How to use "att"

Hej!
 
Many times it seems like the small words cause the most confusion when learning a 
 
language. When learning Swedish, “att” seems to be extra tricky, so in this article I want to 
 
share some common ways to use “att”.
 
 
“Att” as an infinitive marker
 
First of all “att” has the function of infinitive marker (infinitivmarkör), when a verb is in 
 
infinitive form:
 
Det är roligt att läsa.
 
(It’s fun to read/Reading is fun.)
 
 
Det är svårt att uttala “ö”.
 
(It’s difficult to pronounce, “ö”./ Pronouncing, “ö” is difficult.)
 
 
“Att” meaning “that”
 
When creating so called indirect speech you use “att” when we are referring to what a third 
 
party is saying, wondering, wishing, etc. Speaking English, you could use “that” in this 
 
situation. Like this:
 
 
Han säger att det är kallt ute.
 
(He says/is saying that it’s cold outside.)
 
 
Hon undrar om hon får titta i sitt lexikon under provet.
 
(She wonders/is wondering if she can look in her dictionary during the test.)
 
 
 
Att in the subjunction “därför att”
 
We also find, “att” in the subjunction “därför att” which means “because”. If we begin the 
 
subordinate clause (bisats) with, “därför att” it will explain the reason of what is going in the 
 
independent clause (huvudsats).
 
 
Daniel vill gifta sig med Åsa därför att han älskar henne.
 
(Daniel wants to marry Åsa because he loves her.)
 
 
 
“Att” in the subjunction “för att”
 
“För att” looks very similar to, “därför att” and what is even more frustrating to someone 
 
learning Swedish is that the two often are pronounced almost exactly the same! Many 
 
Swedes (probably myself included) say something like, “f’ratt” for both “därför att” and “för 
 
att”. Listen carefully out there and you will hear it  They do have different meanings. 
 
Whilst “därför att” means “because”, “för att” means “in order to”. Here are some examples:
 
 
Agneta bantar för att bli smal.
 
(Agneta is on a diet (in order) to become skinny.)
 
 
Now compare the example above to how we use “därför att”:
 
 
Agneta bantar därför att hon känner sig tjock.
 
(Agneta is on a diet because she feels chubby.)
 
 
Well that was all for today. I hope everyone is having fun learning Swedish! Don't forget to check out our new Swedish bookshop. We ship worldwide!
 
 
Sara the Swedish Teacher