Hinterher means after or afterwards (on Leo).

However, in the following sentence, neither translation makes sense:

Ich bin mit der Arbeit hinterher.

What is the meaning of hinterher in this context? And could I exchange Arbeit for another noun?

  • Yes that could be exchanged. Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 18:24
  • @πάνταῥεῖ Sorry for the misunderstanding, I want to ask the meaning of Ich bin hinterher mit der Arbeit.
    – Jigao
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 18:34
  • 1
    The translation to English would be: I'm behind with the work.. How did you miss that? Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 18:35
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    @πάνταῥεῖ for example if your first language is Chinese, and Google translate really sucks for Chinese. »Ich bin mit der Arbeit hinterher« becomes »我下班后« which isn't a sentence but just means »I after work«.
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


Für mich klingt es wie ein misslungener Übersetzungsversuch ins Deutsche.

Zuerst einmal ist die Satzstellung falsch. Richtig müsste es heissen: 'Ich bin mit der Arbeit hinterher'. (I'm behind with the work)

Aber selbst dann klingt der Satz etwas veraltet und wird in dieser Form allenfalls in der gesprochenen Sprache verwendet. In einem Schriftstück würde man schreiben: 'Ich bin mit der Arbeit im Rückstand'.

Je nach Zusammenhang hat das Wort hinterher verschiedene Bedeutungen: afterwards, after, behind, arrear.

Hinterher ist man immer schlauer - One is always wiser afterwards
Lauf ihm nicht hinterher - Don't run after him
Dauernd putze ich hinter Dir her - I'm always cleaning up after you
Ich fahre Dir hinterher - I'll follow you

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    The question was posed in English, which makes me think that OP doesn't speak German well enough to understand your answer. Also, »Ich bin mit der Arbeit hinterher« doesn't sound dated to me. Maybe I, being in my thirties, am dated, too?
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 12:16

„Ich bin mit der Arbeit hinterher“ is rather colloquial and means that someone hasn‘t achieved as much in a given time as he or she would have liked to. ‚Arbeit‘ could be replaced by any task or field of work, e.g. „Ich bin mit dem Haushalt hinterher“, meaning there are some chores not yet taken care of. It‘s quite a common phrase in my area.

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