Is one of those sentences wrong?

Ich muss mindestens bis 15:00 arbeiten.
Ich muss bis mindestens 15:00 arbeiten.

I’d intuitively say that bis after mindestens is wrong, but on the other hand, I’d usually not even notice this use if someone speaks to me.


Both are correct. In

Ich muss mindestens bis 15:00 arbeiten.

mindestens refers (or could refer) to the whole sentence, in

Ich muss bis mindestens 15:00 arbeiten.

it refers only to 15:00. In this case there is little difference in meaning.

  • Thanks for the response. What do you mean by "refers to the whole sentence"? I guess the intention behind the sentence is clear - so if there's a difference in meaning, which version is off?
    – Nikolaj-K
    Dec 8 '15 at 20:00
  • @NikolajK: I mean grammatically. Mindestens is an adverb. Wikipedia says An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, determiner, noun phrase, clause, or sentence. So, in this context, I meant mindestens modifies the whole sentence.
    – user568
    Dec 8 '15 at 20:22
  • @NikolajK: The more I think about it the less I think it's true. But certainly placing it between bis and 15:00 ties mindestens closer to bis 15:00. As I said, there is no (or close to no) difference in meaning.
    – user568
    Dec 8 '15 at 20:32
  • Compare: "well, at least I have to work until 15:00", and "Well, I have to work until at least 15:00".
    – n1k31t4
    Dec 13 '15 at 14:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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