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Ein Mann will nach oben

There are a number of ways to indicate that something is going "up" in German, but today let's take a look at the prepositional phrase nach oben, which can be translated into English in a number of ways, depending on the context. Let's take a look at some different interpretations of the phrase in German Yabla videos.




Vielleicht halten Sie's grad so ein bisschen nach oben.

Maybe you could hold it up a little bit.

Caption 29, Fußball - Torwandschießen

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... dass ein unsichtbarer Faden am Kopf den ganzen Körper nach oben zieht.

... that an invisible thread on top of your head is pulling the whole body upward.

Caption 15, Flirt-Coach-Serie - Die richtige Körpersprache

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Das war ein langer Weg nach oben.

It was a long way to the top.

Caption 3, Preisverleihung - Bestes Magazin

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Nach oben sind dem Preis keine Grenzen gesetzt.

No price limits are set at the top.

Caption 13, Highend-Fashion aus dem Kloster - Ein Mönch als Maßschneider

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Als der Frosch nach oben in ihr Bett getragen werden wollte ...

When the Frog wanted to be carried upstairs to her bed ...

Caption 57, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Der Froschkönig

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In the examples above, you see nach oben used to mean "up," "upward," "to the top," "at the top," and "upstairs." Note that when you say in German that you are going upstairs, it is more common to simply say you are going nach oben than to use the more literal die Treppe hinaufgehen.


The prepositional phrase nach oben also has a number of idiomatic usages: 


Das heißt natürlich nicht, dass hier alle Leute die Nase nach oben tragen.

Of course, that doesn't mean that all the people here put their noses up [idiom, are conceited].

Caption 5, Rhein-Main-TV - Badesee Rodgau

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Die Nase nach oben tragen means "to be conceited."


Es gibt noch Potential nach oben.

There is still upward potential [room for improvement].

Caption 21, Rhein-Main-TV - Green-Region-Konferenz zur Nachhaltigkeit

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And here, Potential nach oben means there is room for improvement.


Ein Mann will nach oben is the title of a novel by Hans Fallada, whose final novel from 1947, Jeder stirbt für sich allein (English title: Every Man Dies Alone), became a surprise bestseller in its English translation in 2009. Ein Mann will nach oben was made into a 13-part TV film in 1978.


Ein Mann will nach oben.

A man wants to move up.

Caption 1, Mathieu Carriere - Ein Mann will nach oben

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Further Learning
Do a search for nach oben on Yabla German and see some more examples of how this phrase is used in German in a real world context! 

Go Green for the Planet!

Germany is one of the most advanced countries in world in terms of environmentally-friendly energy. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced in 2011 that all German nuclear power plants will be closed by 2022 as part of a plan to gain a competitive edge worldwide in renewable energy.


This week's new video, Green-Region-Konferenz zur Nachhaltigkeit, uses a number of energy-related terms (below in bold text) that can give you a good jump start in improving your environmental vocabulary.


Eine Energie-Effizienz-Revolution soll her.

An energy-efficiency revolution should happen.

Caption 6, Rhein-Main-TV - Green-Region-Konferenz zur Nachhaltigkeit

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Um die Klimaschutzziele in Deutschland zu erreichen...

In order to achieve the climate protection targets in Germany...

Caption 22, Rhein-Main-TV - Green-Region-Konferenz zur Nachhaltigkeit

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Rund um Darmstadt bedeutet das vor allem

Around Darmstadt, that means, above all,

den Ausbau der Windkraft

the expansion of wind power

sowie mehr Geothermie-Anlagen und Biomasse-Kraftwerke.

and more geothermal plants and biomass power plants.

Captions 25-26, Rhein-Main-TV - Green-Region-Konferenz zur Nachhaltigkeit

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Further Learning
Watch the complete video above and add any new German terms to your vocabulary learning list. The Urban Climate website of the University of Freiburg has created an extensive German-English glossary of environmental protection terms. See if you can find some of these words used in context in Yabla German videos.


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