I was watching a German show, and they kept using the word sowieso? Can someone explain to me what it means?

  • 1
    „sowieso“ means „ohnehin“. – Carsten S Sep 21 '13 at 17:06
  • Shouldn't we keep a question with 7k views open? – Robert Sep 3 '16 at 14:40
  • @Robert No, if it does not conform to our rules, we shouldn’t. You are of course welcome to edit it according to our rules. – Jan Sep 4 '16 at 20:13

The most literal translation for the adverb sowieso is

one way or the other

Normally, the English anyway translates the word well.

Some examples:

"Ich kann es sowieso nicht verhindern."

"I can't prevent it anyway."

Sometimes it's used as informal answer and means of course:

"Kommst du morgen zur Feier?" - "Sowieso!"

Also, as mentioned in a comment to this answer, there is another special meaning, for example:

"Ein Herr Sowieso hat angerufen."

In this case Sowieso is a placeholder for a name that the person getting the phone call didn't remember or understand.


sowieso is the same as anyway, in any case or anyhow. I am a native German speaker.


Das brauchst du ihm nicht zu sagen, das weiß er sowieso schon. (You don't need to tell him, he knows it already.)

Du kannst es mir mitgeben, ich gehe sowieso dahin. (you can give that to me, i will go there anyway.)

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