- at least
Du brauchst zumindest einen Führerschein, um Auto zu fahren.
- You need at least a driving license to drive a car.
Geleistet hast du nichts, aber zumindest bist du überhaupt gekommen.
- You haven’t contributed anything, but at least you’ve shown up at all.
- Although zumindest and mindestens can often be used interchangeably, there is a tendency to distinguish them. Mindestens is preferred when there is an actual ranking, particuarly one involving numbers, whereas zumindest is used otherwise.
- In the examples above, mindestens could be used alternatively in the first sentence, whereas it would sound awkward in the second. The difference is that sentence 2 does not express a requirement or lower limit but simply the insufficiency of the adressed person’s efforts.
- zumindest in Duden online