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LEARNING GERMAN

German word of the day: Quasi

Quasi this. Quasi that. This German word is used so commonly, but what does it actually mean?

German word of the day: Quasi
Photo: Depositphotos

What does it mean?

“Quasi” literally means so to speak, in a sense or virtually. Often it is used to introduce a connection or resemblance between two similar things.

It is also used in the sense of the German words “fast” (almost, nearly) or “prinzipiell” (principally).

READ ALSO: Ten pieces of Austrian slang you’ll never learn in class

Sometimes it is also said humorously to exaggerate something, especially in a sentence where it is obvious that what is being said is untrue.

One of its colloquial uses, probably the most common, means “basically” or “sort of”.

What are its origins?

It stems from the Latin words “qua” and “si” which put together originally means as if, just as though or as it were.

How is it used?

“Quasi” is mainly spoken and not used in written text.

Generally, it is used as a filler word, lacking actually importance or meaning, but many people believe that by using it, it makes you sound sophisticated and knowledgeable.

Examples

“Ich bin Zweiter Platz geworden, also bin ich quasi der Gewinner.”

“I became second place, so I am practically the winner.”

“Ich meine, Grün ist doch quasi Gelb.”

“I mean, green is basically yellow.”

“Hat sie es dir denn versprochen?” “Quasi schon.”

“Did she promise you that?” “Sort of, yeah.”

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GERMAN WORD OF THE DAY

German word of the day: Rücksicht

Here's how to take this thoughtful word into consideration.

German word of the day: Rücksicht

Why do I need to know Rücksicht?

Because it’s a commonly used word and knowing what it means – and practising it – will make you a better person.

What does Rücksicht mean?

Rücksicht is a feminine noun which means “consideration” or “regard”. It’s made up of the shortened form of the word zurück meaning “back” and Sicht – which means view. So literally, it means, back view, or looking back.

This literal meaning tells you something about how the word is used in German – if you look back to see what’s happened to your friend, you are taking them into consideration.

How to use Rücksicht

When using Rücksicht, bear in mind that it is usually paired with specific verbs and prepositions.

The most commonly used set phrase is Rücksicht auf etwas/jemand nehmen, which is used to mean “to be considerate of” or “to take care of” someone or something. For example:

Radfahrer müssen auf Fußgänger Rücksicht nehmen.

Cyclists must be considerate of pedestrians.

Er nimmt Rücksicht auf die Bedürfnisse seiner schwangeren Frau.

He takes care of his pregnant wife’s needs.

Rücksicht is usually followed by the preposition auf, but it can be preceded by a number of prepositions to compose different phrases. 

Mit Rücksicht auf for example, means “in view of” and ohne Rücksicht auf means “without consideration for”, while aus Rücksicht auf means “out of consideration for.” 

Here are some examples:

Führungen dürfen aus Rücksicht auf die Teilnehmer nicht aufgenommen werden.
Out of consideration of the participants, tours may not be recorded.
 
Er will tun, was er möchte, ohne Rücksicht auf die Anderen.
He wants to do what he wants, without considering other people.
 
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