Running out of something in German


running out of


When you’re running out of something in English you are walking out of something in German.


“I’m gonna take a break because I’m running out of energy.”
Ich muss eine Pause machen, weil mir die Energie ausgeht. 


As a typical English phrasal verb German speakers would express this by saying:  Ich muss eine Pause machen, ich habe keine Energie mehr – to have no more of something (left) in this case energy.


When something has stopped German uses nicht mehr. It has stopped raining – Es regnet nicht mehr. He has stopped writing to us – Er schreibt uns nicht mehr.


To emphasise continuity the English verb forms the continuous tense. As the German verb does not distinguish between it’s simple and continuous form, little words like nicht mehr  indicate in lieu that continuity has stopped.


“Because I’ve run out of energy I’m completely exhausted” – I have no energy left. Ich habe keine Energie mehr, ich bin völlig erschöpft.


Wir haben keine Milch mehr. Könntest du auf dem Heimweg welche einkaufen. We’ve run out of milk. Could you buy some on your way home.


Whilst I was looking for examples to express ‘running out of something’ in German,  I came across Robert Redford’s quote: We’re running out of resources – Wir haben keine Ressourcen mehr! We’re running out of time – Wir haben keine Zeit mehr!


Danke fürs Lesen und bis nächstes Mal.

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