Verkligen vs egentligen vs faktiskt, and other adverb questions!

Q1. I'm trying to figure out if there are differences between the three. So far, the internet tells me this:

Hon är verkligen trevlig --> "She is REALLY nice." (emphasis)

Hon är egentligen trevlig --> "Actually, she's nice." (correcting/contradicting a previous notion/opinion)

Hon är faktiskt trevlig --> "She is really nice." (informing someone of something)

Does this seem accurate? Too limiting a definition? Do they overlap more than that?

EDIT based on comments:

Verkligen emphasizes, like "really" in English. Simple.

Egentligen contradicts the appearance of something, ("it would seem like this thing is abc, but it is actually/egentligen xyz")

Faktiskt contradicts a notion or opinion, ("people say abc thing about this other thing, but it is actually/in fact/faktiskt xyz")


Q2. Is antagligen commonly used? How does it differ from the word "nog"?


Q3. Is strax interchangeable with snart or do they mean slightly different things?

thanks as always

May 18, 2016


I think faktiskt would pretty much always contradict some previous statement/notion/opinion in this context. I don't think it could be said if that notion hadn't been somehow contradicted beforehand. (It could be 'I didn't think so at first, but …')

But egentligen contradicts not so much a previous notion/opinion, as an appearance of something. It's more like 'despite there having been evidence to the contrary, this is how it is'. Or, 'outwardly, it seems like … but in reality …'

Also, verkligen can be either emphasis, as you say, or confirmation. 'Is she nice? Yes, she really is nice.'

May 19, 2016

This is a very good description IMO. Perhaps it could be illustrated it with the following examples:

  • Jag tycker inte att han verkar vara så smart. - Han är faktiskt väldigt smart. (contradicting an opinion)

  • Han ser inte så smart ut. - Han är egentligen väldigt smart. (contradicting appearances)

  • Han är så smart! - Ja, han är verkligen smart. (agreement/emphasis)…

  • OR Är han smart? - Ja, han är verkligen smart. (confirmation/emphasis)

May 20, 2016

I know you wrote that two years ago, but thank you so much for the examples. "Verkligen" isn't that hard for me to understand as it is close to the German word "wirklich", which means "really". The problems I had were with "fasktiskt" and "egentligen".

August 10, 2018
  1. Yes, that seems at least quite accurate. Verkligen stresses what it describes and egentligen contradicts or corrects. Faktiskt is probably the trickier one here. It overlaps with both of the previous ones, and can also mean to inform on factual circumstances.

  2. Yes, it is used. For one thing, it'd most often sound strange to use "nog" without a verb.
    "Kommer du?" (Are you coming?)
    "Ja, antagligen." (Yes, probably)

  3. Yes and no. There is probably overlap depending on whom you ask, but a strax is a little shorter than a snart. Maybe it could help to think of them as "just a moment" and "just a short while" respectively.

May 19, 2016

I'll add an example for strax vs. snart.
Jag ska snart flytta till Kina 'I'm moving to China soon' – this is fine – snart has a big extension.
?Jag ska strax flytta till Kina – doesn't really work – "I'll move to China in just a minute" – the extension of strax is too short for this to seem reasonable.

May 19, 2016

Excellent examples everyone! (Also feeling the lingot love in here, lol)

I had thought about certain words in Swedish sounding strange without a verb. Can you say kanske without a verb (because kanske technically is a verb + infinitive)?

"Are you coming?" "Maybe."

May 19, 2016

Sure. But I could also answer Absolut, which has nothing verbal in it.

May 19, 2016

so strax means in a short while as in a few minutes

February 28, 2018

For what it's worth, in my personal experience "faktiskt" semantically translates most accurately to "actually" or "in fact", rather than your suggested "really" (even though "really" is not wrong either.)

May 19, 2016

So is the best translation for egentligen "despite appearances"

May 30, 2016
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