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Norwegian expression of the day: det er ikke bare bare

Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Skiing down the mountain with no skis? Det er ikke bare bare.

Why should I know this?

Det er ikke bare bare is an expression commonly thrown abruptly in the middle or at the end of a discussion. It is a way to easily state that a situation or event shouldn’t be simplified. You can say it in agreement with someone. Or you can use it to explain that you don’t believe the person you are talking to is being realistic about how difficult something may be. 

What does it mean? 

Det er ikke bare bare directly translated to English means, “It is not just just” or “it is not simply simply”. It really means “it’s not simple” or “it’s not easy”. Using the expression is a way to say that a situation or event may be more difficult than one assumes. 

Going for a swim in the sea in the middle of winter? Det er ikke bare bare

Moving two tons of firewood without a wheelbarrow? Det er ikke bare bare

Norwegian synonyms

Det er ikke lett. – It’s not easy.

Det er ikke så enkelt. – It’s not so simple.

Use it like this

Det er ikke bare bare å bytte skole midt i skoleåret – It’s not so easy to switch schools in the middle of the school year.

Det er ikke bare bare å være alenemor til to små – It’s not easy being a single mother of two small 


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