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Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei

In English, one way of saying that an event is finished or done with is to say that it's "over." In German, the word über, though usually meaning "about,"  is sometimes translated as "over" when it is referring to the physical placement of something: 


Ganz zum Schluss verteile ich meinen Zuckerguss über den Kuchen.

Right at the end, I spread my sugar frosting over the cake.

Caption 36, Apfelkuchen - mit Eva

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But in German, if you want to say that an event is over, the word über turns out to be a kind of false friend: the correct term here is vorbei


Doch diese Zeiten sind vorbei

But those times are over

Caption 12, Christina Stürmer - Wir leben den Moment

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Meine Stunden bei der Gepäckverladung der Bodenverkehrsdienste sind vorbei.

My hours at the baggage loading area of the ground traffic services are over.

Caption 45, Selbst versucht - Gepäckabfertigung bei Fraport

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Es ist jetzt vorbei, ich starte neu

It's over now, I'm starting anew

Caption 7, Beatrice Egli - Irgendwann

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Depending upon the context, vorbei can also be translated as "passed," or "gone," or "past," to name a few possibilities:


Vier Jahre sind vorbei und unser Team ist mit dabei

Four years have passed and our team is in

Caption 9, Die gestiefelten Zwerge - Am Kap der Hoffnung steht der Cup

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... denn dann ist der Zauber vorbei.

... because then the magic is gone.

Caption 57, Märchen - Sagenhaft - Aschenputtel

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Der Winter ist vorbei.

The winter is past.

Caption 2, Jahreszeiten - Der Frühling

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Another possibility for expressing that something is over or has passed by is the adverb vorüber: 


So, jetzt ist der Haxen fertig, die drei Stunden sind vorüber.

So now the knuckle is finished, the three hours have passed by.

Caption 45, Kochen mit Cettina - Schweinshaxe

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Ein Jahr weht vorüber...

A year flies past...

Caption 24, rheinmain Szene - Selig

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and see the many other examples of vorbei and vorüber in a real world context. See too if you can correctly translate the title of this week's lesson: Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei. Hint: the direct translation "fat years" isn't quite right! 

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