I am translating a little text of mine, and I used Google Translate to know parts that I did not know, for example, Just to see the sun. I don't/didn't know Just in this context in german, then I used Google Translate, and it told Nur um die Sonne zu sehen, my question is why um after nur?

Resumed: Nur um die Sonne zu sehen, why the um after the nur in this sentence?

  • 5
    These are two independent words. Nur=just (or only), um=to (to see...). The words' meanings can be compared to the english phrase. Can you explain your problem in more details?
    – puck
    Jul 12, 2019 at 4:26
  • The "um" has the same purpose in the sentence (in this context) that the optional phrase "in order" would do in English. "Just [in order] to see the sun". Or "I went outside [in order] to see the sun".
    – AdamV
    Jul 12, 2019 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


The word "um" in this context introduces the reason why something is done. As such it is necessary, but you could leave out "nur": "Um die Sonne zu sehen, ging ich hinaus" means "I went outside to see the sun".

The word "nur" is often a correct translation for "just" (in the sense of only). Together with "um" it is used when the effort seems too high compared to the result. "Nur um die Sonne zu sehen, ging ich auf den Berg." means "I climbed the mountain just to see the sun."

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