erst/nur

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by AnnaJDT, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. AnnaJDT Senior Member

    Bucharest
    Romanian
    Could we please discuss if there is a difference in meaning between the two phrases below:
    1) Er arbeitet erst drei Stunden. (?)
    And: 2) Er arbeitet nur drei Stunden. (He works only 3 hours)
    Thank you in advance for your comments!

    I have a feeling there is a difference but not sure as I read this originally in a French book.
     
  2. Resa Reader Senior Member

    Yes, there is a difference in meaning.

    1) Er arbeitet erst (seit) drei Stunden. ~ So far, he has only been working for three hours.

    He started working three hours ago and you expect him to go on working. (You consider these three hours as a rather short time.)

    2) Er arbeit nur drei Stunden (pro Tag). = He only works three hours (per day).

    A period of three hours is the maximum time he works (per day).

    EDIT: You may also want to look up the various meanings of "erst" in a dictionary:

    http://de.pons.eu/dict/search/results/?q=erst&l=deen&in=&lf=de

    http://www.wordreference.com/deen/erst
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  3. azizz New Member

    Berlin
    German
    Hi,

    I agree with Resa Reader.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

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