I recently heard someone say "Ich hab eh..." (I'm not sure what "eh" means or how to spell it, but I tried [kind of sounds like "ay" mixed with "eh"]) "...keinen Hunger".

Does this convey a different meaning as opposed to "Ich hab keinen Hunger"?

  • Alternatively, you can look it up in a dictionary, e.g. duden.de/rechtschreibung/eh_sowieso_ohnedies – chirlu Mar 31 '16 at 19:32
  • From the same person, you might also hear, "Das macht eh nix aus" (or "nichts aus") meaning "It doesn't matter anyway." – Tom Hundt Mar 31 '16 at 20:46
  • I don't know why this is marked as a duplicate, when one question is about etymology and the other about usage. Alex, did the answers to the other question answer yours as well? – Carsten S Apr 1 '16 at 8:19
  • @CarstenS Not directly; while it did enlighten me on the history of "eh" it didn't answer my original question of what it actually means. – Alex Knue Apr 1 '16 at 16:55

If this particle is written it’s usually indeed spelled eh. It’s synonymous to longer ohnehin and sowieso, meaning ‘anyway’. In formal speech or writing, one of these should be used instead.

An English translation of the example sentence would thus be: “I’m not hungry anyway.”

PS: Also note that keinen often sounds like kein, but should still be written with the proper accusative ending.

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