I am trying to understand the usage of möglichst in the below.

Schlaf. Gesunder und möglichst ununterbrochener Schlaf ist ein wichtiger Faktor für das menschliche Wohlbefinden, der in unserer schnelllebigen Zeit häufig etwas vernachlässigt wird.

I think the "und" in first part is connecting two adjectives. One of them is comparative (Gesunder) but I am not sure what moeglichst is suppoed to be. Or how to translate it in the above.

1 Answer 1


No, "gesunder" isn't a comparative. It is just "gesund" declined to agree with "Schlaf" (masculine nominative singular with no article). If it were a comparative it would need to be "gesunderer" (actually more common with an umlaut: "gesünderer") in this position (one -er for the comparative, one for the declension).

"Möglichst X" means "as X as possible", so "möglichst ununterbrochener Schlaf" is "sleep that is as uninterrupted as possible"; this sounds a lot more clumsy in English than in German.

Overall the noun phrase means "sleep that is healthy and as far as possible uninterrupted". In German this doesn't require a relative clause like it does in English, it can be an attributive adjectival phrase.

  • It might be worth noting that German allows comparative and superlative suffixes where they're not used in English. So instead of "possible-est" you'd have to say "most possible". In this case rephrasing is needed, so "as far as possible". Also, adding "-er" is the way you'd form comparatives, and you usually just have to use context to figure out if that's what is meant or it's adjective declension. In this case, "gesund" is slightly irregular so the comparative is "gesünder".
    – RDBury
    Commented Jan 2 at 4:44
  • could you explain differently? lil confused @RDBury
    – Babu
    Commented Jan 2 at 5:41
  • What type of object is möglichst then?
    – Babu
    Commented Jan 2 at 5:41
  • @tryst with freedom - "möglichst" is an adverb here, modifying the adjective "ununterbrochen". The base word is "möglich" which is listed in dictionaries as an adjective, but most adjectives can be used as adverbs in German. English allows this too but requires "-ly" added. So instead of "possible" the translation here would be "possibly". The "-st" changes the meaning a bit to "as much as possible".
    – RDBury
    Commented Jan 2 at 10:15
  • Didnt know we can combine adjective and adverb with und
    – Babu
    Commented Jan 2 at 11:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.