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German fast vs. English fast - Tricky False Friends in German and English

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

The German adjective “fast“ and the English “fast” are so-called false friends (or false cognates) because even though they may look like twins their meanings have no connection whatsoever. In this post, I will explain the difference in meaning between the two adjectives “fast”.



When German speakers say “fast”, they mean that they “almost” completed an action or task, whereas the English fast would be “schnell” in German.


Hast du die Aufgabe schon beendet? “Fast!”

(Did you complete the assignment? Almost!)


Bist du schon mit der Arbeit fertig? Nein, aber fast.

(Are you done with work? No, but almost)

Viele Männer mögen schnelle Autos

(Many men like fast cars)


Schnell, schnell bitte!Ich brauche Ihre Hilfe!

(Fast, fast please! I need your help!)


Are you interested to learn more about the German language? Then check out our German Language Blog ”Auf Deutsch, bitte!” We have blog posts on topics ranging from the most beautiful German words, when to use the ß, we explain the difference between besuchen and besichtigen and kennen vs. wissen, give you tips on how to avoid the most common mistakes in German and how to quickly improve your German,




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