“anyway” in German – The Exercise

Hello everyone,

a little faster than usual, but many of us have to spend a lot of time at home, so I hurried a bit with the new post:).
A few days ago, we learned about the different ways to say

anyway in German

And today, it’s time for a little practice.
If you haven’t read the post or if you want to read it again, you can find it here.

How to say “anyway” in German

But I’ll give you a quick recap here, as well. And actually, I have to make some additions, because I completely forgot to mention a couple of distinct uses of anyway. So it’s actually five now, not three.
Or like the newpaper headline would be these days:

“Use cases of Anywayrus surge by almost 100%!”

Learners increasingly worried as use cases of the English Anywayrus double within just a few days,
bringing the total up to 5.

What a crazy spring.
But we’ll get through this, and we can come out with much better German, so let’s jump right in.

Last week, we learned about three distinct functions of anyway.
The first one was to express a contradiction. The translation for it is trotzdem and we can spot it by replacing it with despite that without the meaning changing.

  • I am sick but I have to go to the office anyway.
  • Ich bin krank, aber ich muss trotzdem ins Büro.

The second one, which we called “aligned-anyway”, expresses that something kind of fits or matches with what has been said before. Or at least it doesn’t clash.

  • We are under quarantine, but I work from home anyway (so it’s no difference).
  • Wir sind in Quarantäne, aber ich arbeite eh/sowieso von zuhause.

I couldn’t think of a good test last time, but some of you actually found one and put it in the comments. It’s to try and replace anyway with already. The meaning is not exactly the same, but if the sentence still has a similar sense, then you’re looking at an aligned-anyway and the translations are eh, sowieso and (if you want to sound fancy) ohnehin.

The last anway we mentioned is the conversational-anyway. That’s the one we use to switch topics or generally just make a cesura. We don’t really need a test for that one, because it’s always kind of detached.

  • Anyway... where were we?
  • Wie auch immer/naja... wo waren wir?

There are a whole bunch of options for this in German, and which one is idiomatic depends on the context. But the most important thing is that you DON’T use one of the first two translations. So neither trotzdem, nor eh or sowieso. Because that would be really confusing.
Cool.
So far for what we learned last time.
But then one of you brought up another one in the comments, and while I was preparing the exercise, yet another one came to my mind.

Two more use for “anyway”

The first one could be called limitinganyway, because it kind of limits the “range” or validity of a statement. Here’s a couple of examples.

  • German cases are hard. For me anyway.
  • Thomas is great in bed. That’s what Maria makes him think, anyway.

In both examples, we have a statement that sounds like a general truth but is then relativized to an extent.  Not sure if you know what I mean, but if not, just replace the anyway in the examples with at least. That has the exact same effect. That’s the test you can use. And it’s also a help with translation because one option is zumindest. The other main one is jedenfalls, and I don’t think there’s much of a difference between the two.
All right.
Now, the last use of anyway  is not as common as the other ones, but I still wanted to mention it. Here’s an example:

  • “I just found out that Maria will be at the Steve’s party, so…. think I’m not gonna go there after all.”
    “Good decision man. Why would you even want to go there anyway? Steve’s parties are known to be bore-fests.”

I don’t know how to describe what this does, exactly. But it’s kind of the same as “to begin with”. So that’s our test for it. And the translation in German for that one is … überhaupt.
As I said, it’s not that common, so it’s only going to be in the exercise once or twice but I didn’t want to leave it out.

Cool.
So, here are the five types of anyway again as an overview with their “tests” and translations:

 

type:test:translation:
contradictory“despite that”trotzdem
aligned“already”
(similar meaning)
eh, sowieso,
(ohnehin)
limiting“at least”zumindest, jedenfalls
“to begin with”“to begin with”überhaupt
conversational gluestands outside of a sentencemany options
(naja, jedenfalls, wie auch immer, …)

 

And now it’s time for you to get active :)

The Exercise

I’ll give you 16 sentences in English with anyway in them and you have to pick the proper German translation for it. If you want to make it a translation exercise, you can do that, too. But you’ll need a pen and paper ;). You can see the correct German translation when you click “hint” or once you enter your answer.
But at least some of the sentences are quite the challenge to translate. The main point is that you  know which anyway to use.
And important:
Try not to use the tests right away. Try to “feel” the anyway first. What vibe does it have in the context. Is it about contradiction? Or is it limiting? The goal of this exercise is that you get a feeling for the different types of anyway.
I mean… understanding my explanation and using the test is easy, but what really matters is that you need to develop a “feel” for the difference. Because even though it’s one word in English, mixing up the translations in German is really really confusing for a native speaker.
So …if you don’t do that well the first time, come back to it, after a couple of days and try again.
But now enough talk… have fun with the workout :)

And? How did you do? Was it difficult or easy? Could you develop a feeling for the different kind of anyway?
Oh and another question… today, I had the quiz display all questions below each other. Do you prefer that or would you rather have the usual form of one question at a time. Oh and would it be more helpful if you got the correct answer right away or would you rather wait till the end?
I know, lots of question… but I want the quizzes to be as helpful for you as possible.  :).
But yeahLet me know all your feedback and questions in the comments and we’ll clear it up together :).
Hope you liked it, and till next time.

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Pedram
Pedram
7 months ago

Hello dear Emanuel

I’m not a native English speaker and I’m not sure if Anyway fits in the following sentence. If yes which one:
(I was trying to write about the last night of autumn)

  • It lasts just one minute longer, but it’s the longest anyway.

I thought maybe “trotzdem” works. But I’m not sure. I want to emphasize that this small difference of time doesn’t change the fact that it the longest night of the year ist.

  • Es dauert nur eine Minute länger, trotzdem ist es noch die längste.

Sorry if i’m totally wrong. It could have nothing to do with anyway.

