I think “was für ein” is an actual question rather than expressing an astonishment or do you use this pattern as well? I’m trying to an express something like below

Oh god! What a wonderful goal! This is crazy! Unbelievable! (Oh mein Gott! Was für ein wunderbares Tor! Das ist verrückt! Unglaublich!)

What a nice day! (Was für ein schöner Tag!)

  • Ever heard of "rhetorical question? Yes, this expression can be used exactly like you did, to express any strong feeling (even disgust, depending on context), very similar to English, where it's also written like a question.
    – Stephie
    Oct 16 '15 at 7:35
  • "Oh mein Gott" klingt amerikanisch; in Deutschland sagt man manchmal "Oh Gott", aber der Kontext ist eher bemittleidend ("Oh Gott, was ist das denn für ein Mist..."), nicht erfreut.
    – Robert
    Oct 16 '15 at 18:13

Your examples are perfectly fine, they emphasize the object and express astonishment. The connotation depends on the context and can be negative or positive. Two examples:

Ich bin völlig erschöpft und niedergeschlagen. Was für ein Tag!

Die Sonne scheint und ich habe frei. Was für ein Tag!

You’re right that the same order of words can also be understood as a question:

A: Ich habe mir ein neues Auto gekauft.

B: Was für ein Auto?

The meaning can be distinguished by punctuation, context and — in spoken language — by intonation.


Also Germans use the following expressions:

  • Geil! – for something positive, amazing (but only young and cool people, because originally it means something like ready for sex).
  • Krass! – can be positive and negative.
  • Das darf doch nicht wahr sein! / Was soll denn das? – something negative and if you are angry about that.
  • 1
    Welcome to the German Language SE! :) Was für einen (schönen) Tag! does not sound correct, tho. Do you mean something like Das ist etwas für einen schönen Tag!? Oct 16 '15 at 12:36
  • 1
    You are right, it was my mistake, thank you for the comment. However, I hear sometimes germans saying e.g. "Was für einen schönen Tag wir heute haben". But, okay :)
    – 0xDEADC0DE
    Oct 16 '15 at 12:46
  • 1
    Alright, but in that phrase, Tag has a different function, aight? Oct 16 '15 at 12:58
  • Welcome from me, too. Feel free to take the tour and visit the help center for questions about the site.
    – Jan
    Oct 16 '15 at 13:21

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