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Actually, indeed, and in fact

We use words like the ones above to add emphasis or clarification and generally aid the flow of conversation.


The word eigentlich is both an adjective meaning "actual," "proper," or "real," and an adverb meaning "actually" or "in fact."


Also, die Seegrube ist eigentlich mein Lieblingsberg.

So, the Seegrube is actually my favorite mountain.

Caption 14, 48 h in Innsbruck: Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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Aber wie viele Legosteine eigentlich insgesamt?

But how many Lego bricks in total, actually?

Caption 4, 500 000 Legosteine Lübecker Museum zeigt Hansegeschichte

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Then there are in der Tat and tatsächlich, which both are used to emphasize that you are talking about how something really, truly is. 


Na, ob das Hotel Adlon tatsächlich so volksnah und zugänglich für jeden werden kann, das bleibt abzuwarten, denn hier schreibt man Luxus ganz groß.

Well, whether the Hotel Adlon can in fact become so casual and accessible for everyone, this remains to be seen, for here "luxury" is written in capital letters [idiom: extremely important].

Captions 20-21, Berlin: Hotel Adlon feiert 15 Jahre Neueröffnung

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Ich bin Linkshänderin aufm Tennisplatz, aber ansonsten bin ich tatsächlich Rechtshänderin.

I'm left-handed on the tennis court, but otherwise I'm actually right-handed.

Captions 15-16, Angelique Kerber: Generali fragt Angelique Kerber #2 | Ist Angie Frühaufsteherin?

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Nun, Sie scheinen sehr selbstbewusst zu sein, in der Tat.

Well, you seem to be very confident indeed.

Caption 33, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

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Die irischen Nationalisten denken in der Tat schon über eine Wiedervereinigung mit Irland nach.

The Irish nationalists are, in fact, already thinking about a reunification with Ireland.

Captions 16-17, BREXIT - Briten für EU-Ausstieg: Politisches Erdbeben in Europa

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The word zwar is also used for emphasis: 


Und zwar haben wir mega viele Skateparks bekommen, hier zum Beispiel die Zoobrücke.

And we did, in fact, get a mega ton of skate parks, like the Zoobrücke [Zoo Bridge] here, for example.

Captions 29-30, #180sec Köln Aggressive Inline-Skating

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One thing to watch out for is the adjective aktuell, which has nothing to do with "actually," but means "current." You'll find this in our previous lessons about false friends.


Further Learning
Try to write your own sentences with tatsächlich, in der Tat, zwar, and eigentlich. You'll find many reference examples on Yabla German.

Insects in German, Part II

Let's continue on from the first lesson about different insect names in German, starting with the sometimes rather annoying fly: 


In dem Moment ist mir eine Fliege ins Ohr geflogen.

At that moment, a fly flew into my ear.

Caption 57, 48 h in Innsbruck - Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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There are also a number of German idioms and slang usages that use the noun die Fliege:


Damit schlägt sie zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe.

With that she hits two flies with one swatter.

Caption 7, Christina Stürmer - ist reif fürs Museum

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Hau ab! Mach die Fliege, sonst gibt's Ärger.

Get lost! Do the fly, or there'll be trouble.

Caption 39, Die Pfefferkörner - Endspurt

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The two translations above are literal, of course. Zwei fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen has the English equivalent "to kill two birds with one stone." And die Fliege machen means to get away quickly, just as flies do. The common housefly is called die Stubenfliege, by the way.


Another potentially annoying insect is die Motte:


Kleine braune Motten mit scharfen Zähnen flogen aus der Büchse.

Little brown moths with sharp teeth flew out of the box.

Caption 54, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Büchse der Pandora

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Die Motten flogen aus dem Fenster und stachen jeden, der ihnen in die Quere kam.

The moths flew out the window and stung everyone who crossed their path.

Captions 63-64, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Büchse der Pandora

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Fliegen Motten in das Licht, genau wie du und ich.

Moths fly into the light, just like you and I.

Caption 2, Nena - Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann

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Even though they're technically arachnids, not insects, let's include die Spinne


Alligatoren, Schlangen, Spinnen, Skorpione.

Alligators, snakes, spiders, scorpions.

Caption 3, Summer Cheergirl - Fotoshooting mit lebendigen Spinnen

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And then there are the amazing traps that spiders lay and live upon:


Das sieht aus wie ein Spinnennetz.

That looks like a spider web.

Caption 55, Die Pfefferkörner - Alles auf Anfang

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As well as an idiomatic expression that means "how horrible":


Aber einem Menschen seine Krankheit vorzuwerfen: Pfui Spinne!

But criticizing a person for his illness: ugh, spider!

Caption 54, heute-show - Die männliche Merkel hat Erinnerungslücken

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And here's another idiomatic expression using die Laus (plural: die Läuse), which is asking here if you are upset about something:


Ist Ihnen schon wieder eine Laus über die Leber gelaufen?

