Questions about common expressions used in conversation and colloquial speech.

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7
votes
2answers
414 views

How do you say “he will be on TV”?

This is kind of urgent. I can't figure out how to say “I will be on TV” or “he will be on TV" correctly (in reference to being on a TV show that will be aired). The best I can think of something like ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What does “auf Habacht” mean?

I saw this in a book as a sort of military order, but can’t find it in dictionaries: auf Habacht What does it mean and why isn’t it mentioned?
6
votes
3answers
282 views

What is “Hacke, Spitze, eins, zwei, drei”?

I’m currently learning the German language as I’m new to Germany. Learning something new from the public every day is really cool! Yesterday I happened to hear bunch of kids playing across the street ...
5
votes
3answers
160 views

Meaning for “das ist mir wirklich unangenehm”

On Pons I found that das ist mir wirklich unangenehm means I am really sorry for, while on Dict.cc I found the translation how embarassing (unverified version though). I would like to know what it ...
23
votes
5answers
16k views

Kann man sich entschuldigen oder nur um Entschuldigung bitten?

Achtung: Folgende Frage könnte als Haarspalterei oder Spitzfindigkeit empfunden werden. Ich frage mich, ob der folgende Ausdruck sich entschuldigen eigentlich richtig ist. Man hört ihn sehr ...
5
votes
2answers
591 views

Is “es macht mir Freude” correct and used?

Is this expression equivalent to "it makes me happy"? Does it sound ok or maybe too old style? Would I ever hear a young person saying it? Is this expression used or common?
7
votes
2answers
531 views

Does “aufrollen” have a colloquial meaning?

I'm translating an old German newspaper article and the word "aufrollen" is used in what appears to be a colloquial manner, since the literal meaning "to roll (up)" doesn't quite fit. Here is the ...
4
votes
4answers
791 views

German equivalent of “It works”

In English there is an idiom: It works. Or more likely: That/It works for me. I think that the following is wrong, as arbeiten seems rather literal, but would it be a correct ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

“Möge es dir gelingen” vs. “Viel Erfolg”

Ich habe eine kleine Frage bezüglich dieser zwei Sätze: Möge es dir gelingen. Viel Erfolg! Welcher der beiden Ausdrücke wird am meisten benutzt und welcher ist (stilistisch) am elegantsten?
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Natural way to deny help from a shopkeeper

When browsing a shop, it is common for a shop assistant to ask “can I help you?” or similar. In English, it is quite natural to say: No thanks, I am just looking. I am looking for similar ...
5
votes
3answers
211 views

Warum erstinkt man Lügen?

Am Wochenende haben wir Mäxle gespielt (das wohl in anderen Regionen Deutschlands Meier heißt – warum auch immer), und an einer Stelle habe ich einen Viererpasch zurückgewiesen mit den Worten: Das ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Which case is “über alle Maßen”?

Über alle Maßen I’m guessing from the form Maßen that it’s in the dative case. But then the adjective declension should be with the suffix -en, right? So … why is it alle instead of allen? Or is ...
4
votes
2answers
59 views

Meaning and construction of a proverb

I have a couple of questions about the proverb: Den Toren packt die Reisewut, indes im Bett der Weise ruht I couldn't find a translation for die Reisewut. It seems composed by two words, die ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

“I am undecided between X and Y” - Expression

Let us say you are buying something and talking with the seller behind the counter. How would you express your indecision between two items? Is "Ich bin zwischen dem X und der Y" correct?
3
votes
1answer
168 views

»Das geht leider nicht« vs. »Es geht leider nicht«

In German, there is an expression: Das geht leider nicht. To my knowledge, this means one of the following: Unfortunately, this is not possible. Unfortunately, it won’t go. But what does ...
2
votes
2answers
314 views

»Ich habe frei« vs. »frei habe ich« vs. »ich bin frei« vs. »frei bin ich«

Which of the following phrases are correct: Ich habe frei Frei habe ich Ich bin frei Frei bin ich The original meaning is « I'm free ». What is the difference between them? Are ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

das ist vs. es ist [closed]

When do you use "das ist" instead of "es ist"? In questions is "das ist" more commonly used? I don't understand when to use "es ist" and when to use "das ist" in sentences and questions.
18
votes
7answers
3k views

“Toi, toi, toi” – was genau bedeutet dieser Ausdruck?

