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How would we use "Augenblick" to talk about something that happened extremely recently, but is over now?

For instance, in English you can say "I really liked the discussion we had just now". In French you would say "J'ai vraiment aimé la discussion d'à l'instant". In both cases, the discussion was a few minutes ago, but it is fully over.

How would we convey this meaning in German with "Augenblick"? I have looked at Duden and Wictionary (and Google Translate), but it looks that if I use "im Augenblick", it does not mean the event is fully finished, or?

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    Your question is a bit like “how can I refer to a dog using ‘Katze’”.
    – Carsten S
    Oct 10, 2023 at 11:37
  • lol... thanks for pointing that out, the other answers below look like using "vor einem Augenblick" will do the trick. :-) Oct 10, 2023 at 14:56
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    "that which barks at cats"
    – Alazon
    Oct 10, 2023 at 15:00
  • Wäre "I really like (nicht: liked) the discussion we had just now" nicht die übliche Form, sich auszudrücken? Mochte der Sprecher die Diskussion aber mag sie jetzt nicht mehr; ist das Mögen vorbei? Oct 11, 2023 at 17:26
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    @userunknown, your sentence "I really like...", without the "d", sounds strange to me, because of the English "time concordance"... Both "I really liked the discussion we had just now" (with a "d") and "I really like the type of discussion we had just now" (without the "d") sound OK to me, but they do not have the same meaning... The first one express an assessment on a specific discussion that happened in the past, while the second one express an assessment on all discussions happening in the past, present and future, only using a past discussion as an example. Oct 12, 2023 at 8:59

3 Answers 3

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The proper expression would be "gerade". "gerade", when used with a past perfect verb will exactly indicate what you want.

Ich habe die Diskussion, die wir gerade hatten, wirklich sehr genossen.

If you want, you can use "Augenblick" the same way:

Ich habe die Diskussion, die wir vor einem Augenblick hatten, wirklich sehr genossen.

So, whether the action has been finished or not is not determined by "im Augenblick", but rather by the chosen tense.

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    It should be noted that if you say "vor einem Augenblick", the Augenblick is not the Augenblick during which the discussion happened, but the timespan that passed after the discussion has ended. Oct 10, 2023 at 13:53
  • Thanks very much tofro and O.R. Mapper! Oct 10, 2023 at 14:54
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"Augenblick" means a very short time, "im Augenblick" means "at this very moment". So, no, it does not mean that the event is fully finished: it is logical that most events cannot be completed in such a short instant (so in aspect languages, the perfective aspect form in the present usually does not mean a present tense). The meaning of "extremely recently" is conveyed not by "in a moment" but by "a moment ago" -- in German gerade eben, eben erst, or perhaps erst vor einem Augenblick / Moment.

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Mir gefiel die Diskussion, die wir

  • gerade
  • eben
  • gerade eben
  • just
  • vor einem Moment
  • vor einem Augenblick

hatten.

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  • Vielen Dank, "user unknown" :-) Oct 12, 2023 at 8:54

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