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All about fertig

The German adjective fertig is especially interesting because of its slang usages. In standard usage, fertig is usually translated as "finished," "ready," or "done":

 

Nun brauche ich meinen fertigen Teig nur noch in die Form füllen.

Now I just have to fill my finished batter into the mold.

Caption 27, Apfelkuchen: mit Eva

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Die Apfelpfannkuchen sind nun fertig zum Servieren.

The apple pancakes are now ready to serve.

Caption 30, Apfelpfannkuchen: mit Alina und Sabine

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So, mein Apfelkuchen ist jetzt fertig.

So, my apple cake is now done.

Caption 37, Apfelkuchen: mit Eva

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But in its slang usages, fertig takes on different meanings. The phrase fix und fertig, for example, means to be worn out or exhausted:

 

Wir sind fix und fertig, hä?

We are worn out, huh?

Caption 4, Deutschkurs in Blaubeuren: Der Relativsatz

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Simply saying fertig in certain contexts also has the same meaning:

 

Also, ich bin so was von fertig.

Well, I am so completely exhausted.

Caption 67, Großstadtrevier: Von Monstern und Mördern

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The phrase fertig machen, which until the German language reform of 1996 was the freestanding verb fertigmachen, means “to get ready” or "to prepare" in its standard usage:

 

Ich muss noch duschen und mich fertig machen.
I still have to take a shower and get ready.

 

But in its slang usage, fertig machen has a range of meanings, from exhausting oneself all the way to the threat of physical violence:

 

Das macht mich fertig.

It's getting me down.

Caption 14, Deutsche Welle: Leben zwischen zwei Kulturen in Namibia

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Wenn er mit dem Zeug abhauen will, dann mache ich ihn fertig!

If he tries to make off with the stuff, I'll finish him off!

Caption 28, Die Pfefferkörner: Endspurt

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Further Learning
The adjective fertig is also a root word in a number of adjectives and adverbs that have very different meanings. Do you know the difference between leichtfertig and schlagfertig, for instance? If you are ready to go deeper into the topic, take a look at this extensive list of German words containing fertig—but be aware that there are a lot of them. Mach dich doch nicht fertig dabei!

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