25 German sentences with 'bloß'

A while ago I told you about all those sentences with ‘schon’. Today we will look at another filler word that is being used in so many different ways: bloß.

First of all, ‘bloß’ can be an adjective (with all its appropriate endings before a noun) and mean bare/ nude/ mere/
Ich habe mich auf die bloße Erde gesetzt. I sat on the bare ground.

It can also be an adverb meaning merely/ only
Ich war bloß drei Tage in Berlin. I was only three days in Berlin.

And it can be – and does get – used to emphasis a message. Those are the sentences that are often difficult to translate.
Here is a selection:

  • Hätte ich das bloß nicht gesagt! If only I hadn’t said that!
  • Sag bloß! You don’t say!
  • Wo bloß? But where?
  • Wo sind bloß die ganzen Plätzchen hin?  Now, where did all the biscuits go?
  • Wenn er bloß bald käme! If only he’d come soon.
  • Nicht bloß …, sondern auch …   Not only …, but also …
  • Versucht das bloß nicht zu Hause, Kinder! Don’t try this at home, kids!
  • Warum habe ich bloß nicht daran gedacht? Now, why didn’t I think of that?
  • Tu das bloß nicht wieder! Don’t you dare do that again!
  • Das war bloß Spaß. It was just a bit of fun.
  • Er ist bloß ein Bekannter. He’s just an acquaintance.

Did you notice the emphasis or exasperation in those sentences?  A lot of those sentences could have been said without ‘bloß’ but make it sound more urgent with it.
Look at this sentence: Was soll ich machen? (What shall I do?)
Now this one:  Was soll ich bloß machen? This is more than just ‘what should I do’, it’s more like ‘Oh no, what shall I do? I really don’t know what to do!’

Here are a few more phrases that might possibly come in useful one day:

  • Pass bloß auf! You’d better watch out!
  • Komm mir bloß nicht auf die unschuldige Tour! Don’t play the innocent with me!
  • Komm mir bloß nicht (wieder) mit …  Don’t give me that … (again).
  • Mach das bloß nie wieder! Don’t you ever do that again!
  • Geh mir bloß aus dem Weg! Just get out of my way!
  • Hau bloß ab! Get lost!
  • Hör bloß mit dem Quatsch auf! Don’t give me that rubbish!

Did you notice that they are all with the informal you, ‘du’? That’s because they are mainly colloquial or idioms and rarely used when you need to be formal and polite. Well, none of those are polite, anyway ☺

The following videos all have ( a different) ‘bloß’ in their song titles.
Zieh dir bloß die Schuhe aus. Make sure you take off your shoes.

Was hat dich bloß so ruiniert? What on earth has ruined you?

 Bloß Freunde  Just friends

Now go and use some of those sentences, but don’t ruin them! Vermasselt sie bloß nicht!

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