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See also: Schon and schön


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle High German schōne (beautifully; appropriately; completely), from Old High German scōno (beautifully), adverb of scōni, whence German schön (beautiful). [1]


  • IPA(key): /ʃoːn/ (standard)
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  • IPA(key): /ʃɔn/ (alternatively in central and southern Germany and in Austria)
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  • Rhymes: -oːn, -ɔn



  1. already (happening rather early, continuing rather long)
    Es ist erst 11 Uhr und schon über 30 Grad im Schatten.
    It’s only 11 a.m. and already more than 30 degrees (°C) in the shade.
    Er ist schon seit drei Wochen krank.
    He’s been sick for three weeks already.
  2. previously, before (at some time in the past; but not: before a certain event)
    Ich erinnere mich, dass wir solche Fälle schon hatten.
    I remember that we had such cases before.
  3. expresses that an action has been completed; already (but more frequent); yet (in questions)
    Wir sind spät dran, aber diesen Stapel haben wir immerhin schon bearbeitet.
    We’re running late, but at least we’ve (already) finished this pile.
    Hast du dir schon die Zähne geputzt?
    Have you brushed your teeth yet?
  4. (modal particle) expresses a weighing of arguments, contrast between two statements, partial agreement, concession; admittedly; sure(ly); definitely; indeed
    Man sollte Kinder nicht bestrafen. — Man sollte Kinder schon bestrafen, nur eben sinnvoll.
    One shouldn’t punish children. — One should definitely punish children, but wisely.
    Niedrige Steuern heben den Konsum. — Das ist schon richtig, aber...
    Low taxes increase consumption. — That is admittedly true, but...
    Du merkst doch auch, dass ich Recht habe? — Ja, schon.
    You do see I’m right, don’t you? — Yeah, I guess.
  5. really (as an intensifier)
    Das ist schon etwas merkwürdig.That's really a little strange.
Usage notes[edit]
  • In order to emphasize schon in the sense of “already”, another fitting adverb of time is usually added: “Are you done already?” → Bist du jetzt schon fertig? Stressing schon itself is also possible but less common. In some other senses, however, schon is commonly stressed.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]




  1. singular imperative of schonen
  2. (colloquial) first-person singular present of schonen


  1. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1975). Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 21st edition. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. p. 675.

Further reading[edit]

  • schon” in Duden online
  • schon” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache