In this sentence, does eben mean "als" or "as" in english? Because I have never seen these meanings for "eben"


2 Answers 2


"Eben" (here - there are other meanings of this word) is a so-called mood particle. Every language has them and they are usually not translatable, because they don't transport information on their own but emphasize the stance the speaker takes to what he says.

For instance, English has "anyway":

What do you want?
What do you want, anyway?

The "anyway" does not add any meaning to the question itself but conveys a dismissive posture of the speaker.

Coming back to "eben": as @planetmaker has explained it emphasises the discrepancy between some expectation and the facts. Either, like he said, between the fact that one is getting paid but is not an employee any more or between "still working for the company" but "not being an employee", etc.. The emphasis is not on a specific discrepancy at all (hence all the mentioned ones are speculation) but on the fact that there is such a discrepancy.

If you still want to translate it: "indeed" would come close (here), perhaps.

I work for them, not as an employee but as a free-lancer indeed.


It has no direct translation.

ich arbeite immer noch für die Agentur aber eben freiberuflich"

translates to "I still work for the agency, but as free-lancer".

The "eben" indicates the emphasis that the expectation (of the mode of employment) is not met / changed. The "eben" implies a context of like "you are not employed by them anymore, but you still get money?", and the answer being "oh, I still am paid by them, but not as employee".

  • Here, I think it mostly indicates that the fact has been explicitly mentioned before. The sentence with "eben" probably elaborates on an earlier statement "I am working as a freelancer". – There's a list on: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Alazon
    Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 7:33
  • 1
    Yes-ish. The question is what has been mentioned before. That could either be "working as freelancer", then the conflicting information would be "but you have been working for the agency" or the mentioned fact could be "being working for the agency" and the conflicting information by the person asking "but you are not employed anymore". Both is equally likely IMHO. Possibly other modes of - on the surface - conflicting information leading to the same question are thinkable Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 7:41

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