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  5. "Ju tidigare, desto bättre"

"Ju tidigare, desto bättre"

Translation:The earlier, the better

January 29, 2015



This construct exists almost exactly the same in German. Amazing.


Exactly! I am a German and je mehr schwedisch ich lerne, desto faszinierender ist es für mich! ;)


I thought the exact same thing!


What even is this?


The word pair the…the corresponds to ju…desto in Swedish.


Can you give another example of this construction? I get it in the sentence provided but not sure I grasp the underlying rule.


They’re used when you compare two parts, and the first part describes the prerequisite, and the second part describes the effect or result.

  • Ju fler, desto bättre. (The more, the merrier)
  • Ju tidigare, desto bättre. (The sooner, the better.)
  • Ju mer du läser, desto större blir ditt ordförråd. (The more you read, the larger your vocabulary will be.)
  • Ju snällare du är, desto mer tycker jag om dig. (The kinder you are, the more I like you.
  • Ju mer jag tränar, desto starkare blir jag. (The more I work out, the stronger I will be.)
  • Ju hårdare jag jobbar, desto tröttare blir jag. (The harder I work, the more tired I get.)
  • Ju fler kockar, desto sämre soppa. (The more cooks, the worse the soup: Swedish proverb).


This list made my grey, melting snow day. Thank you. I did LOL.


Thanks very much for this list. It made me think of another question though. What is the difference in meaning between jobbar and arbetar?


Arbeta is more formal and jobba more colloquial.


thank you so much! and the last one is a very true proverb


So, the desto part also requires a V2 construction when the result is an action?


Tack for all those wonderful examples. FYI, "Too many cooks spoil the broth" is the English version of the last example.


@Lundgren8, you better provide many examples here because you know, the more the merrier! (ju fler desto bättre [or "roligare"])


Would this be the Swedish equivalent of "the sooner the better"?


The set expression for that is ju förr desto bättre.


Yet, "the sooner the better" is actually accepted as translation. Or were you only arguing the more idiomatically correct translation?


As a followup: does tidig mean "early" strictly in the sense of "early on the day" or can it also be in the sense of "soon"? Especially in the comparative "tidigare", "earlier" might be used in this way in English.


tidigare can mean both earlier and sooner, so the sooner the better is a totally acceptable translation of this, but the set expression to say that in Swedish is ju förr desto bättre.


German uses a very similar construction: "Je... desto..." I'm a native German speaker and learnig Swedish through English obviously and it is so cool to see similarities between these three languages :)


"Ju" in this case, does that have anything to do with the "ju" I keep hearing about that is tricky to translate?


Now I love Swedish even more!


A friend told me that you use Ju to implies that the person you are talking to is already aware of the answer. Is this true or somewhat correct?


Yes, ju has the meaning 'as is known'.
That's a different ju from the ju … desto construction we have here though, so here, 'ju' doesn't mean that.


That when you use ju.... it implies...


Is there any kind of common abbreviation for this type of saying in Swedish? Something like ASAP for "as soon as possible" in English?


No, none such abbreviation. "As soon as possible" translates to "så snart som möjligt" though.


What is used this for?


- When do you want to start tomorrow?
- The earlier, the better. (meaning: I want to start as early as possible)


Ive seen ju used as a adverbial. Can anyone explain?


ju is used very frequently in Swedish as a filler word to implicitly ask for agreement and bring the parties closer in a discussion, so to speak. It's a little like suffixing "you know?" in English, for instance.


can you provide examples for that, please

  • Det vet du ju = You know that
  • De är ju bra på fotboll = They're good at football


Hejsan. Det förvirrar mig alltid när man använder "ju". Kan du ge oss mer exempel? Spelar det ingen roll där en "ju" placeras i en mening?


Are you learning Russian? If you are, so you can translate it as russian "же", "чем": Jag har ju sagt det redan =Я же уже говорил это. Ju tidigare, desto bättre = Чем раньше, тем лучше.

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