Swedish word of the day: precis

Precis translates as "precisely", but it is used much more often and more flexibly than the English equivalent.

Swedish word of the day: precis
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

It’s one of those words that will help you sound more Swedish in an instant.

Hear how it’s pronounced below, and start using it as much as possible to pass for a native:

You can use precis on its own to say “yes, exactly/that’s right”. You can also say ja precis (yes, exactly) or nej precis when responding to a negated statement:

Det är en fin dag! Ja, precis (It’s a lovely day! – Yes, it is) but Vi vill inte vara för sena – Nej, precis (We don’t want to be too late – No [we don’t], exactly).

Want to make it more emphatic? Say just precis to really stress the confirmation.

Precis can also be used in most of the same ways as English “exactly”.

For example, du låter precis som min pappa (you sound exactly like my dad), det var precis vad jag sa (that’s exactly what I said), or nej, det är precis tvärtom (no, it’s exactly the opposite).

You can also use it to mean “just” in the sense of “just now/very recently” for example jag hade precis kommit hem när han ringde (I had just got home when he rang), han ringde precis (he just rang) or jag har precis flyttat hit (I’ve just moved here), as well as in the sense of “with a slim margin”, for example: precis i tid (just in time), hon hann precis med sista tåget (she just made the last train). 


Har du flyttat till Skåne? Precis

Have you moved to Skåne? Yes, that’s right

En stor kopp kaffe är precis vad jag behöver

A large cup of coffee is exactly what I need

Villa, Volvo, Vovve: The Local’s Word Guide to Swedish Life, written by The Local’s journalists, is now available to pre-order. Head to to read more about it, and use the discount code VOVVELOVE (valid until October 27th) to get a 10% discount on all pre-orders.

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Swedish word of the day: krasslig

Autumn is here across much of Sweden, meaning the season for coughs, colds and flu is upon us. Today's word of the day is a word you can use when you're feeling a bit under the weather.

Swedish word of the day: krasslig

The adjective krasslig is best translated into English as being under the weather or a little bit unwell. You’re not so sick that you’re stuck in bed all day, but you might have a bit of a cough or a headache and aren’t really feeling 100 percent.

Those with small children in Sweden will be well acquainted with this word, as it’s a good way of describing the grey area between when a child is definitely sick and needs to stay home, and when a child is not really sick enough to warrant staying home, but not really feeling their best either – especially when combined with the word små to make småkrasslig (a little bit under the weather).

A teacher might say when you pick up your child at the end of the school day that they have been a bit krasslig, so you might need to avvakta (watch and wait) and see if they should stay home the next day. Usually, this means that if things get worse you should keep them at home, but if things are the same or better the next morning they can go back to school.

Adults who feel krasslig may opt to work from home instead of heading into the office, if they can.

As far as the etymology of krasslig is concerned, it probably comes from the verb att krassla, “to work slowly or with difficulty” or “to move yourself with difficulty”. You can also krassla on purpose, for example, at least historically, att krassla ihop something describes the act of putting something together slightly lazily and generally not doing a great job.

An example of something which has been put together badly or lazily in this way could be described as krassleri, while the person responsible for the botched job would be a krasslare. You’re not likely to hear it used in this sense today, though.

Example sentences

Jag känner mig lite krasslig i dag så jag tror jag hoppar filmen i kväll.

I feel a bit poorly today so I think I’ll skip the film tonight.

Hon är lite småkrasslig så det är nog bäst om ni kommer och hämtar henne.

She’s a bit ill so it’s probably for the best if you come and pick her up.

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