Swedish: köpa till/köpa åt


New Member
Hello! While practising prepositions I came across "köpa till" and "köpa åt" in the following contexts:

"Han har köpt en vacker ring till sin fru."
"— Köp en tidning åt mig, är du snäll!"

I feel like in the first case, köpa till is used when you buy something as a gift, while in the second context, köpa åt is used to express buying someone something with the possibility of being reimbursed. Is that correct?

I haven't found anything in any dictionary nor online. Does anyone have any idea or explanation?
Last edited:
  • Parlons Suédois

    Don’t prepositions usually defy all attempts at explanation? :)

    I would probably use "åt" and "till" in exactly the way you describe, but I would not bet on every Swede agreeing with me...


    Senior Member
    Yeah I agree. I think some might mix up the prepositions and use them the opposite way, but my guess is that statistically it's likely you're correct.