Did a louse walk over your liver again?

Caption 13, Weihnachtsmann gesucht - Der echte Weihnachtsmann

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Further Learning
See if you can guess the meanings of the following German insect words, and then make them plural in German and check if you were correct: die Mücke (or die Stechmücke); die Kakerlake; die Libelle; and lastly an easy one: der Grashüpfer. Then go to German Yabla and watch some other videos about insects.

The Long Goodbye

That is actually the title of a classic detective novel by Raymond Chandler, but the long and short of it is that there are a number of ways to say goodbye in German – some of them longer than others! Let's start with what you probably already know:


Ja, damit sind wir fertig. Auf Wiedersehen!

Yes, with that we are finished. Goodbye!

Caption 77, Das 1. Newtonsche Gesetz - erklärt am Beispiel des Dodomobils

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Ich sehe Sie dann morgen. Auf Wiederhören.

I'll see you tomorrow then. Goodbye.

Caption 52, Berufsleben - das Vorstellungsgespräch

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Because of the -sehen in Wiedersehen ("see you again") and -hören in Wiederhören ("hear from you again"), auf Wiederhören is the proper form to use on the telephone.


Wiedersehen, vielen Dank! -Tschüss. -Tschüss.

Goodbye, many thanks! -Bye. -Bye.

Caption 25, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Tschüss is an informal waym of saying goodbye that originally stems from the Spanish word for goodbye, adios.


Bis morgen. Ciao.

See you tomorrow. Ciao.

Caption 40, Bäppi im Fernsehstudio - Bäppis best model by Hilde Klump

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"Ciao" is actually from the Italian and can, depending upon the context, be used for hello or goodbye. It is not even translated as "bye" here as it has been adopted into English by most American and British dictionaries. It's usage in German is very informal.


Sie wissen schon, was wir meinen. Adieu.

You do know what we mean. Adieu.

Captions 64-65, Die Pfefferkörner - Endspurt

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The French word for goodbye, adieu, has also been adopted by English and is thus generally not translated.


Ich hab was vergessen. -Aha. -Wir sehen uns.

I forgot something. -Aha. -See you.

Caption 66, Die Pfefferkörner - Eigentor

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It is also common to say Wir sehen uns morgen ("We'll see each other tomorrow" or "See you tomorrow"), or Wir sehen uns wieder ("We'll see each other again"), and so forth. It sounds a bit impersonal to the ears of an English speaker, but you can also say man sieht sich, which translates as "We'll see each other" or simply "See you." 


Mir hat's super gefallen. Bis dann!

I really enjoyed it. Until then!

Caption 93, Frisbee - Karlsruher Weihnachtsturnier

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Hast du die Mathehausaufgaben denn schon fertig? -Ja, bis später.

Have you finished the math homework already? -Yes, see you later.

Caption 2, Knallerfrauen - Mathehausaufgaben

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Mach's gut, Herbert. Bis bald.

Take care, Herbert. See you soon.

Caption 4, Nicos Weg - A1 Folge 3: Tschüss!

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Bis zum nächsten Mal.

Until next time.

Caption 21, Berlin - Domäne Dahlem

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Many of the ways to say goodbye using bis and some point in the future may be translated, depending upon the context, as either "till," "until," or "see you..." So if somebody says bis morgen, you could translate it as "till tomorrow," "until tomorrow," or "see you tomorrow."


Note that macht's gut, which could be literally translated as "fare well" or "farewell," is used as an informal way to say goodbye in some German regional dialects. Another good equivalent translation could be "have a good one."


But how do you say "to say goodbye" as in "to take leave" of somebody? The most common ways are Abschied nehmen and the reflexive verb sich verabschieden:


Aber als Flüchtling muss man eben oft Abschied nehmen.

But as a refugee, you often have to say goodbye.

Caption 35, Filmtrailer - Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl

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Und hier verabschieden wir uns auch von euch.

And we will say goodbye to you here.

Caption 39, 48 h in Innsbruck - Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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Further Learning
I hope that learning about goodbye didn't take too long—this is a lesson and not a novel, after all! Look for some of the ways of saying goodbye on Yabla German, and take special note of how some are used in formal contexts and others in more casual situations. So until next time, mach's gut and stay healthy!

German Adverbs of Indefinite Frequency

These German adverbs answer the question of how often something happens or is the case — Wie oft? Let's take a look at how to describe the most frequent to least frequent occurrences. 

First of all, we have immer, or "always." Like in English, there are different options for the placement of adverbs in German sentences. In this first sentence, the word einfach is also serving as an adverb, and both adverbs are placed after the verb. 


Es ist einfach immer was los und man ist in einer halben Stunde hier oben.

There is simply always something going on and you are up here in half an hour.

