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Der Restaurantkritiker hat meinen Kuchen geschmeckt.

The Food critic tasted my cake.

Can I use probieren or testen in this context? What is the difference between testen, probieren and schmecken?

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A good option would be: "Der Restaurantkritiker hat meinen Kuchen gekostet" –  Chris May 6 at 11:59
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Actually, you probably should use "probieren". The sentence you provided is not really proper German. You probably meant:

Der Restaurantkritiker hat meinen Kuchen probiert.

I say "probably" just in case you meant "Dem Restaurantkritiker hat mein Kuchen geschmeckt."

For reference:

  • "testen": Try out. Not typically used in the context of food, but e.g. with cars.
  • "probieren": Taste; try food to figure out if you like it or not.
  • "schmecken": Not typically used to mean try, but meaning "to like food". "Mir schmeckt's." = I like that.
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Why is the food critic in the dative case? –  DerPolyglott33 May 6 at 3:25
    
It is not. The food critic is the subject. "The cake" is the akkusativ object, because you ask: "Wen oder was hat der Restaurantkritiker probiert?" –  Stefan Schroeder May 6 at 3:45
    
Danke sehr für die Erklärung. –  DerPolyglott33 May 6 at 4:21
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@DerPolyglott33 In the Dem Restaurantkritiker hat mein Kuchen geschmeckt it is actually a dative case. You need to re-order the sentence to make clear why: Mein Kuchen (subject) hat dem Restaurantkritiker (dative object) geschmeckt. –  Thorsten Dittmar May 6 at 9:37
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@karoshi No. The English verb "to taste" can be translated as schmecken if something tastes like something ("The steak tastes yummy"/"Das Steak schmeckt lecker", "The cake tastes like vanilla"/"Der Kuchen schmeckt nach Vanille") or if a person notices a certain taste in a food ("I can taste that there's red whine in the gravy"/"Ich kann schmecken, dass Rotwein in der Soße ist") or if a person likes food ("Es hat ihm gut geschmeckt"). However, you can not translate it that way to say that a person tries some food ("He tasted my cake"/"Er probierte meinen Kuchen"). –  Thorsten Dittmar May 6 at 13:25
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