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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/borntopaint

bisweilen, zuweilen and manchmal

I was under the impression that they all meant occasionally, at times or sometimes, in the absence of the sentence discussions now, can a native speaker clarify this for me?

Bisweilen schlafe ich am morgen is marked falsch, manchmal is the hint.

Zuweilen schlafe ich am morgen is given as correct answer.

June 2, 2017

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PattoLoge

Yes all three words have more or less the same meaning. "Manchmal" is more frequently used than the other two words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PattoLoge

I would say "manchmal", "bisweilen", "zuweilen" and "mitunter" are synonymous. No special conditions come to my mind when to use or not to use one of the words.

This ist what "Duden" says about the meanings of the different words:

"mitunter":

manchmal, bisweilen, gelegentlich, von Zeit zu Zeit

"manchmal":

nicht regelmäßig, unterschiedlich häufig, mehr oder weniger oft; hin und wieder in einigen Fällen

"bisweilen":

manchmal, hin und wieder, ab und zu

"zuweilen":

zu gewissen Zeiten, manchmal in einigen Fällen

In the spoken German of today "manchmal" and "mitunter" are more frequent than "bisweilen" and "zuweilen". So the advice of poa-alpina1 to have the latter two in your passive vocabulary is useful.

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