Ich habe gerade "Toi, toi, toi" gehört, und habe keine Ahnung, wie ich das nehmen sollte! Ist es gut? Schlecht? Wenn man im Englischen "Tut, tut, tut..." hört, es ist nicht so prickelnd. Hat dieser ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Using name in “Gruß aus …”?

If I am in Berlin and want to write to John, is it appropriate to say this? Gruß aus Berlin, John! Specifically, I wonder whether the part ", John" is appropriate for use with this expression, ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Expressing “X of Y” or “Y's X”

I came across this on some app for learning languages. Say I want to express "X of Y" or "Y's X". I saw that the app used the form der X des Y not restricted to der but also die and das. I just ...
5
votes
2answers
290 views

Ist es “die” Webseite und “der” Link?

Ich habe all meine Computerkenntnis in den USA erlernt, und deshalb verstehe ich kaum, wie man technische Sachen nennt, und ob man die, der oder das sagt. Könnte mir jemand helfen, die folgenden ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Expression of extreme surprise (possibly vulgar, but without being insulting)

Is there a formula or expression that I can use to express these English sentences? What on earth did you just do? What the heck did I just hear? What the hell just happened? or, in ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say “Sorry, not now, I am too busy”

I would like to be able to express Sorry, not now, I am too busy, or simply the idea that I am busy right now. I am not sure what to choose between besetzt and beschäftigt to say busy. I don´t really ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

Do actually people use the expressions “Angsthase” or “Das ist ein Märchen!”?

I am studying German in Austria, Graz since few months, currently attending a A2/B1 course. Often our teachers tries to teach us some funny or commos expressions..things you would just use in spoken ...
6
votes
2answers
711 views

Mut, Tapferkeit, Sicherheit, Porzellankiste?

Im Ausdruck: Vorsicht ist die Mutter der Porzellankiste (er könnte indirekt von Shakespeare kommen aber ich finde diesen Artikel nicht schlüssig) Warum hat die Porzellankiste Tapferkeit oder ...
16
votes
2answers
577 views

What does “Ich brauch mal Storno” mean?

Ich war heute bei Kaufland und habe blah blah... ich brauch mal Storno gehört. Bedeutet das so etwas wie "Kaffeepause" oder mehr in Richtung "Pinkelpause"? Oder ist die Bedeutung eine ganz ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Was ist das Gegenteil von “hervorheben”?

Beim Schreiben meiner Arbeit bin ich auf folgendes Problem gestoßen: Wie drücke ich (als Verb/Adjektiv) aus, dass etwas nicht mehr hervorgehoben ist oder wird? Es geht dabei z. B. um das Hervorheben ...
3
votes
7answers
8k views

How should I ask politely for a moment of someone's time?

How should I politely ask for someone's time to interrupt them, like in English: Do you have a minute? May I bother you for a moment even though you're quite busy?
1
vote
3answers
73 views

“Seeing something in first person” in German

My girlfriend was curious how we celebrate Christmas in my homeland, so I was about to write her Wait until you come with me, and you will see it in first person. But then I thought: Is it ...
7
votes
3answers
564 views

“used to [verb]”

How would one say "used to", as in I used to live in Kiev. Previously, I was told you would use früher: Früher lebte ich in Kiew. But upon looking it up just again, dict.cc says you'd use ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

How to write an allergy notice label?

What is the correct expression, maybe some sort of a cliché, to warn consumers about possible allergens, something like: Don’t use this product if you have an allergy to one of its ingredients. ...
5
votes
3answers
568 views

What would be an appropriate translation of the expression “strike the iron while it's hot”?

What would be an appropriate translation of the expression "strike the iron while it's hot" in German?
1
vote
1answer
171 views

Is there another German interpretation of “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”?

