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Sayings + Expressions 6: The Ground and the Sun Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Culture, Literature

Liebe Leser,

Today again a saying and an expression. If you are down, because something struck you, and you do not know how life is supposed to be nice again… Remember the saying and expression below!

Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein

Rainfall is followed by sunshine (every cloud has a silver lining)

This one is based on how rain and sunshine are generally seen. Rain is bad weather, while sunshine means good weather. So metaphorically, bad stuff is followed by good stuff. In nature, it is true that sunshine follows rain – and seeing it this way instead of the other way around is the positive approach, of course!


It is often said when somebody is down, as an encouragement to think positive and look forward, because things will get better. “Bad weather” is only a phase, not a permanent situation. Example:

“Es ist ja schade dass Lisa Schluss gemacht hat, aber du weißt doch, auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein!”

“It is indeed a shame Lisa broke up with you, but you know that every cloud has a silver lining!”

Am Boden zerstört sein

To be destroyed on the ground (to hit rock bottom)

This expression is about pure devastation, and to be devastated quite covers it as well. However, the interesting part is in the German translation. Am Boden means “on the ground”. It refers to location – where you are destroyed. But why would location make such a difference in how severely devastated you are? The expression comes from the Luftwaffe (Air Force). Hostile aircraft were destroyed before they could even ascend. So they were destroyed while they were on the ground – and that is devastating for the enemy, as he could not fight back with its planes, did not have a chance to resist. So to be destroyed am Boden is worse than being shot down, when resistance was already possible – so this kind of devastation is more severe.


Connected to the saying above, this expression is quite related. When somebody is am Boden zerstört, the person is in such state of devastation, that he or she does not even believe in sunshine after the rain anymore. Let’s see that in an example:

Weil Lisa Schluss gemacht hat, ist er jetzt am Boden zerstört. Er sollte aber wissen, dass alles besser wird – denn auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein.

Because Lisa broke up, he is hitting rock bottom. But he should know, that everything will be better – because every cloud has a silver lining.



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About the Author:Sten

Hi! I am Sten, and I am half Dutch and half German. I was on exchange in the United States, and I really enjoyed that year! So in that sense, I kind of have three nationalities... I love all of them!