Så, således, sålunda, alltså, därför... flera?

It seems that 99% of the time, if one checks the comments then there will always be at least one comment that explains everything perfectly.´However, I haven't seen a single comment relating to any of the set of words in the title nor do I recall having a chance to make one. I know that därför shows up at some point but I do not remember where.

Maybe I am not quite far enough into the tree yet but I am really, really struggling both in writing and speech when it comes to translating "thus" or "therefore" or "consequently" or "which means that" or...

Is "som betyder att" weird in Swedish?

What about så? In colloquial English, "so" is actually probably the most commonly used synonym for "therefore".

Hur fungerar det på svenska?!

September 22, 2015


has a lot of uses, and in many occasions is often included in spoken language but omitted in writing. Wiktionary lists the uses of the word "så" quite elegantly, I recommend reading what's written there.

The words "således" and "sålunda" mean "thus" as in stating a result. Please note, though, that the use of sålunda is somewhat archaic and quite rare. You might well use således in in a reasoning of some sort. Example: "vattnet är vått, således kan vi dra slutsatsen att"... = "the water is wet, thus we can draw the conclusion..." In these usages, they're synonymous to the way you'd use "consequently".

To say "som betyder att" is not weird. But perhaps it would be more fitting to say "vilket betyder att..." ("which means that...." to link something to a result.

Does that answer your questions? If not, I can really recomment wiktionary as a resource in these cases. If nothing else, just ask.

September 22, 2015

It doesn't really answer my question in the way I was hoping for, no but I appreciate your reply nevertheless.

I mean, you mentioned således and sålunda so there's that. You also said that så is often left out in writing which I wasn't aware of but you neglected to even mention "alltså" and "därför". And are there more synonyms?

Which should be used in which cases? Which are more talspråkligt and which are not? How do they compare to their English counterparts?

It's just not enough information and doesn't really change anything for me, other than that I should maybe mostly ignore således and sålunda. I still have no idea when it is best to use så, when it is better to use alltså, when it is better to use därför etc.

I'm aware of and use Wiktionary, it's a great resource but it does't really answer my questions either.

I'm looking for more of the kind of in-depth breakdown that e.g. Arnauti tends to post. But thank you, again, it helped somewhat but just not in the way that I wanted.

September 22, 2015

First, let's ignore sålunda. Sålunda is, as has been mentioned, archaic and barely used. Således is not archaic, but very formal, and I would put it aside except for very advanced learners. Neither are almost never spoken.

I'll try to rank them from least formal (and most frequently spoken) to most formal:

  • så - so, therefore. Probably the most frequent in speech, but is considered generally too colloquial for writing. It is omitted when possible or replaced. Jag cyklar, så jag använder hjälm. It works like a conjunction, so for example word order is not reversed.

  • alltså - equvalent to så, means therefore, thus or so. It is common in speech but can be used even in formal writing, so it is quite neutral. Alltså implies a stronger causal link than så. For example, Jag cyklar, alltså använder jag hjälm implies that wearing a helmet really is something that naturally (should) follow from riding a bike.

  • därför - is a bit more tricky to translate into English, but is very common. It can mean both since, because (when followed by att) but also therefore. E.g. Jag använder hjälm därför att jag cyklar and *Jag cyklar (och) därför använder jag hjälm" mean essentially the same thing. "För att" can also be interchanged with "därför att" in the former sentence. It is also quite neutral, so it can be used both informal and formal contexts.

  • There also also many other options. "Consequently" would literally be "följdaktligen", but could also be "som en följd (av detta)", "som en konsekvens av detta", "av vilket följer att" etc etc. "Which means that" could be "vilket betyder att", "vilket innebär att", "vilket medför" etc etc. As in English, the alternatives are almost limitless. These ones are all quite formal.

I hope this explained it a bit more clearly, but feel free to ask if you have more questions.

(Edited to correct a mistake about "för")

September 24, 2015

I am still really struggling with this but this helps somewhat, thank you.

Can you explain and rank the usage of "för att" as because. I just noticed this one today and it makes absolutely no sense to me becaues "för att" is almost always "in order to" for me. Also, it seems that då can be used in this way sometimes, as well?

And then there is genom att, på grund av att, emedan...

There are just way too many choices and when it comes time to express thus or because in a sentence I freeze.

September 25, 2015

Well, there is really no need to freeze. It seems like you are maybe making things more complicated than they need to be? I mean, you really wouldn't go around saying "thus" and "hence" in you everyday English, would you? In the same way you don't say "således" and "därmed" in everyday Swedish. I'd suggest limiting your choices to the more common ones, instead of mixing in stuff like "emedan" (which will make you seem like a 100-year old professor, I guarantee). I hope this doesn't come off as condescending, it's really not meant to.

"För att" can be exchanged with "därför att", which means "because", basically. I.e. I like hamburgers because they are tasty / Jag gillar hamburgare (där)för att de är goda. In this case, "att" is followed by a full subclause with a finite verb (de är goda).

When "för att" means "in order to", it is followed by an verb in the infinitive, just like in English. I.e. Jag äter hamburgare för att bli mätt / I eat hamburgers (in order) to get full. "Get" / "bli" is in the infinitive verb here. In this case, it cannot be exchanged with "därför att". Compare "Jag arbetar för att jag får min lön" vs "Jag arbetar för att få min lön", in English "I work because I get my pay" vs "I work (in order) to get my pay".

Genom att means "by" as in "by means of": Jag går genom att lyfta fötterna - I walk by lifting my feet. So that is a separate meaning.

"På grund av" - "because of", literally "on basis of". I cannot think of any example where this can't be translated by "because of", so it should be pretty simple. It is also very common in speech and in writing.

So maybe an easy beginner list could be as follows:

  • Thus = alltså

  • Therefore = alltså

  • So = alltså

  • In order to = för att (followed by infinitive verb)

  • Because = för att, därför att (followed by full clause)

  • Because of = på grund av

September 26, 2015

Both are correct. But "promenera" is not so fitting in this context, since it implies the walking you do when you take a walk for leisure or with your dog or something. "Gå" sounds more natural in this context.

In the second sentence you write "kan slippa" which sounds weird in Swedish. I would suggest just "slipper" instead. Also, "åker med" means to ride the bus or to to go by bus. "Tar" would mean take or catch the bus in this context. A closer translation of "I catch the bus so that I do not have to walk" would be "Jag tar bussen så att jag slipper gå".

If you wish to translate the corresponding sentence with " in order to", i.e. "I catch the bus in order to not have to walk", the closest would be "Jag tar bussen för att slippa gå". As in English, there is no significant difference in meaning between these two sentences.

You're welcome! I'm just happy to help :)

September 28, 2015

No idea if you're still around, but these explanations of yours helped me too. Tusen tack!

February 18, 2017

Thank you so much, this helps a great deal! Have two lingots.

September 26, 2015

What would your advice be when it comes to "so that" versus "in order to".

E.g.: "I catch the bus so that I do not have to walk."

It seems that there are two ways to translate this:

"Jag åker med bussen för att slippa promenera/gå."

"Jag åker med bussen så att jag kan slippa promenera/gå."

Is this correct?

September 27, 2015
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