List of nouns with vowel change (umlaut) in the plural.

Some of you might have encountered plurals such as bok böcker, similar to English goose geese, so I thought I’d post this list I made a while back. I think it’s near-complete. For historical reasons, all these words are en-words, except for land and stånd. Beware of that some of these words are very uncommon so you will likely never encounter them, however, many are extremely common.

For those of you who can’t see the table, it’s available here:

December 10, 2014


Nice! Also note that the pronunciation of the G in "gås" and "gäss" is different. "Gås" is pronounced with a hard G, while the G in "gäss" is pronounced like the Swedish J.

December 10, 2014

Yes, very good point!

December 11, 2014

Interesting! Must admit that I would never say "spänger" but "spångar" though.

By the way, you can also say "en bok - flera bokar", but then it means "one beech - several beeches" (Fagus Sylvatica).

December 11, 2014

Yes, both plural forms are given in the dictionary, so both are listed here.

December 11, 2014

Thank you so much

January 25, 2017

resembles Dutch words and pluriels...

April 22, 2015

Wow! this one is very helpful since I just started to learn basic Swedish, Tack!

August 18, 2015

Swedish native speaker here. It's a great list. Just a few comments:

  • "Spänner" and "spänger" are not used anymore (apart from possibly in some dialects). Use "spannar" and "spångar" instead!

  • "Ständer" feels very old fashioned even though you can still happen upon it in expressions or old songs. "Stånd" in plural feels more natural. (Also note that the most used meaning of "stånd" is a stand, as on a market.)

  • "Stav" also means staff (typically of wood or metal) but with the plural "stavar". I would say a lot of Swedes wouldn't even know the meaning listed here. It's very uncommon.

November 4, 2017

Tack för dina svenska ord De är vad jag söker.

January 15, 2018

This is a great collection, thanks for sharing it!

December 10, 2014

Great! Really helpful!

Tack så mycket!

December 10, 2014

Tack så mycket!

December 16, 2014

So useful.

June 25, 2015

Thanks for the effort! However, I cannot see the embedded picture and cannot reach the page as the link is blocked in my country! Any other way to help me with the list? Thanks!

October 27, 2015
January 17, 2016

Same with that one, too...

January 17, 2016 I have saved the picture to my computer then reuploaded it on a different site, try this one

January 18, 2016

Thanks a lot for your efforts, this one works! :)

January 18, 2016

Is this link broken for everyone else?

July 23, 2015

It’s an embedded picture. Perhaps it doesn’t work on mobile. In that case, try this:

July 23, 2015

Swedish is so nice, I just love it! Tusen tack

October 24, 2016

jag tycker om svenska också.

January 15, 2018

Me too, I'm totally in love with it!!

November 13, 2017

Tack sa mycket!

December 16, 2016

Does anyone know the linguist reason for these vowel changes?

August 16, 2017

I think it’s a relic of a feature of Proto Indo-European??

August 31, 2018

Does "u" umlaut to "y"? "y" seems to be the equivalent of German "ü".

May 15, 2018

This is very interesting, considering letter (like in the alphabet, not the other one) in German is called "Buchstabe" (literally book-staff, like the Swedish one), while staff/stick is called Stab. However when they turn to plural:

Buchstabe - Buchstaben

Stab - Stäbe

Funny that German does the vowel change in only one of these and Swedish in both.

May 12, 2019
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