“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 quarantene, 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.

for members :)

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Bosko24
Bosko24

Danke Danke Danke! Super wie immer. :)

Bosko24
Bosko24

Eine Frage. Ich verstehe nicht was ist der Unterschid zwischen: ranstellen und ranlegen? Sind sie Sinonyme?
2. rausstellen und rausnehmen? was ist der Unterschide?
3.raufstellen,raufmachen,rauflegen und raufsetzen? was ist der Unterschid?
Danke. Liebe Grusse.:)

Jake
Jake

My opinion regarding “Quarantine is a good opportunity to learn German. That’s what I’ll do anyway”:

“That’s what I’ll do anyway.” -> ambiguous between zumindest and eh
“That’s what I’ll do, anyway.” -> clearly zumindest
“But that’s what I’ll do anyway. / But that’s what I was going to do anyway.” -> clearly eh

DEmberton
DEmberton

It’s subtle, but I don’t think it is ambiguous. “That’s what I was doing anyway”, or “That’s what I was going to do anyway” would be eh/sowieso – i.e. no change, but the meaning of the original is that there is a change. The anyway can be replaced with “in any case” (i.e. jedenfalls) or “at least” (i.e. zumindest).

Trevor
Trevor

Hallo alles!
Ich hoffe Sie bleibst vorsichtige die Pandemie wahren, wohin ihr kommst. Ich wollte alles viel danke für besonders beschwingt und unterstützend seine mit Emanuel, damit Im Falle des finanzielle Schwierigkeiten, er fühlt ein anderes Mitglied in die Gemeinschaft zu bringen bequem. Ich habe keine Arbeit weil diese irre zeit, aber jetzt viele zeit zu neu lernen. es hat gewesen einige jähre seit ich Deutsch gelernt, und ich war nie so gut. Es tut mir leid im voraus, wenn meine Deutschkenntnisse schlecht sind. Aber Ich bin aufgeregt…nochmal viele danke alle für ihre Freundlichkeit.
Bis später
Trevor

Jinksy
Jinksy

Wonderful, this has made all the difference. Would luuurve another long set of questions, please! (since you have so much more time at home, ha ha).

berlingrabers
berlingrabers

That was a whole lotta trotzdems… XD

Actually, another good “how to translate from English” article would be “at least”: mindestens vs. wenigstens vs. zumindest.

Greetings from the south of Germany, where homeschooling is compulsory and you’re not supposed to use cash WHAT IS HAPPENING

Elsa
Elsa

Hi,
Typos first, wie immer:
“you’re looking at and aligned-anyway” (you’re looking at an aligned-anyway)
“one of the first two translation” (one of the first two translations – oh, here comes the nopluralvirus again!)
“relativized to an extend. Not ure if you know what I mean, but if not, just replace ithe anway” (this one is a four-in-one: “extent”, “not sure”, “it anyway”) And which “anyway” is this one? it seems like an “überhaupt”, so how would you say this in German?
“Why would you even want to there anyway” (to go there)
“you’ll need a pen and a paper” (not wrong but “you’ll need a pen and paper” sounds better to me, although it’s not that important and you might disagree anyway)
“develop a “nerv”” (nerv is not a word, but I think you meant nerve, although that’s not idiomating in English, I think what you mean is develop a “feel”)
“dis-invite you from my party” (uninvite)

I’ll do the exercise later. Need to go straight to work, because I’ve got way too much on this morning. At least, work’s keeping me sane ;)
Anyway, I’ll do the test later and let you know how I did!

Thanks for helping us getting through these oh sooooo boring times by producing these articles!
Bis bald!

Judy
Judy

Great quiz. Happy to get all the answers at the end.

Bori
Bori

juhuuu, 15/16 (Tanzen vor dem Rechner)! ich mag das Format, alle Fragen untereinander und die Lösungen zusammen am Ende. Eine Frage, in einem der Beispiele, warum ist das ´gekommen´ und nicht nur ´kommen´? its es richtig so?
“Ich lade dich hiermit von meiner Party aus.”
“Ist mir egal, ich wollte eh nicht gekommen.”

Pentatomidae
Pentatomidae

Really good exercise thanks. And actually really helpful to do this subject over two posts so you’ve got time to let it sink in in between.

