Here is a sentence:

Vielleicht haben die Leute zu früh Silvester gefeiert-das ist noch eine Weile hin, meine Damen und Herren.

I don't get how "hin" works here. Is it simply a stand-alone adverb meaning "away" in this context? I was under the impression that "her/hin" can only be used on their own after prepositional phrases.

3 Answers 3


In this context, hin is used in conjuction with bis, which is often omitted. In full length, you could write this sentence as

[...] das ist noch eine Weile bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt hin.

[...] das ist noch eine Weile hin bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt.

[...] das ist noch eine Weile bis dahin. [...]

However since the object has already been stated, bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt (Silvester) can be omitted. However note that this is slightly informal, so when speaking or writing yourself, you have to find a balance between brevity and formality.

  • Thanks. I still don't get how "hin" may be used with "sein". I thought that the former is an adverb of direction used exclusively with verbs of motion
    – Dr.Doom
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 14:43
  • You can use it also as adverb of direction to an approximate point in time. E.g. "Wann bist du fertig? Gegen Mittag hin [werde ich fertig sein]." (very colloquial). A widely used composition with hin is hin und wieder, meaning something infrequent, e.g. "Wie oft bestellst du Pizza? [Ich bestelle] Hin und wieder [Pizza]."
    – YPOC
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 15:42

Hin and her can also be used to describe the direction of the passage of time.

  • das ist noch eine Weile hin (Future)
  • das ist schon eine Weile her (Past)

The phrase means "there has still some time to pass (until New Year)".

"Hin" means "in a direction away from you", "her" means "towards you". Hier the "hin" is meant in a temporal manner instead of a spatial one:

There is still some time left until New Year. You are here in the now, so, from your perspective, it will take some (temporal) movement away from you, into the future to arrive at New Year.

As @swmgr said in his answer, would one talk about the past, the necessary temporal movement (of that event) would be towards you, hence "das ist eine Weile her" (that was some time ago).

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