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"The news/article/post says ..."

Is it correct to say

(a) Der Spiegel sagt, dass ...

(b) Der Artikel sagt, dass ...

(c) Die (Facebook-)Post sagt, dass ...

or should the verb "sagen" not be used here?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

The most common way to talk about pieces of writing is using the verb "stehen"

In dem Artikel steht, dass...

Auf Seite 3 steht, dass...

Ich habe einen Flyer und da steht, dass...

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Can I also say "Auf dem (Facebook-)Post steht, dass ..."? – boaten Apr 25 '14 at 0:27
2  
@boaten: "In dem Post steht, dass..." would be more correct. Basically, if you have to open it, stuff is written in it (think letters/'Briefe'). – LarissaGodzilla Apr 25 '14 at 7:22

In my opinion, it is not inherently wrong to use "sagen" as in your examples, however, it sounds a bit strange to me since "sagen" is commonly used in conjunction with real persons:

Der Autor des Artikels sagt, dass
Der Spiegel-Autor Max Mustermann sagt, dass

Nevertheless, you can sometimes see "Die Bild sagt" in headlines, but usually not in texts of higher level.

In contrast, the verbs "aussagen" and "besagen"* do work with things. Note that both have slightly different meanings though!

(b) Der Artikel sagt aus, dass
(b) The article declares/states that

(c) Der (Facebook-)Post besagt, dass
(c) The (facebook) post indicates that

Note: it is der Post (with an English pronunciation) if meant as a contribution or a post on a website.


*) The same also applies to "absagen".

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I'd like to suggest a more formal alternative

Laut X

literally according to X. You don't have to use it every time but it's handy to mix things up. Laut is usually used in reference to a scientist or study or something similar.

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Please consider to mention the case needed for X, where you can choose between genitive and dative. – Martin Schwehla Mar 20 '15 at 7:37

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