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German Expressions of Enthusiasm

Since we devoted one lesson to expressions of frustration, let's look at how enthusiasm is expressed in German as well and take a look at some positive adjectives. 



„Ich muss sagen: überwältigend!“ -„Ausgezeichnet! Ausgezeichnet, finde ich!“

"I must say, overwhelming!" -"Brilliant! Brilliant, I think!"

Caption 54, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Des Kaisers neue Kleider

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Ausgezeichnet is also the participle of the verb auszeichnen, which means to award or distinguish.


Mit dem Architekturpreis Green Building wurden in Frankfurt kürzlich acht Gebäude ausgezeichnet.

Eight buildings in Frankfurt were recently awarded the Green Building architecture prize.

Caption 1, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen - Architekturpreis Green Building

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Many of these adjectives don't have a fixed translation ("outstanding," "awesome"), but are instead best translated with the positive adjective that fits in the context.


Es ist wirklich großartig, von Ihnen zu hören.

It is really great to hear from you.

Caption 20, Berufsleben - das Vorstellungsgespräch

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Das ist natürlich auch toll, wenn man 'ne gemeinsame Sache hat.

Of course, it's also great when you have something in common.

Caption 8, 2raumwohnung - Liebe mit Musik am Laufen halten

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Das klingt hervorragend.

That sounds amazing.

Caption 42, Berufsleben - Probleme mit Mitarbeitern

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Of course, the adjectives superfantastisch, and exzellent will sound quite familiar to anyone who speaks English. Also easy to recognize is the adjective wunderbar:


Und da ist dann der Balkon. -Ah, mit Balkon, wunderbar.

And there then is the balcony. -Ah, with a balcony, wonderful.

Caption 43, Fine - sucht eine Wohnung

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Another adjective you may come across, especially with younger Germans, is geil. Yes, this does indeed also have a meaning that is not appropriate in most conversations! But it is a common, albeit slang, term for "awesome" or "fantastic" as well.


Und wie war's? -Geil, wie immer. -Was speziell?

And how was it? -Awesome, as always. -What especially?

Caption 10, Abenteuer und Sport - Fallschirmspringen

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Further Learning
All of these adjectives and more can be found on Yabla German. Pay attention to adjective declension any time they precede a noun. 

All about Darum

Last week, we discussed the conjunctions denn, weil, and da, the most common ways of saying "because" in German. There is, however, yet a third far less common German word that can be translated as "because" in slang usage: darum. But first, let's take a look at the way darum is more commonly used.


The adverb darum, depending upon its context in a sentence, most commonly has a topical meaning as "about," almost always in conjunction with the verb gehen:


Es ging eigentlich darum, Wohnraum zu schaffen in der Stadt.

It was actually about creating living spaces in the city.

Caption 20, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen - Architekturpreis Green Building

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Or as "therefore, which can also be alternately translated as "that's why" or "for this reason":


Darum nenn mich nie mehr dummes Huhn

Therefore never call me "dumb chick" anymore.

Caption 20, Cosma Shiva Hagen - So trägt man Pelz

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You sometimes see darum as part of the separable verb darumstehen, which can translate as "to stand around" or "to stand around there," as opposed to the more common herumstehen ("to stand around" or "to stand around here"). Darumstehen can also mean to stand around something, as in um etwas herumstehen: 


Wir sehen das Fahrrad und die Kinder, die darumstehen.
We see the bicycle and the children standing around it.


A slang usage of the adverb darum, however, is typically seen as a childish answer to a question, or an answer that is really no answer at all! 


Warum hast du das gemacht? -Darum
Why did you do that? -Because


Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and search for darum to see the word used in a real-world context. For a more advanced article on the various uses of darum, read this DWDS article.

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Recently, Lately, and Just Now

A couple of months ago, we took a look at the temporal adverbs damals and früher and how they are used when talking about the distant past. You can follow this link to read or review that lesson. This week, we will focus on talking about events that have occurred in the recent past or "just now."


First, there are many ways to say "recently" in German, including vor kurzem, kürzlich, letztens, in letzter Zeit, and neulich


Vor kurzem haben wir das Atelier des Juweliers Jonathan Johnson besucht.

