How to say “ago”, “for” & “since” in Luxembourgish

In this lesson you’ll learn how to say ago, for and since in Luxembourgish. They actually work different from the English language and we also use different tenses.

Let’s start with

virun (ago)

To say ago use the preposition virun. In English ago comes after the time indication but in Luxembourgish we place virun before the time indication.

Beispiller – examples

Virun zwou Wochen war ech zu London. – Two weeks ago, I was in London.

Virun enger Stonn war ech nach um Büro. – One hour ago, I still was at the office.

Meng Mamm ass virun engem Mount operéiert ginn. – My mom had surgery, one month ago.

Mir si virun dräi Joer op Lëtzebuerg geplënnert. – We moved to Luxembourg three years ago.

Virun is a preposition that requires the dative case.

säit or zënter (for, since)

When Luxemburgers learn English they actually struggle with the difference between for and since because in Luxembourgish we DO NOT have that difference.

We use for both –  time period and point in time – säit or zënter (BOTH are synonyms)!

And in Luxembourgish we use the PRESENT TENSE with säit or zënter.

Beispiller – examples

Ech léiere säit/zënter sechs Méint Lëtzebuergesch. – I have been learning for 6 months Luxembourgish.

Ech léiere säit/zënter Juni Lëtzebuergesch. – I have been learning Luxembourgish since June.

Hien ass säit/zënter e Mëttwoch  zu Zürich. – He has been in Zürich since Wednesday. 

Hatt schwätzt säit/zënter enger Woch net méi mat mir. – She hasn’t talked to me for one week.

Remark: Some people say zanter instead of zënter. Both are correct.

laang (for)

In Luxembourgish, if we want to describe an action that lasts for a specific time period we use the adverb laang whereas in Englsih you use for.

Beispiller – examples

Hien huet 30 Minutte laang Piano gespillt. – He played the piano for 30 minutes.

As you noticed, in English you place for in front of the time period BUT in Luxembourgish you place it after the time indication!

Ech hunn zwou Stonne laang op hie gewaart. – I waited for him for 2 hours.

Mir hunn eng Stonn laang mateneen telefonéiert. – We talked together on the phone for one hour.

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Lets practice

Try to translate the following sentences into Luxembourgish:

  1. I have been playing Tennis for 5 years.
  2. She went to the pharmacy one hour ago.
  3. My cat has been sick since Monday.
  4. My husband moved to Luxembourg 3 years ago.
  5. I lived for one year in France.
  6. My parents were for six weeks on vacation.
  7. I haven’t seen him since Saturday.
  8. On Sunday mornings you have to queue for one hour at the bakery.
  9. They’ve been going to school for four months.
  10. He still was at home half an hour ago.

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