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If I say

Mein Freund hat mich überredet, ins Kino zu gehen.

Does "Mein Freund" automatically mean "my boyfriend", or can it also just mean "my friend" depending on the context?

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marked as duplicate by Em1, c.p., Emanuel, Baz, Wrzlprmft Dec 13 '13 at 11:55

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"Mein Freund" never means "my girlfriend". You'd have to use "meine Freundin" for that. –  elena Dec 13 '13 at 8:16
    
also possible answers there: german.stackexchange.com/questions/1039/… –  Takkat Dec 13 '13 at 17:01

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I'd say that it denotes an SO more often than in English, so you should be careful, but still not always. (By the way, girlfriend in English may also simply mean a female friend.)

If without further introduction „Ich fahre mit meiner Freundin in den Urlaub“, then I mean my girlfriend. If however I say „Ich war mit einem Freund und einer Kollegin in Stockholm und bin dann mit meiner Freundin noch weiter nach Uppsala gefahren“, then I probably refer to the female friend of the first part of the sentence. I might avoid saying „mit meiner Freundin“ here by choosing „mit der Freundin“, but that may sound less friendly.

„Von Sabine hätte ich mehr Hilfe erwartet, schließlich ist sie meine Freundin“ is again something that I might say of someone who is just a friend, especially if I am taking to someone who knows her and that we are not a couple. Again, I might still avoid this by saying „schließlich sind wir Freunde“.

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It's ambiguous and can also mean a regular friend. If you want to highlight the fact that he's not your boyfriend, use "ein Freund". (Ein Freund von mir, einer meiner Freunde)

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