From Der Spiegel:

Beobachtungstürme standen in Abständen von je etwa 250 Metern.

Does it mean

Observation towers stood approximately 250 meters from each other.


I'm not sure what je means here -- it doesn't seem to correspond to any meaning in the dictionary.

  • It means that there were 3 towers at most :P
    – user6191
    Nov 3 '14 at 22:09
  • @Grantwalzer, ha, schön. Aber dass Du die Erde für eine Scheibe hältst...
    – Carsten S
    Nov 4 '14 at 8:10
  • @boaten, maybe you should get a better dictionary.
    – Carsten S
    Nov 4 '14 at 8:12
  • @CarstenSchultz, das geht auch mit 4 Türmen, aber nicht beim Durchmesser der Erde. Auf einem Asteroiden, vielleicht... Nov 4 '14 at 8:37
  • Oh peinlich, die 250m hatte ich schon wieder vergessen. Ursprünglich wollte ich auch nur schreiben, Granatwalzer hätte eine Dimension vergessen. Wir brauchen einen steilen Berg.
    – Carsten S
    Nov 4 '14 at 8:42

Your translation is correct. Je is short for jeweils. It is used when a certain fact applies to each member of a given set. In the example the meaning would be probably also clear without it, but one could also think of two groups of towers that stand very close together in each group, and only the distance between the two groups is 250m. The je excludes this interpretation - without real need, it's more a habit to use it.

  • "Je" is not necessary because of "in Abständen" (in contrast to "im Abstand von"). If the sentence were "Die Beobachtungstürme standen 250m voneinander entfernt", then "je" becomes essential.
    – Em1
    Nov 4 '14 at 9:41

The online dictionary that you linked gives the correct translation: each

Observations towers stood in distances of approximately 250 meters each.

The word je refers to the Abstände as does each refer to the distances.

Your translation gives the correct sense of the sentence but changes its grammatical structure a bit.


Auf jede Strecke von 250 Metern kommt ein Wachturm.

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