German Lessons

Topics

Je nach and je nachdem...

It's good to get familiar with the phrase je nach (and je nachdem), which is usually translated as "according to" or "depending on." Here are some examples.

 

Ähm, wir haben natürlich je nach Film junge Pärchen da.

Um, we have, of course, depending on the film, young couples here.

Wir haben, ähm, die Actionfans da.

We have, um, the action fans here.

Caption 22, Autokino - Gravenbruch

 Play Caption

 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

Wenn die fünfhundert Gramm Mehl abgewogen sind,

When the five hundred grams of flour are measured out,

kann man je nach Belieben noch eine Prise Salz hinzugeben.

you can also, according to taste, add a pinch of salt.

Captions 7-8, Bayrische Spätzle - mit Christiane

 Play Caption

 

Je nach der Branche, in der man arbeiten möchte,

Depending on the field that you would like to work in,

kann man auch Arbeitsproben oder die Referenzen der letzten Arbeitgeber hinzufügen.

you can also add work samples or the references from the previous employers.

Captions 30-31, Eva erklärt - Bewerbungen

 Play Caption

 

Stimmt nicht! Flüchtlinge bekommen je nach Situation eine Bleibe und Versorgung

Not true! Refugees receive, according to their situation, shelter and provisions

im Wert von zweihundertsiebenundachtzig bis dreihundertneunundfünfzig Euro pro Monat.

at a value of two hundred eighty-seven to three hundred fifty-nine euros per month.

Captions 7-8, Flüchtlingskrise - 10 Vorurteile, die nicht stimmen

 Play Caption

 

Darin enthalten sind allerdings noch nicht die Kosten für das Autogramm,

However, this still does not include the cost of the autograph,

so werden je nach Bekanntheitsgrad des Schauspielers

so depending on the level of fame of the actor,

schnell bis zu zweihundert Euro für die Fan-Erinnerung fällig.

up to two hundred euros can be soon owed for the fan memento.

Captions 12-14, Star Wars - Treffen der Fangemeinde

 Play Caption

 

Historisch hatten die entweder Leder

Historically, they had either leather

oder halt, äh, Turban, und gewickelt,

or just, uh, a turban and wrapped it around,

je nachdem, wo sie beim Militär waren.

according to where they served in the military.

Captions 17-19, Mit Schwert und Schild - Gladiatorenschule in Trier

 Play Caption

 

Je nachdem is correct when it is followed by a subordinate clause as is the above case, whereas je nach dem is only correct when followed by a masculine or neuter noun – and only when the definite article is mentioned, which is usually not the case (for example, you would never say je nach dem Belieben; only je nach Belieben is correct). Je nach dem is, for example, correct in je nach dem zugrunde liegenden Gedanken.

 

Further Learning
Write down some example sentences in English using "according to" and "depending on" and translate them into German. You can ask your teacher or a classmate to check your work for you. You can also go to Yabla German and find some other examples of sentences using je nach.

Zeichnen, zeigen, and das Zeichen

... and the list goes on to include die Zeichnung and das Zeichnen, among others. Do you know which word is which?

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Das Zeichen is a noun and can be translated as "the sign" or "the mark."

 

Das ist ein gutes Zeichen, denn es bedeutet, dass dem Arbeitgeber die Bewerbungsunterlagen gefallen haben...

That is a good sign, since it means that the employer liked the application documents...

Captions 39-40, Eva erklärt - Bewerbungen - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

The verb zeichnen means "to draw." Das Zeichnen is the act/action of drawing, whereas die Zeichnung is "the drawing" as in a sketch or artwork on paper. The participle of the verb is gezeichnet, which also means "to plot" or "to mark." 

 

Dreimal in der Woche kommt sie ins Atelier, um zu zeichnen.

Three times a week she comes to the atelier to draw.

Caption 29, Malerei - Atelier Goldstein

 Play Caption

 

Ich hab' sehr viel Sport gemacht, äh, habe sehr viel gezeichnet...

did a lot of sports, uh, drew a whole lot...

Caption 58, rheinmain Szene - Unheilig - „Der Graf“ - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Quite separate from these two words is the verb zeigen, or "to show," the participle of which is "gezeigt."

 

Hallo, mein Name ist Christiane und ich werd' euch heute zeigen, wie man Spätzle macht.

Hello, my name is Christiane and I am going to show you today, how you make spaetzle.

Caption 1, Bayrische Spätzle - mit Christiane

 Play Caption

 

Im kommenden Jahr soll der Film dann auf der Berlinale erstmals gezeigt werden.

Next year the movie will be shown for the first time at the Berlinale [Berlin Film Festival].

Caption 50, Dreharbeiten - zum Film „Playoff“

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
There are more examples of these words in their various forms and conjugations to be found on Yabla German. For an overview, this page can help you with the conjugations for zeichnen, while this page fully conjugates the verb zeigen. 

Why Me of All People?

