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Both DWDS and WordReference dictionaries say that "zeitweise" can mean either "occasionally" and "for a while". Is one of those meanings more common that the other? For instance, would it be possible to understand what the following sentence mean without asking for clarification? Theoretically, it could mean "I go abroad occasionally" (defines frequency) or "I go abroad for a while" (defines duration).

Ich gehe zeitweise ins Ausland.

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  • My impression is that none of the examples in either reference that is chosen to show the meaning "occasionally" is very clear-cut. Often, the fact that something happens occasionally precludes that it is a permanent thing, and therefore implies that whatever happens does so temporarily (if multiple times). As such, in most, if not all, of the examples provided, one could argue that "zeitweise" does mean "for a while", "temporary", "for a limited amount of time", or at least emphasize that aspect rather than focusing on the occasional reoccurrence of the event. Commented Jun 9 at 18:15

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Zeitweise means it's an exception to the rule for a limited time. The exact meaning depends on the verb.

Ich gehe zeitweise ins Ausland.

Because gehen is dynamic (movement or state-change), this can't be a timeless statement. So this says I go abroad for a while until I return.

Ich arbeite zeitweise im Ausland.

This on the other hand may be a timeless statement. It can either say I work abroad for a while until I return or I work abroad occassionally with the latter being more likely.

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    What is a timeless statement? "zeitweise" is related to time, so I do not understand how a sentence with it could be timeless. Commented Jun 10 at 1:44
  • A timeless statement is one that is valid at all time. That's how zeitweise ends up describing an endless on-off blinking.
    – Janka
    Commented Jun 10 at 15:42

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