Ich wollte gerade aus dem Haus gehen.

English Translation

I was about to leave my house.

Is the English translation accurate here? Looks more like “I wanted to leave my house just now”.

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The English translation is good.
In this case “ich wollte gerade …” means “i was about to …”.

“I wollte gerade zur Arbeit gehen” = “i was about to go to work”
This German sentence does not imply that I really wanted to go to work. Maybe I wanted to stay at home daydreaming. :slightly_smiling_face: See the difference?

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Okay, so it’s one of those cases where you don’t try to translate it literally, but instead read it as a figure of speech. So what if you really wanted to say “I wanted to leave the house just now”? Perhaps “Ich habe gerade gewollt, das Haus zu verlassen”?

With “gerade wollen” and without context, that is difficult.
You might say
“In dem Moment hatte ich den Wunsch/ hatte ich Lust, das Haus zu verlassen,”

“At that momemt I had the desire to leave the house”.

Note that in everyday sentences like “Ich habe Lust auf ein Eis” (lit.: “I have the desire for an icecream” “Lust” has no sexual connotation whatsoever.
However, I am not an English native speaker, but I think that the English sentence “I just wanted to …” is also ambiguous without context: It indicates an intention but not necessarily a desire, a literal want, doesn’t it?

“Ich wollte gerade aus dem Haus gehen” means that you were planning to leave the house, or were in the process of leaving, when something unexpected happened and stopped you.

“Ich wollte gerade aus dem Haus gehen, als ich bemerkte, dass ich meinen Schlüssel nicht finden konnte.”

“Ich wollte gerade aus dem Haus gehen. Da klingelte das Telefon.”

I hope this conveys the meaning. Maybe one of the native speakers of English can suggest an English translation.

Yes, I think it might be similar. “I just wanted to help” for example, means that it was my intention to help, but something bad happened and it didn’t go the way I had planned.

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