German Adverbs of Time


Adverbs of time indicate when the action or event takes place. Adverbs of time answer the questions wann, wie oft, wie lange?/ when, how often, how long?

For example:
Er kommt später. (He is coming later.)
Wann kommt er? Später.

Here are more adverbs of time:

allezeit - all the time
bald - soon
bisher - till now
damals - at that time
früher - before
heute - today
heutzutage - nowadays
immer - always
jahrelang - for years
jemals - ever
jetzt - now
morgen - tomorrow
nachher - afterwards
neuerdings - recently
nie/niemals - never
seitdem - since then
stets - always
übermorgen - after tomorrow
vorher - before
zuerst - first

Take note that there are also:

  • Adverbs with –s-
    Many nouns with time-related meanings can be transformed into adverbs by adding the letter –s

    montags, dienstags, etc
    sommers, winters but not Herbst or Frühling
    morgens, mittags, abends
    zeitlebens (all one’s life)

  • Many of these adverbs signify a repeated occurrence of the time point/frame indicated: Montags gehe ich zur Deutschklasse. (I go to my German class on Mondays.)

  • Adverbs with two timeframes/points in time
    einst/ once, at one time: used to describe a timeframe/point in the future as well as the past. For example,

    Einst wollte er heiraten, aber jetzt nicht mehr. (At one time he wanted to get married, but not any more.)
    Einst wird der Tag kommen, wo ich Großmutter sein werde. (The day will come where I'll be a grandmother.)

    gerade: used to describe a timeframe/point in time in the present as well as the past that just occurred. For example,

    Mein Vater ist gerade bei der Arbeit. (My father is at work at present.)
    Sie ist gerade zur Kirche gegangen. (She just went to church.)