And why on Yabla German of all places? Well, that's easy: it's because you want to learn German and you know how great the Yabla language learning system is! But speaking of learning, how do you say phrases like "... of all places" and "... of all people" in German? 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

First, a little background on the phrase. The separable German verb ausrechnen, in its standard form, means "to compute," "to figure out," "to calculate," or "to estimate," as in this example: 

 

Wie rechnet ihr eure Chancen aus zu gewinnen?

What do you estimate your chances of winning are?

Caption 11, Yabla-Filmfestspiele - Preisverleihung

 Play Caption

 

However, a slang adverb developed out of the past participle of the verb ausrechnen:

 

Ja, ausgerechnet Stauffenberg. Wer hätte das gedacht?

Yes, Stauffenberg of all people. Who would have thought that?

Caption 54, Die Stunde der Offiziere - Dokudrama über den 20. Juli 1944 - Part 13

 Play Caption

 

Ich wundere mich ein wenig,

I'm a bit surprised

dass ausgerechnet heute Ihre Sekretärin nicht da ist.

that today of all days your secretary isn't here.

Captions 54-55, Die Stunde der Offiziere - Dokudrama über den 20. Juli 1944 - Part 8

 Play Caption

 

Und ausgerechnet im „Skatershop“

And in the skate shop, of all places,

wartete auch schon der nächste Spießer.

the next philistine is waiting too.

Caption 9, Thomas D - Ärgernisse

 Play Caption

 

Und das ausgerechnet von Hühnern…

And that, of all things, from chickens…

Caption 5, Tierakademie Scheuerhof - Tiertrainer im Hühner-Seminar

 Play Caption

 

So basically you can use the slang adverb ausgerechnet to mean "... of all" and then whatever the topic of your discussion is. Occasionally, the slang adverb ausgerechnet may be translated otherwise: 

 

… und wieso man ausgerechnet für die betreffende Firma arbeiten möchte.

… and why you specifically would like to work for the respective company.

Caption 25, Eva erklärt - Bewerbungen

 Play Caption

 

Of course, this could also have been translated: "... and why you would like to work for this respective company, of all companies." As with all translations, it's best to use whatever catches the meaning and is most graceful at the same time. 

 

Achtung: sometimes the past participle of ausrechnen shows up and might fool you:

 

… über hundertsechzig Filme,

… more than one hundred and sixty movies,

hab' ich jetzt mal einfach so grob ausgerechnet.

I've just now roughly estimated.

Caption 38, Kurzfilm-Festival - Shorts at Moonlight

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

Further Learning
Look for more examples of ausgerechnet used in a real-world context on Yabla German, and for further study compare the Duden definition of the verb ausrechnen with the slang adverb ausgerechnet.

 

Thank you for reading this newsletter and keep up the good work! If you have any good ideas for lesson topics, please email them to us at newsletter@yabla.com, and you can tweet us @yabla.

The verb schaffen

Every language has certain words that are used often in everyday life, to the extent that they may seem to shape the language and the culture. One such word in German, with a myriad of implementations, would have to be the verb schaffen.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

The verb schaffen can mean "to do," "to manage," "to achieve," "to cope with," or "to successfully complete something," to "make it" or "make it work."

 

Oh, aber das schaffst du doch auch alleine!

Oh, but you'll manage it alone after all!

Caption 64, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

However, it can also mean "to create," "to make," or "to bring something into being."

 

Es ging eigentlich darum, Wohnraum zu schaffen in der Stadt.

It was actually about, creating living spaces in the city.

Caption 20, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen - Architekturpreis Green Building

 Play Caption

 

There is one thing to watch out for with the verb schaffen, and this is that the two meanings are reflected with two different participles when it is used in the past tense. Here we see the past participle for the first definition:

 

Juhu, dann haben wir's geschafft!

Yahoo, then we've done it!

Caption 41, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Weil oder obwohl? - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

Damit hat man also den ersten Schritt im Bewerbungsverfahren geschafft.

With that, you have succeeded with the first step in the application process.

Caption 42, Eva erklärt - Bewerbungen - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Whereas geschafft would refer to something being successfully done or achieved, geschaffen refers to creation:

 

Hier, mitten im Zentrum von Berlin, [gefahren auf einem speziellen Kurs] haben sich BMX-Fahrer und Mountainbiker ihr Eldorado geschaffen.

Here, in the center of Berlin, [driving on a special course] BMX riders and mountain bikers have created their El Dorado.

Captions 4-5, Pumptrack - Rad fahren, ohne zu treten

 Play Caption

 

Mit Höckern und Bänken sollen Verschnaufmöglichkeiten für Senioren geschaffen werden.

With stools and benches, possibilities [places] for seniors to rest and catch their breath will be created.

Captions 44-45, Bespielbare Stadt - Griesheim

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
Here is a list of the conjugations of schaffen, including the preterite schaffte and schuf. See which of these conjugations you can find in use on Yabla German!

You May Also Like