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German Intensifier Words: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Sandra Salajic

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.

In this lesson, we will take a look at some of the most popular German intensifier words, learn what they mean, and see how to use them in different sentences.

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.

German Intensifiers

A list of some of the most used German intensifiers:

Intensifier Pronunciation Translation
sehr zehr very
zu tsoo too, excessively
ganz gahnts quite, completely
ziemlich TSEEM-leeh quite, fairly
wirklich VEER-kleeh really
absolut ahb-soh-LOOT absolutely
besonders beh-ZOHN-dehrs especially
ein bisschen iyn BEES-hehn a little
recht rehkt quite, rather
völlig föleeh completely
vollkommen FOHL-koh-mehn completely
  • 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.)

Translation: The airmchair is really comfortable.
aaa

Colloquial Intensifiers

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.

Intensifier Pronunciation Translation
total toh-TAHL totally, completely
tierisch TEE-reesh very, a lot, terribly
echt ehkt really, truly
enorm eh-NOHRM very, enormously
irre IH-reh extremely
unheimlich OON-hiy-mleeh incredibly
komplett kohm-PLEHT completely
verdammt fehr-DAHMT very
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:

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