Thank zou

anthonywlin
anthonywlin
1 year ago

Maybe ‘immerhin’ might work too (with the same meaning as ‘zumindest’)?

PeterB
PeterB
2 years ago

Thanks, Emanuel, for the nice quiz. Just want to draw your attention to the fact that this question:
“Wir haben nur entkoffeiniert.”
“Das ist eigentlich super. Ich sollte eh meinen Koffein-Konsum verringern.”
does not have „eh“ as one of the answers. I’m assuming “sowieso” would also work.

Albert
Albert
2 years ago

My opinion regarding “Quarantine is a good opportunity to learn German. That’s what I’ll do anyway”
kttps://bit.ly/2VOeIgx
I am learning German here. Its the a good Course. Its cheap , that is a big plus.

Capital_ Ash_
Capital_ Ash_
2 years ago

a small typo: Quarantine is written with an i rather than an e

Janet
Janet
2 years ago

Oh my “god” there’s a unicorn… (typo)

Berat
Berat
2 years ago

Thanks for membership.

Prashant
Prashant
2 years ago

Under “Two more use for “anyway” ” you wrote:
“Here’s a couple of examples.”
Quit following this American rubbish. It should be :
“Here are a couple of examples.”

jdentler89
jdentler89
2 years ago

I did well! 15/16. I think I am getting a feel for it. Thanks for this lesson as I was always pretty confused by sowieso, eh, and überhaupt. Trotzdem and zumindest were always a little easier for me to wrap my head around. I’m sure I’ll keep making mistakes but I think this has put me on the right path.

I didn’t mind the format of the questions displaying down below each other, but I like the usual one after another form. I think waiting until the end for the answers is kind of fun. But I could understand if people would want to see if they got it wrong so that they could correct the mistake in the following questions.

Angus
Angus
2 years ago

Hi, I love these because I also learn English and logic. But your last use seems to me ‘pretty much the same’ ‘anyway’ as the first, what’s the difference? Wouldn’t you not go to a boing party anyway?

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
2 years ago

It’s nice to see all of the questions at once. For the answers, I would probably vote to see them after each question. On one hand, it’s convenient to scroll through them all at once. On the other hand, I usually like to skip around and do the easiest questions first, see if I got them right (so I can either cement the rule in my head or correct it), and come back to the rest later. I did this quiz in one go so I wouldn’t accidentally see any answers I didn’t earn. I ended up getting everything except for one where I second guessed myself.

cvickery
cvickery
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Bummer, this one went in my spam folder and I just happened across it. _Anyway_, apologies for being late to the discussion.

I think that mixing the format up from quiz to quiz is the way to go. Otherwise we get in a rut. I say this as a Duolingo expert (I think I hold the record for the longest daily streak with the least amount learned), where it’s the mix of question types that would be helping me learn … if I were learning anything!

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Oh, really? That sounds great!

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri
2 years ago

I had the pleasure to read your two articles about the adverb ” anyway” and it’s equivalents in german. What a great analysis of five different cases ! Hat auf or chapeau Monsieur !
I made the the test and had 12 out of 16 right . First of all I like this format while you see the german sentence and the result at the end .
I answered the quiz , sprachgefühlweise, but I had the problem with ” auf jeden Fall und jedenfalls”.
Are these adverbs always synonymous ? What are their place in a sentence ? Jedenfalls can be a filler or at the first place?
Im Voraus Danke

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Hallo Emanuel,
Ich meinte die deutsche particles, wie ja, schon, aber, denn,dann, mal,naja, doch ……. die sind benutz um eines Gefühl oder eine Überraschung zu ausdrücken .
Schönen Tag

Alexander
Alexander
2 years ago

Oder vielleicht besser?? “Mein Deutsch ist schlecht. Trotzdem habe ich das Quiz versucht.” Besser Wortstellung? Danke

Tom
Tom
2 years ago

Great article, great quiz! One note: you have “riskieren sie ein Hohe Strafe” in one of the quiz questions – I believe it should be “riskieren sie eine hohe Strafe”

As for the quiz layout, I preferred one question at a time, evaluation of all at the end. But that’s just a personal preference.

Joaquín
Joaquín
2 years ago

Hallo Emmanuel,

danke für dein Post, es war, wie immer, sehr nützlich.

Meine Meinung nach ist dass du die Antwort nach der Übung stellst, damit könnte ich sofort wiesen ob ich das Konzept gut verstanden habe oder noch die Theorie lernen muss. Naja, danke nochmals, du bist der Hammer.

Joaquín

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Entschuldigung, dass meine Meinung nicht klar war. Ich präferiere es, wenn nur eine Frage angezeigt wird, man wählt die Antwort und drückt “next”, die nächste Frage anzuzeigen. Ich präferiere auch, all die richtige Antworten auf Einmal am Ende zu sehen.
[Sorry that my opinion was not clear. I prefer to see one question at a time, one chooses the answer and clicks “next” to see the next question. I also prefer to see all the correct answers altogether at the end.]

Alex J
Alex J
2 years ago

Question #15 can be both trotzdem (despite of it) or sowieso (still), but trotzdem comes more naturally to me ANYWAY (auf jeden Fall), as a native speaker.
You should also introduce “dennoch”.

Guy Allen
Guy Allen
2 years ago

Quiz answers immediately for me, please ?!

Swami Shailendra
Swami Shailendra
2 years ago

Dieses Format ist gut. Das ist was ich zumindest denke.

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Ich finde “ohnehin” schöner als “eh”, das eigentlich sehr informal ist.

Bharat Bhushan
Bharat Bhushan
2 years ago

Ich verstehe nicht viel Deutsch.Trotzdem versuche ich ein paar Sätzen. Viele danke für deine nett Brief an Lockdown.