Diese Maschinen gehen jetzt gerade nicht.

English Translation

These machines aren’t working now.

Isn’t “jetzt gerade” a little redundant? Wouldn’t it work just as well if you just said “Diese Maschinen gehen jetzt nicht” or diese Maschinen gehen gerade nicht"?

You are right, it is somewhat redundant.
But there are slight differences in meaning:

“Diese Maschinen gehen jetzt nicht.”
“These machines are not working now.”

“Diese Maschinen gehen gerade nicht.”
“These machines are working at the moment.” (…implying that they soon wil work again; I do not find a good English translation.)

“Diese Maschinen arbeiten jetzt gerade nicht”
“These machines are not working right now.”


“Diese Maschinen arbeiten gerade jetzt nicht.”
“Especially now these machines are not working.” (… implying that it hurts especially much now).

It is one of these subtleties … should a non-native learner care? I don’t think so.


Ah, okay, I like the idea of translating “jetzt” as “now” and translating “gerade” as “at the moment” or “momentarily”. So, “diese Maschinen gehen gerade nicht” = “these machines are momentarily out of order”.

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