I wasn't sure if I'd made the right choice. Nun ja, damit ist es nun vorbei. Das zählt.

On the surface, both "nun ja" and "na ja" appear to translate into "well" in English, but I assume they are not exactly interchangeable. How do these two differ in usage?

{compared to}: I wasn't sure if I'd made the right choice. Na ja, damit ist es nun vorbei. Das zählt.


The two choices are only separated by the tiniest nuance to me (German is my first language). "Nun ja" expresses more frustration, "Na ja" more dismissal and less caring.

  • Hi. The "nun" in "nun ja" has nothing to do with the "jetzt" meaning, correct? May 31 '17 at 9:57
  • @Alone-zee: I have no notion of such a connotation in this case.
    – TAR86
    May 31 '17 at 10:00
  • It is an idiom. You cannot get its meaning by adding up the meanings of its separate elements. So, no, the nun does not carry its primary meaning as if in isolated use. May 31 '17 at 10:09
  • Nun, selbst alleinstehend hat es niemals die Bedeutung von "jetzt", weil "nun" in diesem Kontext ein Partikel ist und nicht ein Adverb. Man muss hier zwischen zwei ganz unterschiedlichen Wörtern unterscheiden, wenngleich es scheinbar dasselbe Wort ist.
    – Em1
    May 31 '17 at 11:32
  • 1
    I would also say that "nun ja" tends a bit more towards resignation/acceptance of facts than "na ja" does.
    – RHa
    May 31 '17 at 12:44

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