I struggle a lot when I encounter one of the words in the “je-group”, that is, “je”, “jeder”, “jegliche”, and “jeweilig”, to see their differences in meaning.

To me, they always translate to “all”/“every” or “each” in English. I would like to know if there are nuanced differences in their usage, meaning, and connotation.

  • 4
    Try to think German. Do not translate it into a foreign language (like English) and analyze it in this foreign language. This will not work. Aug 24 '17 at 7:21
  • That's definitely what one should do; but at the early stages, one cannot do that without recourse to a language one knows.
    – AlQuemist
    Aug 24 '17 at 7:56
  • I could understand that "jeder" and"jegliche" can be translated as "every/all". But "je" and "jeweilig"? They have different meanings.
    – Eller
    Aug 24 '17 at 8:02
  • What did the dictionary say? With 4 words, you can build 6 differences, that's too broad, imho. Aug 25 '17 at 21:16

Maybe these examples can help you:

  • je (1) (Adverb)
    Only in questions: at any time?

    Gibt es Bigfoot wirklich? Hat man ihn wirklich je gesehen?
    Is Bigfoot real? Has anybody ever seen him?

    Werden Menschen je einen Fuß auf den Mars setzen?
    Will people ever set foot on Mars?

  • je (2) (Präposition)

    Ich rechne mit drei Flaschen Bier je Besucher.
    I reckon three bottles of beer per visitor.

    Acht Tonnen auf nur vier Rädern sind zwei Tonnen je Rad.
    Eight tonnes on only four wheels makes two tonnes per wheel.

  • je (3) (Interjektion)
    etymologically a contraction of »Jesus«

    Herr je! Was hast du gemacht?
    Oh Lord! What did you do?

    Oh je! Nun ist es zerbrochen!
    Oh man! Now it is broken!

  • je nach, je nachdem (Adverb + »nach, nachdem«) (nach = Präposition; nachdem = Subjunktion)
    depending on

    Je nach Ergebnis des Test kann ich heimgehen, oder muss noch bleiben.
    Depending on the results of the test I can go home or must stay.

    Wir werden auf Platz 1 oder 2 landen, je nachdem wie das heutige Spiel ausgeht.
    We will reach rank 1 or 2, depending on how today's game ends.

  • je ... desto (Adverb) (desto = Konjunktion)
    the ... the

    Je mehr ich esse, desto dicker werde ich.
    The more I eat, the fatter I grow.

    Je höher wir klettern, desto schwerer kann ich atmen.
    The higher we climb, the harder I find it to breath.

  • jeder, jede, jedes (Indefinitpronomen)
    A single person or thing as part of a group. Either together with all other members of the group, or on its own.

    Das weiß doch jeder.
    Everybody knows that. (literally: Every knows that.)

    Das weiß doch jeder Mensch.
    Everybody knows that. (literally: Every human knows that.)

    Jeder Besucher braucht eine Eintrittskarte.
    Every visitor needs a ticket.

    Jeder Besucher bekommt einen Hut.
    Each visitor gets a hat.

  • jeglicher, jegliche, jegliches (Indefinitpronomen)
    Synonym of jeder, jede, jedes, but used for abstract entities (not for persons).

    Ich habe jegliches Interesse an diesem Spiel verloren.
    I've lost all interest in this game.

    Jegliche Einmischung wird bestraft.
    Any interference will be punished.

    Deine Argumentation entbehrt jeglicher Grundlage!
    Your argument is without foundation! (literally: Your argument lacks any foundation!)

  • jeweilig (Adjektiv)

    Jeder der drei Männer ging zu seinem jeweiligen Auto.
    Each of the three men went to his respective car.

    Die Könige herrschten über ihr jeweiliges Reich.
    The kings ruled over their respective realms.

  • 2
    "je(1)" is equivalent to "jemals"
    – Sentry
    Aug 24 '17 at 9:02
  • Could you tell me the proper meaning of “jeweiligen” in the following: “Politik ist insoweit ein Prozeß der Selbstauslegung des Menschen in jeweiligen gesellschaftlichen Verhältnissen.”
    – AlQuemist
    Aug 26 '17 at 11:33
  • @PhilosophiaeNaturalis: Google translator says: »Politics is to this extent a process of the self-interpretation of man in the respective social conditions.« Aug 26 '17 at 15:34

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.