Sprachgebrauch - Questions about subtle points of usage of German words or phrases.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
7answers
698 views

Is low German (Niederdeutsch) a completely different language?

I heard that there are special interpreters for translating books from Niederdeutsch to standard German. The question is: Is it possible to understand Niederdeutsch if you can speak German?
1
vote
3answers
107 views

“Gradeaus” vs “geradeaus”

I know that geradeaus means "straight". But I also heard its variation gradeaus. Is it appropriate to say or write this word so?
6
votes
1answer
61 views

Article and preposition for foreign universities

I'm curious as to what article/preposition one should use to refer to studying at a university, such as Stanford University (in the USA). Which ones are correct if I want to say "I study at Stanford ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

What does “vorm” mean?

In the sentence: Früher habe ich immer Angst vorm Fliegen gehabt. What does "vorm" mean? Dictionary says it means "vor Mittags," but I don't think it fits here.
5
votes
3answers
161 views

Bus fahren - usage and grammar

Does Ich fahre Bus. mean both I drive a bus. (=I'm a bus driver.) and I ride the bus. (= I travel on a bus as a passenger.) ? Why do you use Bus with no article here?
2
votes
3answers
224 views

“darüber” vs “über es”, and the “dar”-family

I am having a hard time understanding the usages of darüber, darauf, darin and most of the words in that family. For example, what is the difference between darüber vs über es? Compared to English, ...
3
votes
4answers
153 views

“Dies” or “das” for introducing person

I know that in German "dies" is used not so often as "this" in English. But say, in a situation like, you're introducing your friend to another friend, and you gesture your hand toward that friend, ...
10
votes
3answers
191 views

“den Umständen entsprechend gut”

Ich habe mich heute mal wieder gewundert, wieso ich immer häufiger die folgende Redewendung lese, wenn jemand z.B. einen Unfall hatte, aber nicht schwer verletzt wurde: Ihm geht es den Umständen ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

“very much” to modify verb

Die Nachricht hat mich ___ überrascht. I want to mean "the news surprised me very much". Should I use "viel", "sehr", "sehr viel", or do all of them work?
7
votes
2answers
209 views

“Ich habe dich akustisch nicht verstanden”

I have heard many people using the expression "Ich habe dich akustisch nicht verstanden" which strikes me as very convoluted (my mother tongue is Italian, but I speak English on a regular ...
0
votes
3answers
113 views

“mir ist etw. gefallen” vs. “ich habe etw. fallen lassen”

Mir ist das Glas gefallen. Ich habe das Glas fallen lassen. Do both sentences mean I (accidentally) dropped the glass? Can these two structures be used interchangeably?
2
votes
3answers
123 views

Wann benutzt man 'sehr' oder 'viel' mit Substantiv und Adjektiv?

sehr adv. Zum Beispiel: Es schmeckt mir sehr. Bill Gates ist sehr reich. viel indef. pronoun, adj. Zum Beispiel: Das Kind hat viel gegessen. Bill Gates hat viel Geld.
4
votes
3answers
152 views

“Ich möchte das gerne machen” or “Ich würde das gerne machen”

What is correct, between (a) Ich möchte das gerne machen. and (b) Ich würde das gerne machen. or both? If both are correct, is there a difference in meaning?
0
votes
3answers
65 views

Difference between “etwas in den Griff bekommen” and “sich an etwas gewöhnen” [closed]

What is the difference between the two phrases: etwas in den Griff bekommen Ich muss das Auto in den Griff bekommen. sich an etwas gewöhnen. Ich fange an mich an dieses kalte Wetter zu ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What are the differences between the german nouns for 'event'?

There are many nouns that describe an event, occation, or happenings They all can be translated to either; * der Anlass * das Geschehen * das Geschehnis * das Ereignis * die Veranstaltung How do ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How to use “verfassen”? [closed]

I know that verfassen means to write or to compose: Alle Bücher sind in deutscher Sprache verfasst. Can I say "Ich verfasse einen Brief"?
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Usage of “vermögen”

How do I use the verb vermögen? In my dictionary it functions like the modal verb können. Ich vermag es, mit meiner Freundin Jana nach Mallorca zu fliegen. Can I remove the es and still retain ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Usage of “derweilen”

Can I use derweilen instead of während? Is it more formal than während? Ich fegte den Fußboden, derweilen ich fernsah. Ich fegte den Fußboden, während ich fernsah.
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Usage of “auf + Akk. + schauen”

Schauen can be combined with a number of prepositions. Ich schaue zu/unter/hinter/aus/in... For most of them, the local implication is pretty clear. *Auf is not though. Ich schaue auf ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

How do I say “The only way” in German?

How do I say "The only way" in German? Die einzige Art und Weise, Deutsch zu lernen, ist mit Deutschen zu reden. Is there another alternative for this?
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Usage of “der/die/das eine” and “der-/die-/dasjenige”

What is the difference der/die/das eine and der-/die-/dasjenige? Do they mean 'the one'? Er ist derjenige, der aus Berlin kommt. Er ist der eine, der aus Berlin kommt.
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Usage of “neulich” and “in letzter Zeit”

What is the difference between neulich and in letzter Zeit? Both mean recently. Ich habe neulich mit meiner Mutter geredet. Ich habe in letzter Zeit mit meiner Mutter geredet.
3
votes
2answers
235 views

Usage of “vorher” and “vorhin”

What is the difference between vorhin and vorher? Both mean ago in my dictionary. When are they used and in what context? Ich habe mit dir vorher gesprochen. Ich habe mit dir vorhin ...
1
vote
2answers
217 views

