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How to Get Someone's Attention

The Focus of this Lesson is on How to Get Someone's Attention.

Ursäkta! Ursäkta mig! Skulle jag kunna få beställa?

'"Pardon! Excuse me! May I order?"'

In this lesson, we'll learn how to get someone's attention by using different types of expressions. We'll more specifically talk about how to do this in relation to whose attention we're trying to get and under what kind of situations.  We'll start to look at more casual ways of trying to get someone's attention, which were used by Hans in this lesson's dialogue.

  1. Hallå! "Hey!"

Using this word to try to get someone's attention might work in some situations that don't really require you to be too polite. This could, for example, be a situation when someone has dropped something and you're trying to get their attention so you can give it back to them. For most other situations, using Hallå! isn't really a good idea, since it can sound quite rude, especially if you're shouting it from a distance. One exception, of course, is when you're on the phone; then using a hallå is perfectly fine.

Another way of getting someone's attention which might be even more casual than hallå is hörru, which also corresponds to "hey" or "hey you." Using hörru to get someone's attention should be avoided if it's not said in a very calm and soft voice to someone sitting really close to you, as in, Hörru, hur mår du? ("Hey, how are you?"). Shouting hörru to someone far away will most definitely sound rude.

When we do want to get someone's attention without coming across as rude, the following expressions are probably most suitable.

  1. Ursäkta! "Pardon!"
  2. Ursäkta mig! "Excuse me!"

Both of these expressions are used in this lesson's dialogue, and they're probably the safest way of getting someone's attention without seeming impolite. These can be used in both casual and more informal situations. So if you're in doubt of whether to use hallå or ursäkta / ursäkta mig, it's always safest to go with ursäkta or ursäkta mig. 

Consider exploring these related pages after completing this lesson: Future Tense, Learn Swedish Sentense Structure. Subject, Verb and object., Common Interjections & How to Talk About How Something Smells.

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