Danish word of the day: Straks

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Danish word of the day: Straks

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We’ll explain this one with no further delay.


What is straks? 

Straks means that something is about to happen very soon, and is related to the verb at strække, to stretch.

You might eat dessert straks after dinner or finish a project your boss asked you to work on straks.

It therefore means to do something immediately, or close to immediately. It can also be passive, describing an immediate effect when something has happened.

While it’s not always an exact substitute for “immediately”, how soon it signifies depends entirely on the context. However, it is usually understood that it is sooner than another word, snart, which means “soon”.

There is a bit of a grey area between the two words, though. For example, you can say jeg er straks tilbage if you’re going to the nearest shop to get something and won’t be long, but (for obvious reasons) won’t be back immediately.


The two are nearly interchangeable, but there will be occasions when straks doesn’t make sense as an alternative to snart, and vice versa.

Why do I need to know straks?

It can be used both when talking about the future ("oh yes, I'll definitely do that thing you asked me to do straks") and the past ("my grandmother became pregnant straks after she married").

You might see it used to emphasis something surprising or unexpected, like in der var straks en anden stemming, da den udbudne gæst ankom (“the atmosphere changed at once when the uninvited guest arrived”), or something expected: tilbuddet var godt og blev straks accepteret af sælger (“the offer was a good one and the seller accepted immediately”).

Finally, you might see it employed to describe a continuation of something. In these instances, you can’t substitute it for “immediately” if translated to English. An example of this is det flotte spil fortsatte straks efter pausen, or “the excellent play continued unbroken after the break”.


Jeg kommer straks

I'll be there right away

Klokken er straks tolv

It is almost 12 o'clock

De tog på bryllupsrejse straks efter brylluppet

They went on their honeymoon straight after the wedding


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