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Looking for the German translation of otherwise, I can see there are a lot of possibilities: ansonsten, anderenfalls, sonst, anderweitig, im Übrigen and so on. Here’s a little example of the English usage I’m referring to.

I hope the weather improves, otherwise I’ll have to stay at home
[I’m just providing a sample context, no translation needed]

Which German word/expression is better to use? I’m referring to the most commonly used — and informal — ones.

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The three best possibilities to form your sentence are:

  1. [Hauptsatz] …, ansonsten Verb
  2. [Hauptsatz] …, anderenfalls Verb
  3. [Hauptsatz] …, sonst Verb

Example:

[I hoffe, dass sie mir helfen kann], sonst/anderenfalls/ansonsten schreibe ich dir.
[I hope she can help me], otherwise I’ll write you.

The other two expressions don’t fulfill your requirements.

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