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What is the difference between schon, längst and tatsächlich?

Ich gehe schon/längst/tatsächlich zur Arbeit.

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Was sagt denn der Duden, Leo oder ein anderes Lexikon, was der Unterschied sei? –  user unknown Oct 8 '13 at 12:56
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

"Ich gehe schon ...":

"schon" is used when you are doing something earlier than pretended.

1a) It is used for the explanation that one is already able/allowed to do something. Like when an infant would say

"I'm not in kindergarten anymore, I'm already going to school" - "Ich gehe schon zur Schule"

1b) can also be used when you are earlier in the means of daytime:

"Wait it's 7am, are you already on your way to work?" - "Yes I'm already going to work" (earlier than usual) - "Ich gehe schon (früher) zur Arbeit"


"Ich gehe längst ...":

like "schon" but way more exagerated. Can also be used together.

2a) Like the kid was very astonished that the others didn't know it already a long time is old enough for school.

I'm already going to school, I'm 7!" - "Ich gehe (schon) längst zur Schule, ich bin ja schon 7 Jahre alt"

2b) Your wife reminds you that you may be late for work and you respond

"I'm already on my way to work" - "Ich gehe ja (schon) längst zur Arbeit"


"Ich gehe tatsächlich ...":

3) "tatsächlich" means "indeed". The only case when you would say that is, when someone is pretending you are doing something and you agree.

"Oh it's 8 AM, so you must be on you way to work now" "Yes indeed I'm on my way to work (right now)." - "Ja genau, ich gehe tatsächlich (gerade) zur Arbeit".

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