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What is the difference between "verdachten" and "vermuten" and am I using the proper words in my translations of the popular American songs:

(Du weiss) ich liebe dich, sehr geliebte
Jedes Tag und Nach, bin ich traurig. (Here, I rendered "sigh" as "traurig")
Ich habe niemals VERDACHTEN, (I never had the least notion" becomes "I never had a suspicion.")
Und du würdest, mein Herz schlagen. ("I'd fall with such emotion" becomes "my heart would be so smitten.")

And:

Sweetheart they're suspecting things People will say we're in love.

Leute sind so VERMUTIG
Dann sagt man wir sind verliebt.

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4  
verdachten does not exist in German. The correct word is verdächtigen as in "Ich habe dich niemals verdächtigt." Also, vermutig doesn't exist. Just as advice: check the words in a dictionary. –  splattne Jul 28 '11 at 10:46
    
@splattne: I have a habit of "making up" words, based on words I know. If I know "vermuten," it's no stretch of the imagination to think of vermutig. (And I wouldn't be sure that a dictionary carries all forms.) As said below, I believe that I confused verdächtigen and Verdachtig to come up with "verdachten." I actually read dictionaries to learn, and then misremember forms. –  Tom Au Jul 28 '11 at 22:20
2  
verdachten does not exist, but it definitely should. It's shorter than verdächtigen, formed more logically and does not require an umlaut. Same goes for vermutig: I know so many people who are so vermutig that I can't believe the word wasn't made up much earlier! Dude, you coined them! :-D (Duden, you're listening ?!?) –  ssc Jan 23 '13 at 19:42

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The word vermutig does not exist. The word verdächtig does, but hasn't got the meaning you ascribe to it.

As far as I can tell, the English word suspicious can mean both "suspecting things" and "(deserving to be) suspected". Verdächtig has only the second meaning. Argwöhnisch roughly has the first.

If you want to use a verb, there are indeed two of them. One is vermuten. The other is not "verdachten", but verdächtigen. Vermuten has facts as its direct object, verdächtigen people.

So

Sie vermuten es (unsere Liebe).

or

Sie verdächtigen uns.

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I believe that I had verdächtigen in mind, when I used "verdachten," except that I confused it with "verdächtig." Thanks for your help. –  Tom Au Jul 25 '11 at 15:22

I would like to Tom's answer that "verdächtigen" as "suspect" has a negative connotation. You can suspect someone to be a burglar, but you can't "verdächtigen" him to be happy. OTOH "vermuten" as "presume" is more neutral. You can presume someone to be a burglar, you can also presume somebody to be happy.

I'm only starting to learn German, and my opinion is based on my native Dutch, which has the same words. Feel free to translate my examples to German.

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Steven is correct. –  Tom Jun 10 at 6:20

Aside from the spelling errors, the difference between "verdächtigen" and "vermuten" is that "verdächtigen" requires an actor while "vermuten" requires a fact.

In other words:

  • "verdächtigen" - someone (of something)
  • "vermuten" - something

You can "vermuten" without an actor - "Ich vermute, das Wetter wird gut." (I assume the weather will be good), but not without a fact. You can "verdächtigen" without a fact - "Ich verdächtige Hans." (I am suspicious of Hans), but not without an actor.

source: I'm a native speaker

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For the given romantic context we could use the following translations:

I never had the least notion
[Und] ich hatte keine Ahnung

[...] they're suspecting things [...]
sie denken es sich schon
sie hegen einen Verdacht

The expressions used are getting stronger in the following order: Ahnung, Vermutung, Verdacht.

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Or perhaps, "ich hatte keine Vermutung." –  Tom Au Jul 25 '11 at 20:19
    
No, that doesn't work. You can't say "eine Vermutung" or "keine Vermutung", it's always "Ich hatte die Vermutung". If you want to negate it, you have to rephrase and go with "Ich hätte nie vermutet" or something similar. –  Cass Jul 25 '11 at 22:25
    
alternatively, to keep with thoughts: "ich hätte nie gedacht", "ich hatte nicht den leisesten Verdacht" –  Takkat Jul 26 '11 at 6:09
    
@Cassandrexx: "ich hatte keine Vermutung" doesn't work indeed. But you can use "eine Vermutung", namely in "ich habe da so eine Vermutung". –  Hendrik Vogt Jul 26 '11 at 9:41

In addition to what Stefan already pointed out, there are a few more errors in your translation.

Ich habe niemals VERDACHTEN

doesn't work. You can either say "Ich hätte nie gedacht" oder "Ich hätte nie vermutet."

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