What is the difference between at once and at the same time

At the same time or at the same time?

In “Service for Cross Readers” on the 2.340. Question (VDI nachrichten of August 7, 2009) you write: “Two such comprehensive projects as pregnancy and a change of employer can hardly be carried out at the same time.” You know the difference between the terms “simultaneously” and “simultaneously”. You use the buzzword "at the same time" inappropriately for the content of the statement. I see this as a denigration of the German language.

Think about it?


I did that - unfortunately it didn't work. Even afterwards I was still convinced that I had done nothing wrong: “Simultaneously” can actually only mean “occurring at the same time”. But that is wrong and you are right.

Only “simultaneously” stands for “taking place at the same time”, while “simultaneously” stands for “requires the same time”. So clearly “at the same time” would have been the right choice.

But the German language should be very calm for a while, despite this mistake, I have probably still done a lot more for you here than many others. And I never say: "Do as I do, who am the role model of the nation." At most, I say: "Make as few mistakes as possible."

Incidentally, but this is now a pure battle of retreat, my sentence quoted above is also not completely wrong as it stands there. But what I wrote there was clearly not meant.

Question No .: 2365
Number of the VDI nachrichten edition: 45
Date of the VDI nachrichten edition: 2009-11-06

A contribution by:

  • Heiko Mell

    Heiko Mell is a career advisor, author and freelancer for VDI nachrichten. He is responsible for the career advice series within VDI nachrichten.