Probleme in der Strassenbahn, ein interessanter Abend in einem Restaurant, neue Menschen kennen lernen. Das sind immer gleich die wichtigsten Themen im Unterricht.

What does gleich here mean? It doesn't mean sofort nor same. If I translate it in the meaning of same it will be like this:

These are always same the most important subjects in the class.

Which really seems out of place. Please help.

  • 4
    The meaning is in the sense of sofort, better: right away. Jan 5 at 19:42
  • These are always right away the most important subjects in the class? Seems really weird to me. Jan 5 at 20:16
  • 3
    It means that these subjects come up right at the beginning, before other topics.
    – RHa
    Jan 5 at 20:18
  • Can you give a little more context for the quote? - There is a non-zero chance, that the usage is not entirely idiomatic: It seems to be a text that could be about (presumably adult persons) learning a new language - and people talking about that topic are less likely to be native speakers than the average author of any given text in a language is. Jan 8 at 10:24

In your quote "gleich" is used to express that the listed topics are the first to come up in class. So, "Das sind immer sofort die wichtigsten Themen im Unterricht", would be nearly the same meaning. The word "gleich" is the better choice here, though.

  • 1
    More for completeness sake, "immer gleich" in this sentence could also be read as "unchangeably". It gets more visible with additional commas: "Das sind, immer gleich, die wichtigsten Themen im Unterricht." In this sense, the sentence would translate to something like "Those are, always the same, the most important topics in class". But I'd agree that reading "immer gleich" as akin to "immer sofort" is much more natural. Jan 6 at 10:44
  • @HenningKockerbeck I'd expect that to be "Das sind die immer gleichen wichtigsten Themen..." - "Das sind, immer gleich, die wichtigsten Themen..." is a little clunky to my ears. Jan 8 at 10:21

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