Caption 20, 48 h in Innsbruck - Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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Meistens, häufig and oft describe a relatively common or frequent occurrence. Note that, in this particular example, meistens is in the first position with the verb immediately following, which gives it extra emphasis. In the other two examples, the adverb comes after the verb (although not the participle!). 


Meistens sind ja die Fenster dann auch noch recht schmal.

Most of the time, the windows are also really narrow.

Caption 57, Feuerwehr Heidelberg - Löschfahrzeug

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In Deutschland ist das Wetter im Herbst häufig kühl und feucht.

In Germany, the weather in autumn is frequently cool and damp.

Caption 6, Herbst - mit Eva

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Große Erfindungen werden oft von ungewöhnlichen Ereignissen inspiriert.

Great inventions are often inspired by unusual events.

Caption 3, 200. Geburtstag - Die Geschichte des Fahrrads in 2 Minuten

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From manchmal to selten, the frequency of something happening or being the case decreases rapidly.


Es ist nur manchmal einfach etwas schwierig, wenn man zusammenlebt und so gut befreundet ist.

It is just sometimes a bit difficult when you live together and are such good friends.

Caption 34, Die Wohngemeinschaft - Probleme

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Ab und zu kann es aber auch mal ganz schön laut werden.

Once in a while it can, however, get pretty loud too.

Caption 62, Rhein-Main-TV - Badesee Rodgau

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Seinen schicken Umhang trug er gar nicht mehr,

He no longer wore his chic cloak

und mit seinem Pferd ritt er nur noch selten.

and he rode his horse only rarely.

Captions 38-39, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse

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Finally, we come to "never." It is also possible to say fast nie or "almost never."


Also, früher wollt ich nie zum Klavierunterricht gehen.

Well, at the time I never wanted to go piano lessons.

Caption 35, Deutsche Bands - Glashaus

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Further Learning
Many examples of these words can be found on Yabla German, and you can also look up the following German adverbs of definite frequency: täglich, wöchentlich, monatlich, jährlich, morgens, nachmittags, and abends. For more information on adverb placement, take a look at this helpful page.

Wann, wenn, ob, and falls

In a previous newsletter, we outlined the difference between wann, wenn, and als. This week, we'll take a look at wann and wenn in the context of the words listed above, which tend to be a bit confusing for beginners. 


Wann is a question word, like was or wie. It is concerned with at what point in time something will happen, but not if it will happen. 


Wann werden Sie diesen Flughafen eröffnen können?

When will you be able to open this airport?

Caption 28, Berlins regierender Bürgermeister - Pläne für 2014

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Genau, ja, wir schauen grad, wann der perfekte Zeitpunkt ist.

Exactly, yes, we are looking right now when the perfect time would be.

Caption 40, Wincent Weiss & Benni Freibott - Musik sein

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The word wenn can be confusing, because it can be translated as “if,” but also as “when” or “whenever.” 


Wenn man die Augen schließt und an Berlin denkt, was sieht man da?

If you close your eyes and think about Berlin, what do you see there?

Caption 1, Berlin - Hotel Adlon feiert 15 Jahre Neueröffnung

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Wenn schon so starker Schneefall ist, dann muss man die Zeit eigentlich optimal nutzen.

When there is such heavy snowfall, then you actually have to use your time optimally.

Caption 30, 48 h in Innsbruck - Sehenswürdigkeiten & Tipps

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The word ob means "whether," but is also translated as "if." It is generally used in sentences that involve two options or a question that could be answered with "no" just as easily as "yes."


Ich bin mir aber nicht sicher, ob das Eurem Vater gefällt.

But I'm not sure if your father will like that.

Caption 12, Das Märchen von der Prinzessin - die unbedingt in einem Märchen vorkommen wollte

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Ich möchte schauen, ob ihr die Regeln verstanden habt.

I want to see whether you have understood the rules.

Caption 63, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Trennbare Verben und Wortstellung

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Falls also means "if," but, unlike wenn, can only be used with the conditional type I and not conditional type II or III. It is also often translated as "in case." 


Ähm, falls Ihre Schwester trockene Haut hat, wär' des [das] ganz toll. -OK, super.

Um, if your sister has dry skin, that would be totally great. -OK, super.

Captions 35-36, Rhein-Main-TV - Eva Padberg beim Weihnachtseinkauf

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Natürlich auch einen warmen Pulli, falls es kalt wird.

Of course, also a warm pullover, in case it gets cold.

Caption 9, Christiane - fährt in den Urlaub

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Further Learning
To review the types of conditional sentences in English (mentioned above), take a look at this website. A newsletter on creating conditional sentences in German is forthcoming, so it's a good way to prepare! When you watch videos on Yabla German, note how wenn, ob, and falls are translated. Consider whether the word used could be swapped out for one of the others, and why or why not.