German Lessons


Safe Fun in the Sun

Maybe you live in the Southern Hemisphere, where it's currently winter, but in Northern Germany spring has arrived. We're finally starting to get more sunshine! Der Sonnenschein  is a noun you probably know already, along with some other standards like die Sonnenbrille ("sunglasses," singular in German, by the way!) and die Sonnenblume  ("sunflower"). Let's take a look today at some less familiar compound nouns that use Sonnen- as the root word.


The sun comes up with der Sonnenaufgang:


Wir sind nie vor Sonnenaufgang nach Hause gegangen.

We never went home before sunrise.

Caption 9, Nicos Weg: So feiern wir!

 Play Caption


Hopefully it will be another sunny day (der Sonnentag)! Not be confused with the day of the week (Sonntag), as there are plenty of those with bad weather!


Steh gerade, kerzengerade, lache in den Sonnentag.

Stand up straight, straight as a candle, laughing on the sunny day.

Caption 19, DDR-Fernsehen: Die letzten Sendeminuten des DFF

 Play Caption


But with sunny days comes the danger of sunburn and long-term cancer risks from the rays of the sun: (der Sonnenstrahl, plural die Sonnenstrahlen):


...als die ersten Sonnenstrahlen durch die Wolken blitzten. the first rays of sunshine flashed through the clouds.

Caption 48, Märchen,Sagenhaft: Der standhafte Zinnsoldat

 Play Caption



It's best to protect your skin with die Sonnencreme and der Sonnenschutz and keep under der Sonnenschirm in order to avoid die Sonnenstrahlung:


Aber bitte... benutzen Sie Sonnencreme.

But please... use sun screen.

Caption 52, Unser Universum: Die Sonne

 Play Caption



Auf ausreichenden Sonnenschutz achten, denn durch das Wasser ist die Sonneneinstrahlung nochmal stärker als an Land.
Make sure to wear sufficient sun protection, because the water makes the solar radiation even stronger than it is on land.
Captions 78-79, Stand Up Paddling: 5 typische Anfängerfehler


Hier habe ich einen Sonnenschirm

Here I have a parasol.

Caption 21, Deutschkurs in Tübingen Präpositionen und Artikel

 Play Caption


And then you can go sunbathing—usually expressed in German as ein Sonnenbad nehmen, but here they are "enjoying" sunbathing:


Eine Kolonie kalifornischer Seelöwen hat sich auf ihrem Felsen versammelt, um ein entspanntes Sonnenbad zu genießen.

A colony of California sea lions has gathered on their rock to enjoy a relaxing sunbath.

Captions 18-19, Evolution: Die Küsten

 Play Caption


And at long last, after a nice day enjoying the sunshine, comes der Sonnenuntergang:


Bei mir muss der Held am Schluss in den Sonnenuntergang reiten.

For me, the hero has to ride off into the sunset at the end.

Caption 57, Rheinmain Szene Unheilig: „Der Graf“

 Play Caption


Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and search for other words using Sonnen- as the root word. You can also go to the DWDS Dictionary and find a long list of words starting with Sonnen-. See if you can guess their meanings before you look them up!

But Apart from That...

The way to say "apart from" something, an expression that is helpful when you want to make a specific point about a topic in a conversation, is the phrase abgesehen von (etwas).


The problem for English speakers with learning this is that the phrase is based upon a verb, absehen, which is confusing when used in the "apart from" context, since it is usually translated as "to foresee" or sometimes as "to predict": 


Ja, man konnte es absehen.

Yes, you could foresee it.

Caption 57, Rhein-Main-TV - Interview mit Edmund Stössel

 Play Caption


Even the adverbial form, absehbar, is usually translated as "foreseeable" or sometimes "predictable":


...dass es sich in absehbarer Zeit ins Gegenteil verkehrt.

...that in the foreseeable future, it will move in the opposite direction.

Caption 26, Olympiade in Deutschland - Nicht um jeden Preis

 Play Caption


Deswegen war absehbar: Das wird nicht auf ewig so sein, diese Doppelbelastung.

Therefore, it was foreseeable that it wouldn't last forever, this double load.

Caption 54, Rhein-Main-TV - Interview mit Edmund Stössel

 Play Caption


The phrase abgesehen von (etwas), however, does not mean that something can be foreseen, but rather: 


Abgesehen von neugierigen Bootstouristen sind sie dort relativ ungestört.

Apart from the curious tourists on boats, they are relatively undisturbed there.

Caption 12, Abenteuer Nordsee - Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

 Play Caption


Schlüters Entscheidungsunfähigkeit passt perfekt zur Merkel,

Schlüter's inability to make decisions fits perfectly with Merkel,

von kleineren Problemen abgesehen.

apart from a few small problems.

Captions 14-15, Der Merkelpilot - der kleine Mann, der es macht

 Play Caption


Aber abgesehen von kleinen Anlaufschwierigkeiten schienen die Tiere schon sehr zufrieden.

But apart from minor initial difficulties, the animals seemed to be quite content.

Caption 16, Für Tierfreunde - Przewalski-Wildpferde

 Play Caption


If the subject of your point has already been mentioned, you can also say abgesehen davon:


Abgesehen davon ist Vielfalt bei der Ernährung immer eine gute Sache.

Apart from this, variety in [one's] diet is always a good thing.

Caption 46, Kochhaus Berlin - Kochen mit Kindern

 Play Caption


Mal ganz abgesehen davon, dass wir natürlich kleine Schülerzahlen haben.

Quite apart from that, the fact that we have, of course, a small number of students.

Caption 65, Strothoff International School - Interview mit dem Rektor

 Play Caption


Mal abgesehen davon, dass wir dann gar nicht da wären,

Apart from that, we then wouldn't be here at all

wäre es dunkel auf der Erde... dunkel und kalt.

if it were dark on Earth... dark and cold.

Captions 2-3, Unser Universum - Die Sonne

 Play Caption



Further Learning
Apart from abgesehen von, can you think of any other ways to express "besides" or "other than?" Hint: search on Yabla German for similar expressions that use the prepositions außer, sonst, neben, außerdem, and the expression darüber hinaus

You May Also Like