How to use the German word 'weiter'

The German word ‘weiter’ can  have quite a few different meanings. It can be the comparative of ‘weit’ (far/ wide)

  • weiter nördlich – further north
    weiter entfernt – further away
    etwas weiter – a little further
    weiter oben – further up
    weiter unten – further down
    weiter weg – further away/ afield
  • Diese Hose ist weiter – these trousers are wider

It can also mean

  • forward
  • next (computer language)

But where it’s really useful is as prefix to a verb.  If you want to write about continuing to do something, just add ‘weiter’ in front of the verb that gives the action. So –

  • weitermachen – continue/ carry on to do something
  • weiteressen – carry on eating
  • weitertrinken – carry on drinking
  • weitergehen – carry on walking
  • weiterlesen –  keep on reading
  • weiterlaufen –  carry on walking/ running
  • weiterfahren – carry on driving
  • weiterschlafen
  • …. etc….(or usw – und so weiter ☺)

Basically, you can add ‘weiter’ to any verb which action you want to continue doing. It doesn’t even matter whether you’ll find it in the dictionary. If it makes sense, use it.

To make it even more interesting, you can write ‘weiter’ plus the verb separately, like ‘weiter essen’

And that leads me to some nice commands with ‘weiter’ ☺

  • Red weiter. – Go on/ keep on talking.
  • Träum weiter! – Dream on/ keep on dreaming!
  • Atme weiter! – Keep breathing!
  • Weiter! – Move along!

If you now feel like saying: Ich weiß nicht weiter! (I don’t know what to do! I’m at my wits’ end), all I can reply is …

Üb weiter! Keep on practising!

and

Mach weiter! Get on with it!

Hilft das weiter? Does that help you any further?

Maybe this song will (I searched high and low, honest!)

Weiter so! – Keep it up! Way to go! ☺

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