Skynda att äta semla!

Fikadags – Semlatid

Fettisdagen was March 5th. You still have a good month to keep eating those delicious treats though – unless you strictly follow the Lent.

Fettisdagsbulle (= fat Tuesday bun = Semla) is a sweet wheat bun with almond paste insinde and lots of whipped cream underneath the lid sprinkled with powder sugar. It could, because of the Semla-day, be a good time to start practicing words and phrases that we need for our many fikastunder (= “coffee with treat-moments”).

Coffee is very important to us Swedes and fika is a verb or a noun that always comes handy. But it’s not only fika that is unique in the Swedish vocabulary and that relates to coffee. In this blog you will learn more about påtårkaffe på maten and many other coffee-terms.

Prepositioner medan vi fikar

When learning the phrases about coffee, we will inevitably get in to the use of prepositions, and how terribly hard it can be to learn prepositions in a different language – not only Swedish. At a very basic level, we can translate most of the prepositions from English to Swedish, or vice versa. However, as soon as our language is a tiny bit more advanced (kind of like yours after this lesson), you will understand that prepositions must be learned dependent on the situation – and there are many different situations…

Coffee with the meal? – or – Coffee on the meal?

The above sentences are straight translations from English to Swedish of: Kaffe till maten? Kaffe på maten? Swedish is not unique when using prepositions as fine differences in meaning. English and many other languages do the same. However, the Swedish language, just like most other languages, is unique in its’ own way, meaning that you must study hard to learn the right preposition for that specific situation. This takes time as a Swedish language learner. With enough coffee, however, anything is possible, so keep practicing!

Träna svenska

Here on Swedish2go’s blog you can watch the videos about “Semla” (you will automatically learn about adjectives too) and about prepositions when talking about time (Tidsprepositioner). For a more advanced challenge, search up a Swedish recipe for “Semlor” and try and bake these delicious treats for any day of the week, not only for March 5th. Don’t wait too long though. You don’t have all the time in the world, because a true Swede would not eat a Semla after Easter. If you miss the chance this year you will have to wait until next January.


Words and phrases of the month


Prepositioner Kaffefraser
I = InPå = On

Under = Under

Över = Over

Hos = At someone’s place

Bakom = Behind

Framför = In fron of

Före = Before

Efter = After

Bredvid – Next to/Beside

Vid = By

Med = With

Utan = Without

Svart kaffe = Black coffeeKaffe med mjölk = Coffee with milk

Utan socker = Without sugar

Ett kafferep = A coffee party

Får det lov att vara… = May I serve…

… lite påtår? = another cup of coffee?

Kaffe på maten ingår = Coffee after your meal is included

Jag är kaffesugen. = I am craving coffee.

Spetsat kaffe – Coffee with alcohol in it

Kaffe och bulle – Coffee with a cinnamon bun (the most traditional combination)

Kaffe och fralla – coffee with a bun (not sweet, usually with cheese)

Kaffepaus – Coffee break (a leagal right in Sweden)

Fikadags – Time for coffee with treat



Match the Swedish phrase with the correct English translation:

1.       Jag är hemma hos Karin på kaffe.                                                                    A. Come for a coffee party on Saturday!

2.       Har ni semlor utan mandelmassa?                                                                     B. Well, I guess I can take a little bit more coffee.

3.       Vill du ha kaffe på maten?                                                                                C. Would you like the coffee to be refilled?

4.       Vi serverar kaffe och fralla i pausen.                                                                 D. Coffee with the meal? No thank you!

5.       Kom på kafferep på lördag!                                                                             E. I am at Karin’s place for a coffee.

6.       Jag är så sugen på kaffe.                                                                                   F. Do you want coffee after your meal?

7.       Kaffe till maten? Nej tack!                                                                                G. Is a coffee refill included?

8.       Vill du ha påtår?                                                                                               H. I am really craving a coffee.

9.       Ingår påtår?                                                                                                      I. We are serving coffee and a bun in the intermission.

10.    Ja, några droppar till kan jag ta.                                                                          J. Do you have semlor without almond paste?


1.      Now: Underline the Swedish prepositions in the sentences above!

(Not all sentences have a preposition)

2.      Next: Give each preposition a translation that is correct for that situation!

Correct answers:

Match the phrase: 1E, 2J, 3F, 4I, 5A, 6H, 7D, 8C, 9G, 10B

Underline the prepositions + Translate for the situation:

1: hos, på = at, for

2: utan = without

3: på = to

4: i = during

5: på, på = for, on

6: på = n/a

7: till = with