Simple question here. Below is an example sentence from a Ger2Ger dictionary:

In meinem Alter wollen die Augen halt nicht mehr so recht.

My question is the phrase "halt...so recht" some kind of idiom? I think what the sentence says is something like "my eyes don't see so good anymore in my old age" but I can't be sure.

I can't seem to parse this sentence precisely with other dictionaries. Other examples sentences using this structure would be extremely appreciated.


1 Answer 1


My question is the phrase "halt...so recht" some kind of idiom?

No, it isn't.

First of all halt used in that sentence doesn't have anything to do with the verb halten as you implied in your question title.

It's an adverb used to indicate an ongoing/normal process in that sentence.

A correct translation to english would be the word just for example:

At my age the eyes just don't work that well anymore.

Other usage examples

  • Das ist halt ein grosses Haus.

    It is just a big house.

  • Das war halt schon immer so.

    It always was just like that.

  • 4
    More accurately, halt is a modal particle. Unlike other adverbs, it cannot be first in a sentence (*Halt wollen meine Augen nicht mehr so recht" doesn't work)
    – RHa
    May 26, 2018 at 14:03
  • But I think "nicht ... so recht" is an idiom. Or isn't it? May 26, 2018 at 20:20
  • @Rudy If so, then the idiom is "nicht so recht wollen". May 27, 2018 at 6:35
  • 1
    @πάνταῥεῖ: or "nicht so recht können", "nicht so recht wissen", etc. So I think the idiom is simply "nicht so recht ...". May 27, 2018 at 9:35
  • @Rudy I'm just not sure that much, if it's really an idiom. I also just don't know that much. :3 May 27, 2018 at 9:53

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