I came across this bad boy of a sentence, the first person said:

~ Wir fahren alle zusammen an einen See und bauen dort selbst ein Boot. Ich glaube, das wird witzig!

And the second person answered:

Ach, echt? Was du schon wieder alles weißt!

I have two questions now, one is minor and the other is the main one.

  1. What does "witzig" mean in the first sentence? "Funny" sounds like a weird translation of it.
  2. Can you explain to me the exact meaning and the grammatical structure of the second sentence? Literal translation to English would help.
  • 7
    There is nothing weird or unusual about this sentence.
    – RHa
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 12:07
  • 2
    Subquestion 1 is out of topic due to dictionary reasons, see DWDS. There is no special meaning in the context of this sentence.
    – guidot
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 12:50
  • 3
    If you don't have an answer, simply don't answer Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 13:21
  • 6
    I don't understand how people can have so little imagination when it comes to understanding the difficulties learners face. The second sentence is a so-called wh-exclamative, which is certainly quite an advanced topic.
    – David Vogt
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 14:13
  • 3
    "witzig" here can very well mean "hilarious", especially if none of the participants is particularly well versed in boat-building.
    – Polygnome
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 10:09

4 Answers 4


I will only answer the second question. I do not know what the name of the grammatical construction is, but the word order is that of relative clause the sentence begins with a word that usually introduces a relative clause, but it is an exclamation expressing surprise or some other strong emotion. Examples:

Wie groß Du geworden bist!

Dass ich das noch erleben darf!

Dass das immer mir passieren muss!

Warum er auch nicht vorsichtiger ist!

  • 2
    Oh I finally understood it. Thank you so much. I understood it through the simpler examples. Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 19:06
  • 1
    Ellipsis, I'd say. [Ich wundere mich,] wie groß du geworden bist. [Ich freue mich,] dass ich das noch erleben darf. Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 12:49

Das wird witzig.

This will be funny (hilarious (@Polygnome)).

I think funny fits. It will be fun to build a boat on the lake. It will be funny.

Ach, echt? Was du schon wieder alles weißt!

Oh, really? The things you know!

Ach, echt? --> Oh, really?

Was du schon wieder alles weißt! -> What you already know again!

The second person is surprised that he can build a boat, I guess.

  • 2
    To me, fun and funny are very different. "Dark Souls" may be fun, but it's not funny.
    – RDBury
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 19:59
  • 2
    @RDBury true, but i wouldn't say Dark Souls wird witzig
    – choXer
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 20:07
  • 1
    "fun" and "funny" could almost be considered false friends. In the context of this example the only correct translation of "witzig" is "fun", meaning the participants will have fun, have a good time and be entertained. Translating it as "funny" would mean that the situation would be comically and the participants would be laughing at it - a correct translation of "witzig", but not in the context of the example.
    – Elmy
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 8:22
  • 2
    @Elmy It could very well an activity with a lot of laughter. In fact I think "hilarious" might be a very well translation here.
    – Polygnome
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 10:07
  • 1
    @Elmy I think "witzig" does indeed refer to something comical. If the meaning of "having fun" was intended, I would've said "Das wird lustig!". (Might be a regional thing, though).
    – Bergi
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 13:50

My 2 cents on part 1: Expressing the anticipation that something will be "witzig" usually means that it is anticipated to be a source of joy, not that it will be odd. You could argue that its use here is somewhat idiomatic.

In a different context, "witzig" can also mean different things. For example, after having heard a story or recollection of events by someone, you might respond by saying:

Ach, das ist ja witzig!

to express that it was "interesting", or "surprising". Or, you could say

Du bist ja witzig.

to express that a person is being a little odd or funny.


1 was du alles weißt! would be a surprised exclamation meaning: I never would have guessed you know that.

1a Sie hat uns spontan einen Vortrag über das amerikanische Wahlsystem gehalten. Es ist echt erstaunlich, was sie alles weiß!

1b Heute ist ein besonderer Tag, Frau Merkel hat Geburtstag! – Was du alles weißt!

2 In addition, the adverb or particle wieder would mean: I already knew you are an egghead.

2a Covid-19 ist nicht das erste Coronavirus. Vorher gab es schon MERS, zum Beispiel, das auch zu Nierenversagen führen kann und unter anderem Dromedaren übertragen wird. – Was du wieder alles weißt! [I know you're a walking Wikipedia.]

2b Die Biersorte Pils heißt so, weil sie aus Pilsen kommt, das ist eine Stadt in Tschechien. – Was du wieder alles weißt! [Depending from the tone, this may be ironic in the sense of 'This is not necessarily the kind of information one needs to survive'.]

3 However, schon can add a negative spin of doubt and so-whatism to the sentence, schon wieder being a standard structure for expressing weariness and displeasure.

3 Alle französischen Autos sind dafür bekannt, dass sie schnell kaputtgehen. – Was du schon wieder alles weißt! [= How dare you say that?]

For me, this kind of comment doesn't fit at all in the given situation. I really have no idea what the speaker wanted to say: Oh, interesting! (?) / How come you know that? (?) (Woher weißt du das, wer hat dir das erzählt?) / most probably for me: What makes you think it will be funny?

Trying to paraphrase the situation in everyday German I would say: Diese Boot-Sache wird bestimmt ganz lustig. – Ach wirklich? Woher willst du das denn wissen!?

Maybe in other regions than mine (Ruhrgebiet) there are other kinds of 'idiomatisation' that I'm not aware of.

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