Are there any differences between inzwischen and jetzt?

For example, when I say:

Ich bin vorher krank, aber jetzt nicht.

Ich bin vorher krank, aber inzwischen nicht.


2 Answers 2


Both sentences feel a bit off. Better would be

Ich bin krank gewesen, aber ich bin jetzt gesund
Ich bin krank gewesen, aber ich bin inzwischen gesund geworden.

Jetzt means now and refers to a single point in time. Inzwischen means in the meantime and refers to a past period of time. Accordingly you could translate as

I was sick, but I’m ok now
I was sick, but have recovered in the meantime

  • "I was sick, but have recovered in the meantime" sounds odd in English. "in the meantime" is usually used with actions that happen simultaneously, not in sequence like in this example sentence. I think that "I was sick, but have recovered since then" is more usual. Mar 17, 2022 at 3:10

Jetzt refers to now without exception. The emphasis is on the moment right now and nothing else. Aside from the fact that the word explicitly references the now-point in time, there are no implications on any state at any other point in time. Most notably, we cannot say when or even if a state changed.

Inzwischen denotes that the current state is type X. But the state has only been X for a relatively short time; at some close or semi-distant point in the past, the state changed from a different state Y to its current state X. Inzwischen does not make sense without this change in state and alludes to the change that happened previously.

Furthermore, jetzt has a snapshot-ish implication. We cannot say whether the current state is a lasting one or whether it will change again, soon. Inzwischen is more stative; the previous state was in effect for quite some time and now the current state is expected to last a little while before a new change.


Thomas hat sich das Bein gebrochen.

Situation A: »Kann Thomas wieder laufen?« »Thomas kann jetzt wieder laufen, aber wenn er weiter solche Akrobatik-Übungen macht, bald nicht mehr.«

Situation B: »Kann Thomas wieder laufen?« »Der Unfall ist ja zwei Monate her, inzwischen kann er wieder laufen.«

»Bist du eigentlich noch arbeitslos?« »Jetzt gerade habe ich eine Stelle. Aber bei uns Zeitarbeitern kann sich das schnell wieder ändern …«

»Bist du eigentlich noch arbeitslos?« »Nein, inzwischen habe ich eine Stelle gefunden. Ich arbeite jetzt bei der Hubermayr GmbH.«

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