already, before
(focus is not on the repetition but on the fact that it's familiar)
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ever, at some point
(in questions, very similar to just "mal" but with a little more "excitement" or "impatience")
Opposite: noch nie
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already, "go ahead"
(In a sense of doing something already while someone else is still "waiting". Has a very casual and inviting tone.)
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The Meanings of "schon" explained

A thorough look a the meanings of "schon" and why it is more than "already". With plenty of examples... and audio.


schon, schon wieder, schon mal

How to use "mal" like a German

The second part of our look at the meaning of "mal". This time the focus is on all the idiomatic uses and expressions.

Word Family

Root: *keu

The core idea of this root was:

observing, watching, perceiving

It’s the origin of hören and to hear (which is acoustically perceiving, observing) and also of German schauen, which is about looking at.
The English brother of schauen, to show, shifted from mere seeing toward showing – first, showing what you’re seeing and then showing in the more general sense.

It’s also the origin of  German schön, which was originally “something you like to watch” and of the English caution which comes from Latin and was about watching in a sense of being on guard.

Some English relatives:

  • to show (showing what you see)
  • to hear (perceiving acoustically)
  • caution (observing danger)
  • sheen (similar to German schön)
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