German word of the day: Quasi

Kathrin Thams
Kathrin Thams - [email protected] • 29 Dec, 2020 Updated Tue 29 Dec 2020 14:04 CEST
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Quasi this. Quasi that. This German word is used so commonly, but what does it actually mean?

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: 12 signs you've mastered the German language

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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Kathrin Thams 2020/12/29 14:04

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