For Kannst du morgen eher kommen? Google Translate gives Can you come tomorrow? and DeepL gives Can you come by tomorrow? but neither of these makes sense to me because the meaning I found for eher is: earlier, more likely

I think Can you come early tomorrow would make more sense. Is that correct? If not, how can the sense of early, more likely fit for this sentence?

2 Answers 2


eher has two meanings: earlier and rather / more likely. The sentence could have a range of translations and implications, based on the context:

  1. "Could you come earlier tomorrow ?" (Earlier than previously agreed upon, or earlier than last time).
  2. "Is it more likely that you could come tomorrow ?"

And finally, if you transpose words, you get "Kannst Du eher morgen kommen?", which can mean:

  1. "I'd rather have you come tomorrow" (Not sure this is standard semantics, though, might be a helveticism).
  2. "Is it more likely that you could come tomorrow ?"
  • These several examples really helped me get clear. Thanks
    – Tony M
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 18:12

Yes, it means earlier here, that is earlier than usual, earlier than previously agreed upon, or something similar.

  • Thanks. Then, from what you've said, I'm guessing a better translation would be "Can you come earlier tomorrow"
    – Tony M
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 16:53
  • @TonyM, I would think so, but I did not want to write this because I may be missing nuances in English. After all late can very often also mean too late.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 16:56
  • @TonyM, and, btw, the original sentence could, in the right context, also mean “are you more likely to be able to come tomorrow (than on the other day that we just talked about)*, but without any context given I find it unlikely that this is intended.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 16:58

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