Sandra has a master's degree in teaching German. She has taught middle and high school German, and worked on different on- and offline courses with kids and adults.
Very, Extremely, Completely
Sometimes it's not enough to just say that something is good or amazing. You want to say that it is 'extremely good' or 'totally amazing.' If you want to do that in German, you will have to use intensifiers.
Intensifiers are words, mostly adverbs, used to intensify adjectives and sometimes verbs and nouns. They help us specify what exactly is intense or to exaggerate the intensity of something. You will hear these words regularly, but you should also try to use them yourself because they can really take your sentences to the next level.
In this lesson, we will take a look at some of the most commonly used intensifiers in German but also some of the more popular colloquial or slang ones, which you could hear in any conversation.
A list of some of the most used German intensifiers:
|ein bisschen||iyn BEES-hehn||a little|
- Die Wohnung ist recht teuer. (The apartment is quite expensive.)
- Er war ganz allein. (He was completely alone.)
- Die Bedienungsanleitung ist völlig unverständlich. (The manual is completely incomprehensible.)
- Diese Hemd ist mir zu groß. (This shirt is too big for me.)
- Du hast absolut Recht! (You are completely right!)
- Das Hotel ist wirklich weit weg. (The hotel is really far away.)
A lot of the intensifiers in German, like in any language, are colloquial, which means that they are not part of the standard language (yet) but are used in spoken language and informal situations. Intensifiers are a group of words where a lot of new ones get 'invented' and used, so it is important to get a hang of those ones too. Let's take a look at some of the most used and well-known colloquial intensifiers.
|tierisch||TEE-reesh||very, a lot, terribly|
|praktisch||PRAHK-teesh||almost, as good as|
A lot of these words will also have other meanings. Let's see what that looks like in a few examples:
- Ich habe einen tierischen Hunger! (I am very hungry.)
- Er geht mir tierisch auf die Nerven. (He annoys me terribly.)
- Der Film war unheimlich langweilig. (The movie was incredibly boring.)
- Der Club war praktisch voll. (The club was as good as full.)
- Er hat komplett versagt! (He completely failed.)
- Es ist irre heiß! (It is extremely hot.)
Just remember not to use these intensifiers in very formal situations.
We must also mention the prefix sau-. It gets attached to different verbs to intensify their meaning, and it can be used for good things as well as bad ones. For example:
- Dieses Video ist saukomisch! (This video is extremely funny!)
- Diese Jacke ist sauteuer! (This jacket is very expensive!)
A lot of new colloquial intensifiers appear on a daily basis, but most of them turn out to have short life spans. Don't be surprised if you sometimes hear a new word, a new usage for an old one, or if people just forget about something that was regularly used before.
Intensifiers are words used to intensify the meaning of adjectives or sometimes both adjectives and nouns. Some of the most used German intensifiers are sehr (very), ziemlich (quite), wirklich (really), besonders (especially) and völlich (completely). Some of the best known colloquial intensifiers are total (totally), echt (really), komplett (completely) and the prefix sau- (intensifying the adjective to which it's attached).
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