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I typed the following sentence in an E-Mail in Thunderbird:

Muss man sich erstmal einloggen?

The German spellchecker said "erstmal" is not a word and suggested that it be replaced with "erstmals".

But Muss man sich erstmals einloggen? doesn't sound right to me.

Which is correct in this sentence, erstmal or erstmals?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

In your case erstmals is not the right word, because it means "the first time" as in

Die Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft fand erstmals 1930 in Uruguay statt.

If you want to use "erstmal", I would suggest writing it in the "two-words" form:

Muss man sich erst mal einloggen?

which is a colloquial expression. A more formal version could be

Muss man sich zuerst (einmal) einloggen?

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Also bitte mal eine klare Aussage. Ist erstmal richtig oder falsch? – bernd_k Oct 9 '11 at 14:15
"Erst mal" ist ohne Zweifel richtig. "Erstmal" - nicht sicher. "Erstmals" ist falsch, außer wenn man sich zum allerersten mal einlogged. "Erstmals" einloggen kann man sich nur einmal. – gnasher729 Jun 9 at 21:54

According to Duden "erstmal" or "erst mal" (both is allowed) are colloquial abbreviations of "erst einmal" in the meaning of "zunächst".

Muss man sich zunächst einloggen?

Both "erstmals", and "erstmalig" are appropriate adverbs to denote something happening for the first time. This is likely to be a different meaning than in your example - unless it was some e.g. activation procedure that had to be done only once. If used, then "erstmalig" sounds better in the sense of a high standard, may be because it is also a bit old-fashioned.

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