Tag Archives: Deutsche Grammatik

Best of German Grammar: Wann sagt man eigentlich “eigentlich?”

I was once asked by a learner of German: “Markus, wann sagt man eigentlich eigentlich?”, which translates to English as: “When does one actually say actually?”

Hmm, a good question which native speakers don’t think about very often. Of course, I could have embarked on a lengthy explanation of eigentlich as a modal particle, eigentlich as an adverb and eigentlich as an adjective; however, I doubt somehow that this would have earned me much appreciation. 😉

The other reason that kept me from doing so was that I didn’t know this in great detail myself at the time. Hence, I gathered lots and lots of examples which, hopefully, cleared this up a bit. I kept thinking, kept searching for a good example that demonstrates the actual versatility of this wonderful word. And I think I found it!

Read on…