My German was far better as a child then it is now. I am currently attempting to re-learn it. During this review, an anecdote that I've repeated frequently has come under scrutiny. While in ...
4
votes
3answers
274 views

“To go rogue” in German

How could this phrase be translated into German? I can think of zu einem wütenden Einzelgänger werden or similar combinations with different adjectives, but none of them are nearly as concise ...
8
votes
6answers
41k views

How does a German say “Nice to meet you”?

In English it is common to reply with "Nice to meet you" when you were introduced to somebody. Likewise you say "Was nice to meet you" on leaving. Are there any similar phrases a German would use in ...
3
votes
1answer
539 views

Why “ein Uhr” and not “eins Uhr”

Why is it that "one o'clock" is ein Uhr and not eins Uhr? It is understandable that it's not eine Uhr, since we're not referring to one clock. But why is it that we're just using ein here?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How would you translate “you have my vote” into German?

In English, you'd say to candidates that you'll vote for them. How would you say this in German? Something like: Hey Stefano, go for it. You have my vote.
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Meaning of this sentence [closed]

Ein Blickfang und eine Freude für alle Sinne sind die Früchte und das Gemüse auf den Ständen vor dem Geschäft. Did I understand this correctly as: The fruits and vegetables on the stands in ...
4
votes
2answers
314 views

Differences between “erwachen” and “aufwachen”?

I was trying to read Die Verwandlung in German and in the first lines I encountered this word in this context: Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, ... I'd like to know ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

Wie beschreibt man das Futur mit der Vergangenheitsform?

Wenn man etwas, das man vorhatte, ausdrücken will oder eine in der Vergangenheit stattfindende Geschichte erzählt, kann diese Form in Englisch verwendet werden: I was going to go to the library. ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Eine Alternative zum Ausdruck “Eine tolle Sache”

Eine tolle Sache, dass ich 15 Jahre Deutsch gelernt habe, also habe ich keine Probleme zu verstehen, was sie sagen. Good thing that I studied German for 15 years, so i have no problems ...
1
vote
2answers
254 views

How to say “I'll work hard for the whole semester”

How can I say "I'll work hard for the whole semester" in German? Ich arbeite schwer das ganze Semester lang. Is it okay to use the adjective "lang" here? Or Ich arbeite schwer für das ...
1
vote
3answers
74 views

“Now that I think of it…”

Wie würde man diesen Ausdruck ins Deutsch übersetzen? Meiner Einschätzung nach wäre es Jetzt, wo ich daran denke, müssen wir nicht bis den 27. einen aussuchen. (=Now that I think about it, ...
0
votes
2answers
249 views

“Ich brauche eine Frau zum Lieben” [duplicate]

I thought the verb brauchen is a zu-construction verb, but in this context why does it have to be "zum Lieben" not "zu lieben"? Any explanations why it's like that?
2
votes
2answers
63 views

“Besides the fact that…”

Gibt es einen deutschen Ausdruck, der diesen englischen entspricht? Meiner Einschätzung nach würde man sagen Außer der Tatsache, dass aber für mich klingt das ziemlich unidiomatisch.
7
votes
3answers
3k views

“Das ist kein Thema” - What does it mean?

Recently I moved to the Konstanz area, and what I noticed is people saying "Das ist kein Thema" for everything. So, what exactly does it mean? And when to use it?
1
vote
1answer
806 views

How do you ask “who is this?” when someone knocks at your door in German?

With no prior knowledge of this, I would say Wer ist das? MY question is related to what I read here http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasistas#Etimologia It's a page from the Italian version of ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

How should we apologize in German?

The most common phrase in german phrase book for apology would be es tut mir leid or tut mir leid to mean "it does me suffering". From the questions on the difference between "entschuldigen" or ...
4
votes
2answers
226 views

Chatty expression in German

There are chatty expressions in English, like in the middle of a conversation someone says: [Getting angry] Does it work the same in German? as in [sauer werden] Or such a thing isn't ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views