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  5. "Om farmor kom hem skulle far…

"Om farmor kom hem skulle farfar bli glad."

Translation:If grandmother came home, grandfather would be happy.

April 23, 2015



Why is skulle before farfar?


The structure of the sentence is
[SUBCLAUSE] skulle farfar bli glad.
In the main clause, the verb is in the second place – the subclause takes up the first position.
In main clauses (except questions), the verb is in second place, but in subclauses, the subject goes before the verb, so in the subclause, we have Om farmor kom hem – subject before verb.


What would be word order in question ¨Would grandfather be happy?¨


Same: Skulle farfar bli glad?


So how does one know if it is a statement or a question? In English the position of grandfather would change,would it not?


In speech, the pitch is different. In writing, you have the question mark.


Native English speaker here whose grammar lessons were so long ago I can't remember much of it... what makes "Grandmother came home" the subclause and not the main clause ? Just the word "if" ?


The main clause can stand on its own, while a subclause is dependent on the main clause.

So in this specific case, we have:

  • "If grandmother came home" - can't stand on its own, definitely a subclause
  • "grandfather would be happy" - would work perfectly fine as a sentence on its own

Note that it's enough that it can stand on its own grammatically - in this example, for instance, it does require more context to make sense in the scope of a conversation. :)


So it is the "if" that signifies the clause ? "Grandmother came home" stands on its own perfectly well.


In this case, yes, that's exactly it. (And, indeed, most of the time.)


Is there a reason that adding "then" into this sentence makes it incorrect?

"if grandmother came home then grandfather would be happy"

isn't accepted


Not really, I would accept that. Do note, though, that the "then" has a direct equivalent in in Swedish.


i wrote "comes" instead of "came" and got marked wrong.

can someone remind me the past, present and future tenses of the verb "come" please? i seem to have misunderstood it. thanks.


Sure, have a look e.g. here for the full table: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/komma#Conjugation

  • kommer is the present
  • kom is the past

Swedish doesn't have a future conjugation pattern - we use kommer att [infinitive] or ska [infinitive] instead. The infinitive here is komma.


Please accept "glad" as a translation of "glad" alongside "happy". I'm a native English-speaker and would use the word "glad" this way.


We do accept "glad" as well, but your error report is in the wrong tense - kom is the past.


What's the difference between "hem" ("...kom hem...") and "hemma" ("...om han vore hemma")?

  • hem = home
  • hemma = at home


Sorry, I'm not an native english speaker. Aren't the two (mostly) interchangeable in english? Can't we say "He's home" and "He's at home"? And is it the same in Swedish?


Sorry, I should have been clearer.

"home" in English can be used to mean "at home" occasionally, as in your example. Swedish cannot do this, though. The word hem has either the sense of "a home" or the directional sense of "to home".

In this specific case, English and Swedish work the same way, though - you can't say "come at home"; it's always "come home". And, similarly, hemma doesn't work for the same reason.


Would "Om farmor kom hem vore farfar glad" work?


No, not really. It reads a bit like "If grandma came home, grandpa were happy." The subjunctive is virtually extinct from Swedish, and vore is rarely used with om in this way.


Ok, thanks a lot.

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