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What is the difference between "nur mehr" and "nur noch"?


Wir haben nur noch 3 Stunden.
Wir haben nur mehr 3 Stunden.

Is there any difference or does it mean exactly the same?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Both versions are correct in different variations of standard German.

Wir haben nur noch 3 Stunden.

is German German (the variation of standard German spoken in Germany) ("deutsches Deutsch"; "deutschländisches Deutsch" or "deutsches Hochdeutsch") while

Wir haben nur mehr 3 Stunden.

is Austrian German (the variation of standard German spoken in Austria) ("österreichisches Deutsch" or "österreichisches Hochdeutsch").

Also in some Dialects (in Germany as well as in Austria) people use a word that is similar to "mehr" (not necessarily exact the same). In Dialects you find also that most words are pronounced different and that even grammar will change in some cases (Viennese Dialect for this example: "Mia hom nua mea drei Stund").

Note that the version with "noch" is also correct in Austrian German and that also many dialects use variations of "noch" (again Viennese Dialect for this example: "Mia hom nua no drei Stund").

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@christian.s I edited your text. Can you live with it? –  Hubert Schölnast Apr 19 '14 at 12:38
Ich schätze Kooperation zwar sehr, denke aber doch, dass diese Änderung so weitreichend war, dass sie besser eine eigene Antwort gewesen wäre. –  Carsten Schultz Apr 19 '14 at 15:05
Ich kenne nur "nur noch". Interessant zu hören, dass "nur mehr" in Õstereich üblich ist. –  rogermue Apr 20 '14 at 8:50
Ich würde das "nur mehr" nur ungern unseren österreichischen Freunden zur exklusiven Nutzung überlassen. –  Ingo Apr 22 '14 at 9:43

See this text by Karl Kraus that explains the difference very well: http://page.mi.fu-berlin.de/rote/Kram/Literatur/nurnochundnurmehr.html

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Even if this link answers the question, nobody is ever to read this. Furthermore, we disapprove of link only answers, that means you should at least summarize the most important points. –  Em1 Dec 12 '14 at 10:30
You should edit your post to give us the essence of the source you quoted. –  Takkat Dec 12 '14 at 11:03

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