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Auf einen zukommen

The above is a common German phrase that appears a bit odd in English, in that it seems to have the prepositions "on" and "to" in it, but that's not the case. On its own, the verb zukommen means "to belong to" or "to be assigned to," but when you add the preposition auf, together with a direct object such as einen, mich, dich, sie, ihnuns, etc., its meaning changes: 

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Ich weiß ja noch nicht, was auf mich zukommen würde.

I don't know yet what would lie ahead of me.

Caption 83, 18 Miss-Kandidatinnen - beim Friseur

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Wir wussten, was auf uns zukommt.

We knew what to expect.

Caption 55, Fußball - U21-Nationalmannschaft

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...weil wir eben zu viele Einflüsse haben, die auf uns zukommen.

...because we just have too many influences that are reaching us.

Caption 29, Gamification - Wie Spielen den Alltag interessanter macht

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Wie wenn Störtebeker eine Hanse-Kogge auf sich zukommen sah.

Like when Störtebeker saw a Hanseatic ship approaching him.

Caption 89, Großstadtrevier - St. Pauli rettet HSV

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Die Koggen, die du heute Abend auf dich zukommen siehst...

The ships that you'll see coming toward you tonight...

Caption 92, Großstadtrevier - St. Pauli rettet HSV

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Damit war eigentlich nur gemeint, ob euch klar war, wie viel da auf euch zukommt.

I actually just meant whether it was clear in your mind how much there is in store for you.

Caption 20, Luxuslärm - Interview

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As you see above, depending upon the context, auf [einen] zukommen is variously translated as "to be expecting someone or something," "to be reaching someone or something," "to be approaching someone or something," "to be coming toward someone or something," and "to be in store for someone or something." 

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Further Learning
Look at the examples above on Yabla German to get a better grasp of the contexts in which auf einen zukommen is used so that you can better understand its meaning and learn how to integrate the phrase into your own vocabulary.

Sentences with je... desto... and je... umso...

In English, we would say "the more you practice, the better you will speak German." In German, these types of parallel comparatives are called Proportionalsätze, and are constructed as follows:

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Je + comparative adjective (phrase)desto or umso + comparative adjective (phrase).

 

Take a look at the examples below, paying special attention to the positions of the adjectives (or the words mehr or weniger) and the verbs in both clauses. 

 

Und je positiver das ausfällt, desto motivierender.

And the more positive that is, the more motivational.

Caption 65, Gamification - Wie Spielen den Alltag interessanter macht

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Je niedriger die Regionalklasse, desto günstiger wirkt sich das auf den Versicherungsbeitrag aus.

The lower the regional classification, the cheaper it makes the insurance payment.

Captions 10-11, Kfz-Versicherung - Was ist die Regionalklasse?

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Denn je kälter es wird, desto weniger Zeit dürfen sie draußen sein.

Because the colder it gets, the less time they're allowed to be outside.

Caption 4, Im Zoo - Tiere im Winter

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Je mehr Energie ich spare, desto weniger muss ich auch jagen. So einfach ist das.

The more energy I save, the less I have to hunt. It's that simple.

Caption 17, Für Tierfreunde - Geparden

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Ja, und je braver wir zum Hund sind, desto mehr macht er, was er will.

Yes, and the nicer we are to the dog, the more he does just what he wants.

Caption 25, Haustiere als Geschenk? - Vier Pfoten unterm Weihnachtsbaum

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Often, you will see the word umso rather than desto

 

Aber je mehr uns davon gelingt, umso besser.

But the more it succeeds for us, the better.

Caption 31, Angela Merkel - beim Nachhaltigkeitsrat

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Je eleganter man wirkt, umso mehr wird man auch anerkannt... gesellschaftlich, beruflich...

The more elegant one appears, the more one is also accepted... socially, professionally...

Caption 42, Auf dem Laufsteg - Modelcollege in Wiesbaden

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Further Learning
Based on the structures you see above, make up your own sentences with je and desto umso. If you need some comparative adjectives to get you started, you can find a few helpful tables on this page. You can also visit Yabla German and look for further examples.

Verschieden, unterschiedlich, and anders

On Yabla German, you have probably come across these three words, which are most often all translated as "different." However, they are actually not always synonyms. The following distinction is to be taken with a grain of salt, but may be helpful:

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anders = "different," implying "other" or "another"
verschieden = "different," implying "various" or "diverse"
unterschiedlich = "different," implying "dissimilar" 

 

Following this, you would say that these adjectives have unterschiedliche Bedeutungen, but not verschiedene Bedeutungen. What exactly is the correct usage of verschieden then?

 

Wir haben jetzt viele verschiedene Leute gefragt.

Now we've asked a lot of different people.

Caption 91, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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In the sentence above, the use of the adjective verschieden simply implies that a large number of people were asked about their New Year's resolutions in a survey. If the sentence used the phrase viele unterschiedliche Leute, it would emphasize that the people asked were different from each other, perhaps in terms of age or background. 

 

Es gibt ja unterschiedliche Gründe, warum Erwachsene spielen, ne...

There are indeed different reasons that adults play, right...

Caption 1, Gamification - Wie Spielen den Alltag interessanter macht

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In this example, the opposite occurs, and the emphasis is on how dissimilar the reasons are, not the fact that a wide variety exists. 

 

Die Kündigung hat bestimmt andere Gründe.

The layoff probably has other reasons.

Caption 30, Berufsleben - Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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In this sentence, the use of andere Gründe emphasizes that there are reasons that are different from what has already been considered. Verschiedene Gründe would imply that there are a variety of reasons, while unterschiedliche Gründe would more likely be used if two people got fired for distinct reasons. 

 

Remember that anders can also be used with als for comparisons, which is not the case for the other two adjectives. 

 

Man kann hier natürlich noch andere Sachen tun als nur schwimmen.

You can, of course, do other things here besides just swimming.

Caption 6, Berlin - Wannsee

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Further Learning
There are many examples of these adjectives used on Yabla German. When you see them, ask yourself exactly which meaning is being implied. 
You might also want to watch this video, which looks at this tricky topic in more detail.

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