I was reading an article about a football manager talking at the end of a match:

"So ist Fußball. So ist er gut. So ist er toll."

I know that so is a complicated word in German, but for the sentence

So ist Fußball

I thought so meant "That"

but in

So ist er gut

I thought it meant "That is good."

But what is the purpose of er in that sentence.

What purpose does it serve?

1 Answer 1


In this sentence, »so« means »in this manner« / »when done that way« / etc. You can read more about this meaning in https://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/so_derartig_solch_genauso_etwa#Bedeutung1a, entry 1a. Thus one may render the sentences as

That way is how football is. When done that way, it is good. When done that way, it is great.

A more idiomatic translation might be

That's football. It's good like that. It's great like that.

So the »er« is a personal pronoun, masculine, which refers to football (»Fußball«).

  • Yep so the "so" actually has two functions in that sentence - "That is" and "In that way"
    – vik1245
    Feb 10, 2019 at 0:51
  • 3
    IOW, loosely translated: "That's football. That's the way I like it. That's the way I love it!". Feb 10, 2019 at 2:03
  • The first translation is bad, the second one is much better
    – PiedPiper
    Feb 10, 2019 at 13:10
  • 1
    @PiedPiper I agree. The first translation was meant to be more or less literal, so that the meaning of »so« becomes clear.
    – konst
    Feb 10, 2019 at 13:42
  • I just wanted to make it clear to the OP and any other learner that this is not what they should be emulating
    – PiedPiper
    Feb 10, 2019 at 15:29

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