It’s that time of the year again – nearly New Year’s Eve – and time to make New Year’s resolutions!
How could you do this in German?
There are several ways to say what your intentions are:
Use the present tense
Most of the time Germans use the present tense when talking about the future. The present tense is all you need when there is a time phrase in the sentence or you just know it is meant to be in the future. So, if you wanted to stop eating chocolate, you could say Ich esse keine Schokolade mehr. I won’t eat chocolate anymore. Although there is no time phrase, the anymore gives it away as future tense. If you wanted to go swimming once a week next year, you could say Nächstes Jahr gehe ich einmal in der Woche schwimmen. This time there is a time phrase, next year I’m going swimming once a week.
Other examples could be: Ich rauche nicht mehr.
Ich esse mehr Gemüse. I’m eating more vegetables.
Use the future tense
If you have been saying the ‘I won’t eat chocolate anymore’ lots of times and never managed it, but this time you REALLY mean it, you can use the ‘proper’ future tense in German. You use the verb ‘werden’ and add whatever it is you intend to do at the end of the sentence in the infinitive.
Ich werde keine Schokolade mehr essen. I won’t be eating chocolate anymore.
Nächstes Jahr werde ich einmal in der Woche schwimmen gehen. Next year I will be going swimming once a week.
Ich werde nicht mehr rauchen. I won’t smoke anymore.
Ich werde mehr Gemüse essen. I will eat more vegetables.
Use a modal verb
You could use modal verbs like ‘möchten’ (would like to) or ‘wollen’ (want to).
Ich will keine Schokolade mehr essen. I don’t want to eat chocolate anymore.
Ich möchte nächstes Jahr einmal in der Woche schwimmen gehen. I would like to go swimming once a week next year.
Ich will nicht mehr rauchen. I don’t want to smoke anymore.
Ich möchte mehr Gemüse essen. I would like to eat more vegetables.
Use ‘vorhaben’ – to intend to
With the verb vorhaben, the sentence is a little more complicated. Just like we have the ‘to’ in the verb ‘intend to’ we need to add a ‘zu’ to the sentence (and a comma).
Ich habe vor, keine Schokolade mehr zu essen. I intend to eat no more chocolate.
Ich habe vor, nächstes Jahr einmal in der Woche schwimmen zu gehen. I intend to go swimming once a week next year.
Ich habe vor, nicht mehr zu rauchen. I intend to smoke no more.
Ich habe vor, mehr Gemüse zu essen. I intend to eat more vegetables.
Use ‘versuchen’ – to try
If you think you might not succeed doing things next year but like to try at least, use ‘versuchen’. The sentence structure is the same as with ‘vorhaben’.
Ich versuche, keine Schokolade mehr zu essen. I try not to eat chocolate anymore.
Ich versuche, nächstes Jahr einmal in der Woche schwimmen zu gehen. I try to go swimming once a week next year.
ich versuche, nicht mehr zu rauchen. I try not to smoke anymore.
Ich versuche, mehr Gemüse zu essen. I try to eat more vegetables.
So, what will your New Year’s resolution be?
Will you tell me? Maybe on Twitter?
My New Year's resolution: I will practise more German 🙂 Click To Tweet
Of course, you could (should!) use any of the following sentences 😉
Which one will be your?
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