was für

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was für

  1. what; what kind of
    Was für Getränke habt ihr mitgebracht?
    What drinks have you brought?”
    Du kannst dir vorstellen, was für ein Skandal das war.
    “You can imagine what a scandal that was.”
    Was für Bücher liest du?
    What kind of books do you read?”
  2. (in exclamation) (oh) what; (oh) such
    Was für ein Verrat! — “Oh what treason!”

Usage notes[edit]

  • The bare form was für is used before uncountable nouns and plural nouns. Countable singular nouns take the indefinite article: was für ein(e).
  • Was für is followed by the syntactically expected case. The component für, though etymologically the same as the preposition, does not have any rection.


was für

  1. (youth slang) Used to express strong rejection of a particular word in a statement by someone else; much like English “are you kidding?!”
    Was für „immer“?! Zweimal war ich da.
    “Always”, are you kidding?! I went there twice.
    Was für „erster Platz“?! Ihr werdet letzter, Alter!
    “First place”, are you kidding?! You’re gonna be last, mate!