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Please consider the following sentence:

Leider wird es heute etwas später im Büro.

I think it means something like // Unfortunately I'm staying late at the office today. // but I don't quite understand the use or the meaning of "werden" here ...


I also came across the following sentence:

Der Abend wurde immer später.

Here I'm positive "werden" means "become", but I am not sure about "später"... I mean, is the evening getting longer or shorter?

Vielen Dank

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  • Deep L usually gives good translations deepl.com/translator#de/en/…
    – Babu
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 23:13
  • @Buraian It gives me this: //Unfortunately, it's getting a little late in the office today.// & //The evening was getting later and later.// Not that helpful of a translation to be honest Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 23:18

1 Answer 1

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The evening is not getting longer or shorter (that would be länger / kürzer). It is correct, the time of day is "becoming" late.

Think of it this like this: First it is early (in the evening). As time passes, it is not so early, then it is somewhat late, then late and really late.

So the first sentence is an implied future, "(I) will be in the office longer that usual" or "The time will be later than usual (when I leave)".

The second sentence implies that the activities of the evening took longer than planned. I'm not sure whether "it became later and later" is an idiomatic expression in English, but maybe it can explain the German usage.

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  • Thanks for the feedback. Regarding the first sentence, does it equal: //Leider wird es heute etwas später sein, wenn ich das Büro verlasse.// or maybe: //Leider werde ich heute etwas später im Büro stehen bleiben.// ??? Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 23:27
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    @ken-smilepachi: the first sentence is correct, the second has a superfluous "stehen": "stehen bleiben" means "remain standing", "bleiben" means "to stay". Your second sentence translates to "Alas, i will later remain standing in the office [while all the others will sit down]." (Notice, btw., the difference between "stehen bleiben" (remain standing) and "stehenbleiben" (come to a halt).) Still, both those sentences, even if corrected, sound rather forced because the use of "Es wird heute später ..." is so widespread and common.
    – bakunin
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 8:26

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