13.2 Ich bin mal gespannt

Byron-K21

Byron-K21

In lesson 13.2 both Ich bin mal gespannt and Ich bin gespannt are translated as I'm curious. What then does "mal" add to the sentence? I see "mal" here and there in various Geman phrases and the literal translation of "time" doesn't seem to fit. Can you, Paul, or someone elaborate, please, how "mal" is used in expressions. it was used in an earlier lesson too to indicate that Paul needed a bathroom break (Ich muss mal) but it never made sense to me why. thanks, Byron
Paul-Weber

Paul-Weber

Hi Byron, "Mal" can be a filling word used in every day conversation in more than one way so it is confusing for a lot foreign language speakers who learn German. "Mal" can mean "times" because it is the shortend version of "einmal" or "even" but again that depends on the context. Examples where the word "mal" is needed: "Drei mal am Tag nach den Mahlzeiten" is "three times a day after a meal. " " Ich habe nicht mal dafür Zeit. is "I don't even have time for that." "Ich gehe noch mal (einmal) hin." is "I go there one more time" "Mal" can make an expression sound more friendly and take away a bit of the urgency although the meaning doesn't change like the example you gave with "ich bin gespannt" and "ich bin mal gespannt". Examples connected with a verb that's used as imperative: "Warte mal!"(wait!) "Hilf mir mal!" (help me!) Yes when someone says "Ich muss mal." that usually means he or she needs to go to the toilet but how that became a well known saying I can't tell you. I think "nature calls" is an expression for that in English. Gruß Paul
Byron-K21

Byron-K21

Thanks Paul. I understood the references where it referred to time, but not the other references like "even" or softening an imperative. So, in that context, i.e. softening an imperative is it somewhat like "doch"? What about statements? Is "ich bin mal gespannt" a less curious version of "ich bin gespannt"? I suppose it's a little silly of me to bother about those subtle nuances when I can't even conduct an articulate conversation in German, but I find those subtleties of expression very interesting. regards, Byron '

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