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Die Nudeln sind lecker! Wie machst du die nur?

Was bedeutet nur in diesem Satz?

(In der Regel bedeutet es "only", hier habe ich aber ihre Bedeutung gar nicht verstanden.)

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Es drückt Überraschung aus(?). Wie in "Wie konntest du nur?" –  c.p. Feb 11 '14 at 11:46

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The normal use of "nur" is "only" meaning "not more than". But in the above sentence it has a totally different meaning as Flo excellently explained. I wonder whether we have a term for this kind of adverb use. As I did not know a standard term or found terms that I did not like such as "Füllwörter" I invented a term: Modalitätsanzeiger. In this use "nur" at the end of a question tells something about the emotional state of the speaker, here interest in the answer to this question, interested curiosity and at the same time admiration as c.p. already said.

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The "nur" emphasizes admiration of the other person's cooking skills in this case.

It could probably be translated like this:

"These noodles are delicious. Just how do you make them?"

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