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German Lessons

Topics

Entweder... oder... and weder... noch...

Today we'll look at a topic that is neither particularly difficult nor completely easy. This is because either you memorize it immediately or you constantly forget the necessary order. 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

To create the "either... or..." construction in German, the words entweder and oder are employed, always in that particular order: 

 

Daniel Müller ist entweder nicht im Büro oder nicht erreichbar.

Daniel Müller is either not in the office or not available.

Caption 20, Berufsleben - Probleme mit Mitarbeitern - Part 1

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Das kann man entweder persönlich tun in einer Filiale oder online.

You can do that either in person at a branch or online.

Caption 14, Eva erklärt - Bankkonten

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Used to reject more than one possibility or eliminate two different parties, weder... noch... is the German equivalent of "neither... nor...":

 

Es war weder Mensch noch Tier.

It was neither man nor animal.

Caption 33, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Schöne und das Biest

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Keiner rechnet damit, dass ein Radfahrer auf dem Gehweg fährt, weder Fußgänger noch Autofahrer.

No one takes into account that a cyclist will be riding on the sidewalk, neither pedestrians nor auto drivers.

Captions 12-13, Einsatz für Christophorus - Gehwegradler

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Another construction which you might have seen and is worth mentioning here is sowohl als auch. This is a fancy way of saying "both... and..." or "as well as...", therefore serving the opposite function.

 

Sowohl Malerei als auch Bildhauerei.

Both paintings as well as sculptures.

Caption 15, Lokalhelden - Art House - Part 1

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Sowohl in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland als auch in der DDR wehen schwarz-rot-goldene Fahnen.

Black, red, and gold flags wave in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as in the GDR.

Caption 61, Terra X - Woher kommen die Farben Schwarz-Rot-Gold?

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
Look for more examples of the entweder... oder... and weder... noch...  constructions on Yabla German to solidify your understanding. Also take a look at the different ways in which sowohl als auch can be translated.

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