Ghansen
Ghansen

I made a 75%. Not too bad. However, the results did not give me a correction for this one: “Ich lade dich hiermit von meiner Party aus. Es ist mir egal, ich wollte ???? nicht kommen.”

In my mind, I have been using the substitution “in any case” for jedenfalls, and “after all” for überhaupt. I never really knew if that was correct, I just kind of made that up. After going through this exercise, I’m not sure those replacements work as well anymore. What do you think?

Elizabeth K Hilprecht
Elizabeth K Hilprecht

I only feel the Trotzdem and überfalls types.

Alexander
Alexander

Ich habe dieses Quiz versucht, trotzdem mein schlechtes Deutsch. Selbst tue ich schlecht, werde ich es sowieso genießen. Emanuel schreibt gute Rätsel. Das glaube ich zumindest. Ich frage mich selbst aber, warum soll ich überhaupt Deutsch lernen? Schau! Ist das ein Erdmännchen auf dem Rücken des Einhorns?……jedenfalls muß ich mich jetzt auf das Haus beschränken. Tschüß.

Hannah
Hannah

Thank you!! I didn’t realize how much I used “anyway” in English until I was struggling with these differences in German. This was incredibly helpful!

shauser31416
shauser31416

Did better than I expected. Interesting that we just throw it into English sentences without a second thought. Naja, I think I like the answers altogether at the end. That makes me persevere. No immediate gratification.

lt2240
lt2240

10/16 *cringe* Please forgive the length or at least blame the veeeery long New York quarantine :) or ignore… The postmortem: 1. Trotzdem / Jedenfalls Country isn’t my type of music but I liked this song anyway. —> Trotzdem I wanted “jedenfalls” here, because I always hear “in any case” which is basically saying “I hate this thing generally but in this one weird case that generalized hatred does not apply.” It is less about liking something “in spite” of your general dislike and more about reporting an unexpected “case” – does that make any sense to anyone else? To that effect I also have trouble differentiating “sowieso” and “jedenfalls” because they register as “just the same” or “all the same” – which overlap with “already” but have less of a temporality. Trotzdem only *feels* right to me when there’s real push back involved like “I hereby dis-invite you from my party.”
“I don’t care, I’m gonna come anyway.“ Or Bars in Berlin have to be closed. If they open anyway, they risk a high fine. 2. Eh / Überhaupt I don’t like this song. But Country isn’t my type of music anyway. —> “eh” I wanted “überhaupt” – because I associate it with “generally” or “at all” And I just cannot get “eh” to sound right. Is it from “eher nicht” ie “rather not” ? I should find the post you alluded to… 3. Überhaupt / Jedenfalls A. “Hey uhm… I think you owe me an apology.”
“Uhm… for what? Who are you anyway? I have never seen you before.” —> Überhaupt I wanted Jedenfalls – “who are you to begin with?” Doesn’t sound right to me. More natural would be “Who are you in any case?” Or “Who are you even?” 3. Sowieso / trotzdem If Parasite hadn’t won an Oscar, would you want to watch it anyway? —> “trotzdem” I wanted Sowieso as in “just the same.” But I think that this sentence sounds unnatural, because in English you would say “If it hadn’t won, would you *still* want to watch it” or “would you want to all the same.” I think the trouble is that I am confused by the layering of hypotheticals here that seem to want to get at a condition of “already-ness.” But I can see why “trotzdem” is correct. Also considered sowieso for this one “We only have decaf.”
“Uhm… that’s fine. I’ll take one anyway. I need the taste.” Because of that “just the same” or “either way” quality that is more ambivalent than negative reaction. 4. Eh / Jedenfalls “I hereby uninvite you from my party.”
“I don’t care, I wasn’t gonna come anyway.“ —> “Eh” I wanted “auf jeden Fall” or “jedenfalls” – and the presence of both should have alerted me to the fact they were wrong… I was imagining: “there was not a single solitary scenario that could have made me come to your dumb party.” “I think I’m not gonna drink a beer tonight.” 
“Good, there’s none left in the… Read more »

Tom
Tom

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.

Alexander
Alexander

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

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri

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