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Using wohl

This week, we'll take a look at the word wohl and its different usages in German. 

 

The word wohl by itself is used to create a tone of assumption or affirmation in a sentence, meaning "indeed," "likely," "probably," or "apparently." Understanding the exact level of certainty or affirmation involved will require looking at the verb tenses and other context clues in the sentence. 

 

Und das wird wohl auch erst mal so bleiben.
And it will first also likely stay like that.
Caption 19, Andreas Bourani: Startet durch

 

Am Ende hat es dann doch wohl gepasst.
In the end, it did indeed fit well.
Caption 65, Clueso: ist endlich erwachsen

 

Relatedly, the phrase jawohl means "yes, indeed":

 

Ich finde, hier ist es besser. Jawohl!
I think it's better here. Indeed!
Caption 23, Pettersson und Findus: Pettersson zeltet

 

At the same time, the word wohl also refers to well-being. We often see the verb sich wohlfühlen, which means to feel "well," "happy," or "comfortable." 

 

Die Rote Meerbarbe fühlt sich seitdem in der Nordsee wohl.
The red mullet since then, has felt just fine in the North Sea.
Caption 22-23, Abenteuer Nordsee: Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

 

Alle fühlen sich hier wohl, ist aber nicht ganz meine Musik.
Everyone's feeling comfortable here, but it's not really my type of music.
Caption 38, Deutsche Sporthilfe: Ball des Sports

 

As you may have guessed, this meaning of wohl relates to the phrase zum Wohl, which is often used in toasts. 

 

Wenn wir anstoßen, sagen wir „zum Wohl“ oder einfach nur „prost“.
When we clink glasses, we say "to health!" or simply just "cheers!"
Caption 18, Tisch decken: mit Eva

 

Further Learning
Look for more examples with the word wohl on Yabla German and see if you can integrate it into a sentence the next time you converse or write sentences in German. What do you think the words das Wohlfühlhotel, der Wohlfühleffekt, die Wohlfühloase, der Wohlfühlort or der Wohlfühlanzug might mean?

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