Rechtschreibung - Questions on German orthography that cannot be resolved by an online dictionary like http://de.wiktionary.org or http://dict.leo.org. Use the tag 'orthography' for question on the scientific backrground of spelling rules.

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32
votes
8answers
2k views

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

I was taught (several decades ago) to write a capital D for all pronouns such as Du, Dir, Deine, when writing to my German penpals. I am afraid it would look antiquated or very formal these days. Is ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a rule that dictates whether to use the eszett (scharfes S) or double s?

It's clear in the case of compound nouns, double s should be used e.g. Bundesstraße, but with other words I cannot see a pattern. To me it appears to be used somewhat randomly, e.g.: besser ...
28
votes
2answers
540 views

What is the origin of the rules about the capitalization of the first letter of each noun?

To my knowledge, German is the only language which capitalize the first letter of each of its nouns. Why is there such a rule? Meines Wissens ist Deutsch die einzige Sprache, in der der erste ...
14
votes
5answers
643 views

Is it an error when I do not use ß when it is necessary?

I'm living in a German-speaking country where ß is not used at all. Therefore, I do not use ß when I write German texts. Now I'm asking myself if this is technically a spelling error? Or is the ß more ...
7
votes
3answers
398 views

Groß- und Kleinschreibung von Zitaten am Satzanfang

Hier auf Stackexchange kommt es immer wieder vor, dass ein Wort, über das diskutiert wird, am Satzanfang steht. Es ist dann mittels Anführungszeichen oder anderer Marker herausgehoben um es nicht ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Schriftliche Höflichkeitsformel – Du oder du [duplicate]

In einem E-Mail an meinen Kunden schreibe ich immer Du/Dich/Dir (mit einem grossen D). Zum Beispiel: Bei Fragen stehen wir Dir gerne zur Verfügung. Als ich mit Deutsch in meinem Job begonnen ...
19
votes
4answers
523 views

Should I use the old spelling rules?

There seems to be a strong negative emotional reaction among (some?) native German speakers to the new spelling rules. They use the old spelling rules themselves and dislike the new spelling. Should ...
3
votes
4answers
698 views

Why is “Vater” spelt with 'V' when it is pronounced like 'father'?

I know that 'V' in the German alphabet is for "Vau" and 'F' is "Eff". Then why are we using 'V' instead of 'F' in German for "Vater"? Similar to the English "father" I would have expected it to be ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Should I use the “neue Rechtschreibung” even with people who capitalize “Du”, “Dich”, usw.?

I write sometimes to people which answer not using the neue Rechtschreibung. Some of them write daß instead of dass and use some other spellings for words which already were changed. I have no problem ...
10
votes
3answers
321 views

What caused “ss” to gain popularity over “ß” in the 19th century?

From Google Books' Ngram Viewer: Notice that the "hasst" form gained popularity towards the end of the 19th century, only to drop again in favor of "haßt" later on. I noticed the same pattern on ...
15
votes
2answers
544 views

Zusammen oder getrennt? Gibt es eine Regel?

Es gibt viele Wörter im Deutschen, deren exakte Schreibweise sich meiner Kenntnis schon immer entzogen haben. Das größte Problem ist dabei die Frage: zusammen oder getrennt? Ich nenne mal ein paar ...
11
votes
1answer
171 views

Usage of 'éine' instead of 'eine'

I'm reading "Der logische Aufbau der Welt" by Rudolf Carnap, which is quite an interesting book. But I found something I do not understand. Everytime he writes the numeral "eine" or "ein" etc. he ...
7
votes
4answers
647 views

When does one write numbers with words, when with figures (e.g. “drei” statt “3”)?

Assuming it is not completely irrelevant, when does one write the numbers with words? Sie isst drei Äpfel or Sie isst 3 Äpfel. Assuming that there is a rule, is it just an aesthetics ...
6
votes
2answers
142 views

Warum hat »nächtlich« einen Umlaut und »weihnachtlich« keinen?

Weihnachtlich und nächtlich sind Adjektive, die vom gleichen Wort abgeleitet sind. Warum hat ein Wort einen Umlaut und das andere keinen?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the eszett (ß) used in last names?

My grandparents last name is Reiss and I was wondering if they lived in Germany would this be spelled with the German ß (szett or sharp s)?