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Distance as Abstand

In German Chancellor Angela Merkel's address to the nation last month (March 2020), she mentioned social distancing a number of times, using the German noun der Abstand.


Wir müssen aus Rücksicht voneinander Abstand halten.

Out of consideration, we have to keep a distance from each other.

Caption 30, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel

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... mindestens eineinhalb Meter Abstand zum Nächsten.

... a distance of at least one and a half meters from each other.

Caption 33, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel

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Im Moment ist nur Abstand Ausdruck von Fürsorge.

At the moment, distance is the only way to express care.

Caption 42, Coronavirus - Fernsehansprache von Angela Merkel

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Let's take a look at der Abstand as used in some other contexts.


Der Abstand zum Bordstein ist zwar etwas groß.

The distance to the curb is indeed somewhat large.

Caption 48, Richter Alexander Hold - Richtig parken

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... und immer Abstand halten von Sylvie van der Vaart,

... and always maintain distance from Sylvie van der Vaart,

dann kann gar nichts schiefgehen.

then nothing at all can go wrong.

Captions 29-30, Barbara Schöneberger - Das Roter-Teppich-Einmaleins

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Wenn das rot eingezeichnet ist, sehen Sie hier den Abstand.

If this is shown in red, you see the interval here.

Caption 40, Bildverarbeitung - Sirius Advanced Cybernetics in Pforzheim

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So, und der Abstand hier, der beträgt dann eben zwanzig Zentimeter.

So, and the distance here, it then amounts to just twenty centimeters.

Caption 38, Die Pfefferkörner - Gerüchteküche

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Der Abstand is usually translated as "distance," though as you see above, other terms such as "interval," "space," or "gap" are sometimes more appropriate, depending upon the context. 


Further Learning
There are a number of different German words that can be translated into the English word "distance," depending upon the specific contexts in which they are used. Go to Yabla German and find some more examples of der Abstand, then take a look at some of the other words expressing "distance," such as die Entfernung and die Ferne. As a reward for your diligent studies, take a 5-minute break and watch actor Christoph Waltz give talk show host Jimmy Fallon a quiz on long German words, it's pretty funny!

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