Sorry! Search is currently unavailable while the database is being updated, it will be back in 5 mins!

Frühling and Frühjahr

You may have noticed that there are two words used to talk about springtime in German: das Frühjahr and der Frühling. Sometimes these two words are used interchangeably, like "fall" and "autumn."


However, if we look at the Duden definition of each word, we see that der Frühling is specified as a season in which mild temperatures prevail and plants begin to grow, whereas das Frühjahr is more vaguely defined as the period of time between the end of winter and the end of spring. This may seem like a subtle difference, but means that we will be more likely to hear das Frühjahr used in contexts where we are more generally talking about the transitional months in the early part of the calendar year.


Also dann... [sic] wir sehen uns im Frühjahr zweitausendneun im Kino.

So, then... we'll see one another in the spring of two thousand nine at the movies.

Caption 29, Filmtrailer - Hexe Lilli

 Play Caption


Jedes Frühjahr wandern die großen Tintenfische durch das Wehr.

Every spring, the large coleoids travel through the dam.

Caption 8, Abenteuer Nordsee - Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

 Play Caption


Im Frühjahr zweitausendundelf

In the spring two thousand eleven,

sollen die ersten Fohlen geboren werden.

the first foals are expected to be born.

Caption 44, Für Tierfreunde - Przewalski-Wildpferde

 Play Caption


Unlike das Frühjahr, der Frühling clearly indicates the season (March through May in the Northern Hemisphere), along with its positive connotations of warm weather. If spring is named among other seasons, it will much more likely be referred to as der Frühling, and not das Frühjahr.


Frühling, Sommer, Herbst und Winter,

Spring, summer, autumn and winter,

so heißen die Jahreszeiten auf Deutsch.

that's what the seasons are called in German.

Captions 3-4, Herbst - mit Eva

 Play Caption


Winter muss eben sein, nich'? Aber, ja, Frühling ist mir lieber.

Winter has to happen, right? But yes, I prefer spring.

Caption 7, Berlin - Im Winter

 Play Caption


Knallige Farben sind im kommenden Frühling und Sommer ein Muss...

Loud colors for the coming spring and summer are a must...

Caption 2, Das Beauty-Einmaleins - Fingernägel

 Play Caption



Further Learning
Check out this previous lesson on compound words featuring Frühling. Look up the meanings of additional compound words such as die Frühjahrsmüdigkeitder Frühjahrsputz, das Frühjahrsquartal, die Frühjahrsmesse, or die Frühjahrsmode. 


You May Also Like