Just: bare eller lige

The English just translates into a few different words in Danish, the two most important being lige and bare. Both words underline that this is no big thing, but in two different ways.
Lige literally describes precision in duration, distance, weight, volume etc.
  • Huset ligger lige derovre (The house is just/right over there. )
  • Lige et øjeblik! (Just a minute/moment!)

  • Lige is often applied to things that cannot be measured in units, but it still works the same way - it tones down by relativizing. Therefore lige also serves as please when you're asking for favors or giving instructions
  • Kan du lige åbne døren? - Could you please open the door?
  • Du skal lige slappe lidt af! (You just calm down!)

  • Bare is related to the English word bare = naked/uncovered. Bare reduces complexity by pointing to the essence - this is all it takes!:
  • Bilen er OK, der er bare ikke mere benzin. = (The car is OK it just needs some gas.)

  • Bare can also be used for wishing (if only) - one essential condition may change the whole situation:
  • Bare det var bedre vejr! Så kunne vi tage til stranden. (If only the weather had been better, then we could have gone to the beach)

  • And when you encourage somebody to just go ahead without thinking too much:
  • Det er ikke svært! Prøv bare! (It is not difficult - just give it a try!)
  • - Kan du hjælpe mig med min champagnepisker? Den virker ikke, måske skal den have ny CPU?

    - Nej, jeg tror , den skal have nye batterier. Jeg henter nogle, øjeblik.