with ingen.

March 23, 2019



Native Swedish speaker here.

When I negate a noun, I normally use ingen/inget/inga.

Jag har ingen katt. (I don´t have a cat.) / Det finns inget kaffe. (There is no coffee.) / Vi hittade inga svampar. (We didn´t find any mushrooms.)

There is also another way to express this (with inte + någon/något/några).

Jag har inte någon katt. / Det finns inte något kaffe. / Vi hittade inte några svampar.

When negating a verb I do it with inte.

Jag gick inte till skolan. (I didn´t go to school.) / Han kan inte hitta boken. (He cannot find the book.) / De kom inte. (They didn´t come.)


Thank you very much for clarifying this. I figured that ingen / inget / inga vrs inte was sort of like kein/ keinen/ keine vrs nicht in German, but still couldn't tell when you use one or the other (Ingen / inte) until you explained it this way. Tack så mycket


Doesn't ingen rather mean none or any?

My Swedish is far from perfect, but "Jag har inte katt" doesn't sound right to me? Is that correct Swedish? I would have thought "Jag har inte en katt" or "Jag har ingen katt".

Are you sure you always use ingen in questions? "Har du inte hört vad hände igår?" On the other hand "Kan ingen förklara vad som hände igår?" It seems to me that both inte and ingen are possible. But I could be wrong. Perhaps my Swedish is even worse than I thought.

Let's get an authentic Swede to clarify, shall we?


Actually, the sentence "Vi har inte katt", or for that matter "Vi har katt" is fine. And you can also ask: "Har ni katt?". It probably sounds odd to a learner, but it is an established way of expressing oneself.


I agree​ although you seem to have clarified it a little bit.

Niej jonm jein soluter.

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.