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Goodbye Great Britain and Other Exits

The referendum in Great Britain to leave the European Union was nicknamed "Brexit," a portmanteau of the words "Britain" and "exit." The same nickname was used in Germany. Let's take a moment to divert our attention from that event and focus instead on the different ways we can say "exit" in German. 



Wir können die nächste Ausfahrt nehmen oder noch weiterfahr'n

We can take the next exit or keep on driving

Caption 7, Deutsche Bands - Luxuslärm

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Die Ausfahrt is the most commonly seen translation of "exit" and is usually used in reference to the off-ramp of a roadway.


Wo ich reinkomm', geht man raus.

Where I enter, they exit.

Caption 43, Frank Zander - Hier kommt Kurt

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This is "exit" in its simple slang form of rausgehen, or "to go out."


Und zeigst nur stumm auf die Ausgangstür

And just point silently to the exit door

Caption 10, Herbert Grönemeyer - Was soll das?

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Der Ausgang is usually meant as the point where you leave a building.


Brüller [Umgangssprache], Lacher, Brüller, Abgang,

Big laugh, laugher, big laugh, exit,

mehr ist net [Dialekt, nicht] zu machen.

there isn't more to do.

Caption 19, Ab durch die Heimat - 4 Comedians unterwegs im Südwesten

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Der Abgang is the simple act of leaving or the act of leaving a specific sphere of activity. It can also mean the person who has left, as in "the one who left," although the more common terms are der Abgänger or die Abgängerin. Der Abgang is still occasionally used in medical and military circles to refer to death.


Das sind alles Leute, die eigentlich nichts weiter verbrochen haben,

These are all people who actually violated nothing more

als dass sie vielleicht einen Ausreiseantrag gestellt.

than that they perhaps submitted an exit visa application.

Captions 27-28, DDR zum Anfassen - Ganz tief im Westen

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Der Ausreiseantrag or "exit visa application" uses the word die Ausreise for "exit," which on its own would usually be translated as "departure." Hopefully the citizens of the United Kingdom —possibly soon consisting only of non-EU countries England and Wales — will not be required to file an Ausreiseantrag in order to leave what remains of the UK. It is nearly certain, however, that they will now have to get a residence permit (die Aufenthaltserlaubnis) to live in the EU. 


Further Learning
Do a search on Yabla German to see the different ways that terms for "exit" such as der Abgang, die Ausfahrt, and der Ausgang are used in a real world context.

Indefinite Quantity Adjectives (Unbestimmte Zahladjektive)

Let’s take a look today at adjectives that define quantitative amounts without actually resorting to the specifics of numbers. The most common of them, viele (“much” or “many”) and wenige (“little” or “not many”), are used irregularly, however, so let’s check them out first. When viele and wenige occur as a definite article or after a definite article, they are conjugated as normal adjectives: 


Für die vielen amerikanischen Soldaten im amerikanischen Sektor...

For the many American soldiers in the American Sector...

Caption 9, Berlin - der alte amerikanische Sektor

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But when viele or wenige occur without an article before a singular noun, they are usually left unconjugated: 


Aber dafür bleibt wohl wenig Zeit.

But there seems to be too little time for that.

Caption 25, Fußball - Torwandschießen

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As you can see above, a normal adjective for the feminine word die Zeit would, in the nominative case as here, end with an “e.” Wenig is a little different!

Here are some examples of more typical indefinite quantity adjectives, which are conjugated as normal adjectives. We can start will alle (“everything”):


Natürlich stehe ich hinter allen Songs.

Of course I'm behind all of the songs.

Caption 62, Deutsche Bands - Luxuslärm

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And then wind up with keine (“none” or “no”): 


Bisher allerdings ist noch keine Schildkröte in Sicht.

Up to now though there's still no turtle in sight.

Caption 43, Ausgrabungen - Auf den Spuren der Dinosaurier

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Some other common indefinite quantity adjectives to look out for are: beide (both), einige (some), einzelne (single, individual), ganze (whole), gesamte (entire), manche (some), sonstige (other, further), übrige (the rest), weitere (further), zahllose (innumerable), and zahlreiche (numerous). 



Learning suggestions:

Keep your eyes out in every Yabla video for the many ways that indefinite quantity adjectives are used, and pay particular attention to the way that viele and wenige are conjugated, because the irregular usage will take some training and getting a feel for! For a further foray into the world of indefinite quantity adjectives written in German, take a look here. Ich wünsche euch viel Spaß beim Lernen!