So im confused when to use auf and when über for german. As far as I understand, über is used when you're excited about something in the past or right now and auf when you're excited about something in the future, is this correct?


Sich auf etwas freuen

This is a feeling of expectation. In many cases, the best translation would be to look forward to something. It will always refer to something in the future of the time of action. Examples:

Es sind zwar noch zwei Wochen, aber ich freue ich mich schon auf Weihnachten!

Freust du dich schon auf den Ausflug?

Ich habe mich so auf das Spiel gefreut, aber jetzt ist es abgesagt worden.
(Note that it is not clear when the game should have been. This could have been said either an hour prior to the scheduled beginning or an hour after its scheduled ending time – or at some completely different point in time after the game’s cancellation.)

Sich über etwas freuen

This is a feeling of joy about an event, object etc. Usually, the phrasing implies present but putting it in different cases places the feeling (as well as whatever caused it) into a different point in time.

Ich habe mich über deinen Brief gefreut.

Ich freue mich über das Schnäppchen.

Morgen ist dein Geburtstag, du kriegst viele Geschenke und ich weiß schon, dass du dich über sie freuen wirst.

As the last example shows, sich über etwas freuen can – sometimes – be used to refer to a future event but then the entire state of happiness will also be in the future. In contranst, sich auf etwas freuen is the current state of joy concerning a future event.


Yes, that is correct.

Also, uber should be über. If you do not have an "ü" key, you can simply remove the StackExchange paper sheet from your typewriter, turn it around by 90 degrees, fold it in half, insert the now-folded paper, use the roller-knob and the space bar to navigate to the turned-around "u", type a colon right next to the turned-around "u", remove the paper, unfold it, re-insert it, and continue writing your question.

  • 2
    A rough estimate puts less than 15 % of this answer towards actually answering the question.
    – Jan
    Dec 13 '19 at 5:41
  • @Jan I understand, it's very zerious bizeness here, and I will refrain from all forms of baboonery going forward. (Since the question already gives a perfect answer, I felt that nothing else is needed other than confirmation that it's entirely correct ...)
    – johnl
    Dec 13 '19 at 6:46

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