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From Old Swedish þænkia, from Middle Low German denken, from Old Saxon thenkian, from Proto-Germanic *þankijaną (whence also Old Swedish þækkia), from Proto-Indo-European *teng-.


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tänka (present tänker, preterite tänkte, supine tänkt, imperative tänk)

  1. think; to ponder, to communicate to oneself in one's mind
    Vad tänker du på?
    What are you thinking about?
  2. (with "") keep in mind; be aware of
    Tänk på att du aldrig får lämna ett tänt ljus.
    Keep in mind that you should never leave a lit candle.
  3. intend; to plan on; to mean
    Jag tänker åka utomlands på semestern
    I mean to go abroad during the vacation
  4. (reflexive) have on one's mind; have as a (preconceived) plan
    Vilken färg har ni tänkt er på huset?
    Which color do you have in mind for the house?
  5. (reflexive) consider as viable
    Jag skulle aldrig någonsin kunna tänka mig att måla huset i en sådan knallrosa färg!
    I would never ever consider painting the house in such a sharp pink color!




Related termsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Usage notesEdit

Regarding the sense of to intend or to mean, tänka is the main option signifying a setup plan, while mena (somewhat more colloquial) signifies what are the immediate consequences. For example: I didn't mean to knock your tooth out = Jag menade inte att slå ut dina tänder. Here, a translation with "tänka" (Jag tänkte inte...) may give the impression of I didn't plan to knock out your teeth.