Recently, we visited the atelier of jeweler Jonathan Johnson.

Caption 1, Jonathan Johnson - Atelier-Tour

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Mit dem Architekturpreis Green Building wurden in Frankfurt kürzlich acht Gebäude ausgezeichnet.

Eight buildings in Frankfurt were recently awarded the Green Building architecture prize.

Caption 1, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen - Architekturpreis Green Building

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Ich habe letztens noch im Regen gegrillt.

recently grilled in the rain.

Caption 4, Tim Bendzko - Grillen auch im Regen

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War Ihr Mann in letzter Zeit anders als sonst? Bedrückt, müde?

Was your husband recently different than usual? Depressed, tired?

Caption 4, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Ja, haben wir. -Ach, deswegen diese Fragen neulich.

Yes, we did. -Oh, that's the reason for these questions recently.

Caption 10, Die Pfefferkörner - Gerüchteküche

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When we talk about something that "just happened," we tend to use other adverbs. Most common is likely gerade eben, but sometimes gerade is used with the past tense to also refer to the recent past rather than what is currently happening. Vorhin can mean "earlier," but also "a short while ago."


Was gerade eben noch unvermeidbar schien...

What had just seemed unavoidable...

Caption 21, Jan Wittmer - Bereit mich zu verlieren

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Die Besitzerin hat mir gerade gesagt, dass sogar alle Seifen aus Stutenmilch sind.

The owner just said to me that all of the soaps are actually made out of mare's milk.

Caption 22, Diane - auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt

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Vorhin haben wir gelernt, dass es drei Artikel gibt in der Einzahl:

Earlier we learned that there are three singular articles:

"der", "die" und "das".

"the" [der] , "the" [die] and "the" [das].

Caption 2, Grammatik - Der Artikel in der Mehrzahl

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Further Learning
When you look at these sentences and other examples from Yabla German, you may notice that the position of the verb remains unchanged despite the adverb. You can read more about this here and take a look at the different kinds of adverbs as well. 

The Verb Schaffen

Every language has certain words that are used often in everyday life, to the extent that they may seem to shape the language and the culture. One such word in German, with a myriad of implementations, would have to be the verb schaffen.


The verb schaffen can mean "to do," "to manage," "to achieve," "to cope with," or "to successfully complete something," to "make it" or "make it work."


Oh, aber das schaffst du doch auch alleine!

Oh, but you'll manage it alone after all!

Caption 64, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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However, it can also mean "to create," "to make," or "to bring something into being."


Es ging eigentlich darum, Wohnraum zu schaffen in der Stadt.

It was actually about, creating living spaces in the city.

Caption 20, Umweltbewusstes Wohnen - Architekturpreis Green Building

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There is one thing to watch out for with the verb schaffen, and this is that the two meanings are reflected with two different participles when it is used in the past tense. Here we see the past participle for the first definition:


Juhu, dann haben wir's geschafft!

Yahoo, then we've done it!

Caption 41, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Weil oder obwohl?

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Damit hat man also den ersten Schritt im Bewerbungsverfahren geschafft.

With that, you have succeeded with the first step in the application process.

Caption 42, Eva erklärt - Bewerbungen

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Whereas geschafft would refer to something being successfully done or achieved, geschaffen refers to creation:


Hier, mitten im Zentrum von Berlin,

Here, in the center of Berlin,

[gefahren auf einem speziellen Kurs]

[driving on a special course]

haben sich BMX-Fahrer und Mountainbiker ihr Eldorado geschaffen.

BMX riders and mountain bikers have created their El Dorado.

Captions 4-5, Pumptrack - Rad fahren, ohne zu treten

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Mit Höckern und Bänken

With stools and benches,

sollen Verschnaufmöglichkeiten für Senioren geschaffen werden.

possibilities [places] for seniors to rest and catch their breath will be created.

Captions 44-45, Bespielbare Stadt - Griesheim

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Further Learning
Here is a list of the conjugations of schaffen, including the preterite schaffte and schuf. See which of these conjugations you can find in use on Yabla German!

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