Sign up ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the difference between gleich and nur? Do they both mean 'just' ?

  1. Ich komme nur in 2 Minuten zurück.

  2. Ich komme gleich in 2 Minuten zurück.

I am coming back in just 2 minutes.

share|improve this question
Your first example should be Ich komme in nur 2 Minuten zurück (different word order), emphasizing the short period of time before returning. In your second example "gleich" is not necessary, you should choose either a specific time ("in 2 Minuten") or "gleich" to indicate a short period of time. – lejonet Nov 30 '13 at 0:34
I am tempted to copy @lejonet8's comment into the answer field ;) – Carsten S Nov 30 '13 at 13:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Gleich means equal(ly) and, in sense of time, right away

Alle Menschen sind gleich. - All men are equal.

Ich komme gleich. - I'll be right there.

Nur means only.

Ich habe nur 3 Minuten Zeit. - I have only 3 minutes.

Just can mean only so sometimes it translates to nur. I wouldn't know of a case where just translates to gleich.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.