Förmlichkeit - Questions on formal speech or writing.

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44
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it still good form to use a capital D for Du or Dir in a letter?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Schriftliche Höflichkeitsformel – Du oder du I was taught (several decades ago) to write a capital D for all pronouns such as Du, ...
24
votes
12answers
3k views

Is “dingsbums” offensive, rude, vulgar, etc?

I've heard that my favourite word "dingsbums" might not be acceptable in some circumstances due to it being related to "bumsen" which, I'm told, is some kind of a word for intimate relations. Yet ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Wie sollte ich eine Lehrerin, die mich siezt, in einer E-Mail grüßen und verabschieden?

Meine Deutschlehrerin an der Universität siezt mich, aber kennt meinen Vornamen. Ich möchte ihr eine E-Mail schreiben. Sie hat mir noch nie geschrieben. Welche Begrüßung und welche Verabschiedung ...
10
votes
1answer
168 views

Why isn't plural ihr used for Formal instead of Sie?

In most of the Indo-European languages that I know of, The T-V distinction applies, that the second plural form (referring to many people, vous, Bы, and you in English) is used in the singular as a ...
15
votes
7answers
80k 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 ...
31
votes
6answers
52k views

Schlussformel für Beschwerdebrief?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: How to end a complaint letter in German Standardschlussformel für förmliche Briefe ist ja „Mit freundlichen Grüßen“. Wenn ich nun aber ...
17
votes
12answers
233k views

What are informal ways to say “good bye”?

In German you may say Auf Wiedersehen or Guten Tag when leaving. Both seem rather formal and may be inappropriate in a non-formal context. What would be the alternatives? In what context can we use ...
3
votes
1answer
458 views

How to end a complaint letter in German

This question also has an answer here (in German): Schlussformel für Beschwerdebrief? I am writing a complaint letter and want to know how to end it. The issue was pretty bad and I'm very ...
8
votes
2answers
492 views

Should a letter to a future host family be formal or informal?

I'm writing a letter to the German family that will be hosting me over the summer, and am wondering if I should refer to them as "Sie" or "ihr"? If I was only talking to my host sister would that be ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between singular and plural formal form of address

When using the formal address, both you (sing.) and you (pl.) get translated to Sie, when in nominative case, of course. This question is more general. Are there any hints in the language (e.g. verb ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is writing “Herr Prof. X” exaggerated/mandatory? Is it old-fashioned?

How necessary or exaggerated is the following Anrede? "Sehr geehrter Herr Prof. X" bzw. "Sehr geehrte Frau Dr. Z" I mean, should I write Herr Prof. X, or is Prof. X enough? Also, is it old-...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

When to use 'Entschuldigen Sie'

I know that when asking a favor from an adult that I am unfamiliar with, such as asking for directions, I should start with "Entschuldigen Sie..." but should I use the formal form when I am, for ...