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Guten Tag! Today I’d like to bring you a seemingly simple, German word that can be used in a variety of ways to mean different things. That word is the German word immer – always.
So the basic definition of immer is always: Ja, so ist es immer – Yes, it’s always like that.
If you want to say you’ll love someone forever, you’d say für immer – ‘for always’. That’s simple enough. Similarly, if you want to say someone looks good ‘as always’, you’d say wie immer.
Du siehst gut aus, wie immer!
You look good, as always!
But then it starts to get a little less obvious. If you want to say that something happens ‘time and time again’, you’d say immer wieder.
Etwas immer wieder tun – to constantly do something
Immer wieder enttäuscht er mich.
He disappoints me time and time again.
The word immer can also mean ‘still’ – as in, he is still not here. For this purpose it is combined with the word noch to create immer noch (still) or immer noch nicht (still not). Compare the two examples below:
Er ist immer noch nicht da!
He is still not here!
Er ist immer noch da!
He is still here!
The word ‘noch’ is important in the examples above, because if you were to leave it out, the meaning of the sentence would change to this:
Er ist immer da!
He is always here!
This shows you how the word’s meaning completely changes when it is paired with other words!
The word immer is even used when saying things like ‘whatever’:
Whatever – Was auch immer
Howsoever – Wie auch immer
Whoever – Wer auch immer
Wherever – Wo auch immer
Whenever – Wann auch immer
Hey! Das darfst du nicht tun!
Was auch immer…
Hey! You’re not allowed to do that!
(So if you were to translate that Shakira song into German, it would be called Wann Auch Immer, Wo Auch Immer … catchy)
You can also use the word immer before an adjective to indicate that someone is becoming increasingly more of something. Examples:
Sie wird immer besser – She gets/is getting better and better
Es wird immer schlimmer – It gets/is getting worse and worse
Er wird immer fauler – He is/is getting lazier and lazier
Now you know a great variety of ways you can use the little word immer. 🙂
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