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The phrases auf jeden Fall and auf alle Fälle are possible alternatives for jedenfalls.

  1. Vielleicht ist er krank, er sieht jedenfalls schlecht aus.
  2. Er ist noch nicht gekommen, aber er hat sich jedenfalls entschuldigt.

Can I also replace jedenfalls with wenigstens?

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In both sentences I would not say "auf alle Fälle". In the first sentence "auf jeden Fall" is OK but not in the second one. You can say "wenigstens" in the second but it's a little weird in the first one. In both sentence you can go with "zumindest". – Em1 Oct 10 '13 at 7:01
Ich finde jedenfalls im 2. Satz falsch. Was soll es ausdrücken? Zumindest ginge. – user unknown Oct 11 '13 at 1:28
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Wenigstens is a word of positivity, and often optimism and hope. You say it if you're glad that something is at least that level and not worse.

So if you said ..., er sieht wenigstens schlecht aus, this would mean you are glad he looks at least bad. I think this is not what you have in mind and that's why wenigstens is not appropriate here.

In your second sentence it's a good choice to use wenigstens because you appreciate his sorry. That's a positive signal after the bad situation, so hope and optimistic thinking relieved it a bit.

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Im Satz "Er hat wenigstens nicht gelitten" sehe ich keine Hoffnung und keinen Optimismus ausgedrückt, denn diese beziehen sich immer auf die Zukunft. Das Wort drückt eher aus wenn auch sonst nichts gutes zu vermelden ist, so .... – user unknown Oct 11 '13 at 1:34
@user unknown: OK, you're right with the gelitten example, I'll add positivity to my answer. – äüö Oct 11 '13 at 8:54

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