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From Middle High German sunst, Old High German sus (thus). Cognate with Hunsrik sunst, Old Saxon sus, Dutch zus.[1]


  • IPA(key): /zɔnst/ (official standard)
  • IPA(key): /zɔns/ (generally before a consonant; colloquially also in pausa)
  • (file)



  1. otherwise (under different circumstances)
    Beeil dich, sonst kommen wir zu spät.
    Hurry up, otherwise we'll be late.
  2. normally, usually
    Ich trinke sonst nicht so viel.
    I don't normally drink so much.
  3. (often with noch) else
    Sonst noch etwas?
    Anything else?
  4. (colloquial) so; then; consecutive, but directed against an explicit or implicit alternative
    Wenn wir jetzt losgehen, sind wir eh zu spät. Sonst lass uns morgen noch mal wiederkommen.
    If we go there now, we’ll be late anyway. So [let’s not do that but instead] let’s come back again tomorrow.
    Wir gehen grad in die Stadt. Also, wenn du Lust hast... sonst komm doch mit!
    We’re headed for the city. So, if you’re interested... [maybe you’re not, but if you are] then come along!


Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ sonst in Kluge's Etymological Dictionary of the German Language, 1891

Further reading[edit]