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Vill ha, tycker om and lagar mat

Vill ha, tycker om and lagar mat

We've noticed that these verbs are often difficult for new learners. Here are some hints:

vill ha

vill ha is a phrasal verb. It is used when you want a thing. There's no other way to say want to have in Swedish, so vill ha covers both want and want to have, but usually the best translation is just want. When you want an object, you can't leave out ha. However, when you want to do something, ha is not used.

Jag vill ha ett äpple. (I want an apple)
Jag vill sjunga. (I want to sing.)

With negations:
Jag vill inte ha din bok. (I don't want your book)
Jag vill inte sjunga. (I don't want to sing)

In questions:
Vill du ha ett äpple? (Do you want an apple?)
Vill du inte ha ett äpple? (Don't you want an apple?)
Also possible, but rare word order: Vill inte du ha ett äpple? (Don't you want an apple?)

tycker om

tycker om is a particle verb meaning like. The particle om must always be stressed. The verb tycker without the particle means think like in I think this is good – not as in I think about you, that would be Jag tänker på dig.

Jag tycker om äpplen. (I like apples)
Jag tycker om dig. (I like you)
Jag tycker att du är trevlig (I think that you are nice)
Jag tänker på dig (I am thinking about you)

With negations:
Jag tycker inte om din bok (I don't like your book)
Jag tycker inte att du är trevlig (I don't think that you are nice)
Jag tänker inte på dig (I am not thinking about you)

In questions:
Tycker du om äpplen? (Do you like apples?)
Tycker du inte om äpplen? (Don't you like apples?)
Also possible, but rare word order: Tycker inte du om äpplen? (Don't you like apples?)

More about the difference between tycka, tänka and tro here.

lagar mat

lagar mat means cook. This is a verb that needs to have an object in Swedish. In English, you can say simply "I cook." In Swedish, you have to cook something, and if you don't want to say you're cooking anything specific, you have to say Jag lagar mat. The word lagar can mean mend or fix when used with other objects. To say lagar without an object is a bit like saying make without an object in English. If I'd say "I'm making", you'd probably ask me "Making what?"
False friend alert: the Swedish word kokar means boil. It also requires an object, unless for instance you're saying that you yourself is boiling with rage, or that the water is boiling.

Jag lagar mat. (I am cooking)
Jag lagar middag (I am cooking dinner)
Jag kokar ett ägg (I am boiling an egg)

With negations:
Jag lagar inte mat (I am not cooking)
Jag lagar inte middag (I am not cooking dinner)

In questions:
Lagar du mat? (Are you cooking?)
Lagar du inte mat? (Aren't you cooking?)
also possible, but rare word order: Lagar inte du mat? (Aren't you cooking?)

December 10, 2014



If I remember this correctly, "lagar" in Swedish and "lager" in Norwegian are (partly) false friends. In both countries we use it for "cook" ("laga mat" or "lage mat"). Apart from that, "laga" means fix or repair in Swedish while it is still means make or create in Norwegian.

Swe: han lagar en snögubbe = he repairs a snowman
Nor: han lager en snømann = he builds a snowman


Wow! Tack så mycket! This is super helpful!


Tack så mycket, Arnauti, this will certainly help!


Thank you for all of this. I was always wondering why I'd get "I cook." wrong. The answer would always have "mat" in it and I thought it was an error. Now I know it's supposed to be that way.


For these kinds of words in question form would it be like Vill du ha ett äpple? (Do you want an apple?) Tycker du om äpplen? (Do you like apples?)


Correct! I'll add question word order up there. Thanks!


That is really useful. Tack så mycket! And thanks so much for this course. I love it!!


Please add an option so that we can save these notes for ourselves in our profile.


There's a sticky post with some of the most useful topics under Swedish/Discussions, here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5892805


How do you use "Vilja"?


"Vilja" is the infinitive of "vill":
att vilja, att vilja ha (to want)
jag skulle vilja, jag skulle vilja ha (I would like) etc


Vilja could also be a noun: "Hon har ingen egen vilja." - "She has no own will."


So tycker is a statement of opinion, tänker is an actual thought?


thank you for your reply Arnauti , i was waiting for this explanation


This pretty much sums up all the problems i've had in Swedish.Would have been a good idea to check this out earlier,even though i made sense of it somehow,it's still nice to have it explained.

Though,the most frustrating sentence for me was ˝Jag litar i ällmanhet på personalen˝.Ohh how i've wrestled with this one sentence.But after i finally realised the right way to write it,i had so much more will to learn Swedish.

But to be honest i'll still be unsure at times when to use i/på/om/med/vid.I did notice there was one sentence ˝Kom in˝ that made me wonder,why is it the first time i've seen ˝in˝ used,and is it much like English in? Could i say Österrike ligger in Europa instead of Österrike ligger i Europa ?


If I may recommend my text about word order: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8970470
If you haven't found it already, it could be helpful.

About the prepositions, they're always hard of course. in is used for direction though, i is used with location. This is why we say Kom in! So you can't use in for location in countries or similar.


I wasn't aware until now that there is a list of helpful tips and guidelines,so i'm just checking them out,thanks for referring me to that one!


Can "lagar" be used with a specific kind of food, e.g., "jag lagar nötkött" to mean "I cook (the specific thing)"?


Yes. If you're specific about the meat, you're likely to be specific about the method too, so jag steker/kokar/grillar nötkött (fry, boil, or grill) would be more likely, but lagar works too.


My question is, is "villja ha" polite to say in a store? In English, we would say 'I would like an apple, please,' translated literally as 'Jag skulle villja har ett apple, tack.' and saying 'I want an apple.' is just, well, not a very English thing to say. (Though I'm not an English native speaker.) So this is more about the connotation and cultural difference.


Yes, "skulle vilja ha" is a polite way to ask for something in a store. "Kan jag få" works as well.


That makes a lot more sense, thank you.


"Lagar mat". Does not that mean: "Making food" :S


Well, maybe "gör mat" is closer to "making food", but yes, the meaning is pretty much the same.


We say Fixing food all the time in my region of America. Lagar mat literally means fixing food in Swedish...easy for me to learn that one.


We say fixa mat in Swedish too. :)


What is the difference between tycker om and gillar?


gillar is a little bit more colloquial, otherwise there's no difference.


Thanks for the explanation.


I heard a little girl say Tycker Om in the Swedish radio so it can't be that formal


It isn't formal at all, it's neutral.


But you still wouldn't say "gillar om" right?


Never. It's either gillar or tycker om.


Tack så mycket. Really useful information.


I'm curious.. How WOULD you say "I'm boiling with rage"?


'Jag kokar av ilska'.


I pressed ... For the translation in order to check the pronounciation. for kockar. The answer was no results for kockar did you mean kockars ? A bug ?


When would one use the "also possible" question? I've never seen such a word order.


It can be used to stress you as in Aren't you cooking? (probably as a contrast to everyone else doing that, or something). It's funny, I was just re-reading this post today since I linked here and I thought I should probably write something more about these constructions. It makes sense you haven't seen them because they're much rarer and I can't really recommend using them, they only fit in special contexts and you don't ever need to use that word order.

PS, I've edited the text a little to make it clearer now. Maybe I should also add that sentences can be made to mean many different things depending on how they're stressed when speaking, and that this word order doesn't necessarily always mean what I just wrote, but it would typically mean that when said with the most typical intonation.


Thanks, I sort of guessed it would be about stress, but wasn't sure :) They look weird written, but will probably work better in speech.


Oh my god this is so helpful. Kudos to you! Take a lingot!


Duo lingo should partner with a publishing house to have a complete grammar guide with all basic grammar topics in order, for every language, accessible, at a cost even, to those who have questions or doubts about certain topics. It doesn't need to be a requirement. But often I find myself going to other websites such as this one http://la-conjugaison.nouvelobs.com/regles/ or looking in grammar books to find clear explanations of certain rules.

And more active exercises! (writing and speaking) It's all too passive (listening and reading).


tack så mycket, it is all clear now!


This guy is insane, thanks.


Wow . That clarification is on point and precise. Thanks


Tack så mycket!!!


Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. This explanation helps us a lot.


Oh, my God! This is gold. Tack så mycket!


Oh, thank you, especially about VILL HA and VILL.


Tack så mycket!

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