Verwendung von “brauchen” als Modalverb und “bräuchte-”

Als ich beim Forschen war, um mehr über den Konjunktiv II zu lernen, um ein Handout zu machen, habe ich in Hammer's German Grammar and Usage gelesen, dass brauchen manchmal als ein starkes Verb ...
2
votes
3answers
111 views

reintun vs. reinmachen

I heard both words used quite often in spoken German in the meaning of "to put something into something". Are these two words identical in meaning and interchangeable or are there any differences in ...
11
votes
4answers
294 views

„Danke“ als Antwort auf eine Ja-Nein-Frage

Auf eine Entscheidungsfrage wie »Möchten Sie etwas trinken?« antworten manche Leute mit »Danke.« oder »Danke, danke.«. Heißt das immer nein, also die Person möchte nichts trinken? Wäre das in diesem ...
2
votes
2answers
443 views

Wann benutzt man “wenn” oder “ob”?

Ich glaube, dass ob wie das englische if ist und wenn wie das englische whether. Also ob mit Kondition, whether in allen anderen Fällen. Ist das richtig? Beispiele Ich weiß nicht, ob ich Zeit habe. ...
6
votes
2answers
106 views

What happens when only the verb is left after a subordinate clause?

Simple example: A1) Der Mann, den wir gestern sahen, rennt. Is that correct with that lone verb at the end or should it better be A2) Der Mann rennt, den wir gestern sahen. another example ...
2
votes
1answer
632 views

Rules for “es geht um”

As I am learning German on my own there are a lot of things I do not fully understand. One of those things is the use of geht um. Which I think it means something like about (it's about). The problem ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Usage of the verb “gehen”

Gehen actually means 'to go'. The use of gehen is a semi-auxiliary in colloquial. It expresses a possibility and the infinitive has passive force. Die Uhr geht zu reparieren. which means 'The ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Arbeitsumfeld ist deutschsprachig

Klingt der Satz, "Mein Arbeitsumfeld ist deutschsprachig" so, als ob das Umfeld selbst Deutsch spricht (will ich nämlich nicht sagen), oder als ob an meinem Arbeitsplatz nur Deutsch gesprochen wird?
4
votes
2answers
523 views

Usage of “etwas” and “einige”

I read in the book that etwas means some. Ich brauche etwas frisches Fleisch. Er hat etwas Geld. There is also another determiner that is einige. It also means some. Vor ...
3
votes
1answer
235 views

Can we use “wissen lassen”?

I was thinking about how to say "I will let you know". The first sentence that comes to mind is Ich werde dich wissen lassen. Grammatically this looks fine. However, I feel a bit strange about ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Usage of “aber”, “jedoch” and “allerdings”

What is the difference between allerdings, aber and jedoch? I looked them up in the dictionary and all three mean 'but'. Could anyone tell me how they're used in a sentence?
2
votes
3answers
304 views

How to translate “make no sense”?

How would you say "make no sense" in German? I've seen uses with machen and haben: Das macht keinen Sinn Es hat keinen Sinn, mit Ihnen zu streiten
5
votes
1answer
331 views

Usage of “in der Tat”

I learned from a dictionary that the phrase "In der Tat" means "indeed". Can I use this phrase as a positive response to a statement? A: Heute ist es so kalt! B: In der Tat! or can I only ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

nur vs. nur noch

Is there a rule that tells me when to us "nur noch" over "nur"? Are they interchangeable? For example, consider the following two sentences: Heute sehen wir uns nur noch selten. Heute sehen wir uns ...
7
votes
4answers
274 views

Confused by a sentence using “erleben”

Recently I found the following sentence at the end of a novel which I was reading in translation (i.e. it’s the German translation of an English-language novel). Dann mache ich mir eine Liste im ...
6
votes
2answers
509 views

Menschen vs Leute

Is the same to say Menschen and Leute? When are they exchangeable? I've heard that if you know the people you use one of this words, but I don't know which. (And I don't know if what I've heard is ...
0
votes
2answers
308 views

Wie kommst du zu? / Wie kommst du in?

Is there any difference between Wie kommst du zu? and Wie kommst du in? Is any of them more formal? More common? I could think that it depends on the object, but I've seen them both very often, even ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Ich meine == I mean?

Today in my German class, I subconsciously said "I mean" and when I apologized for changing to English, my teacher said "Almost, you also say 'ich meine'" in German. Is this expression used so common ...
6
votes
2answers
536 views

When to use articles as in “Was für” versus “Was für ein”?

If you say Was für einen Tee möchten Sie? (with article after für), why do you say Was für Kleidung trägst du am Wochenende? and not Was für eine Kleidung trägst du am Wochenende?
6
votes
2answers
284 views

“Frühstück” or “Morgenessen”

I took German in Highschool about 20 years ago, so I quite possibly have forgotten this, but I thought I had learned “breakfast” as “Morgenessen” just like lunch is “Mittagessen” but I’ve recently ...
2
votes
2answers
275 views

What's the opposite of “jawohl”?

I understand that in military or police or some other formal situations "jawohl" is the positive response to a command, much like "yes sir" in English; but how does a soldier say "no sir"? In ...
4
votes
1answer
188 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

On verbal parentheses [closed]

I know that one of the peculiarities of the German language is this thing called verbal parentheses, which extends all the way from the auxiliary verb to the unonjugated form of the verb. What I ...
7
votes
3answers
109 views

What is the accurate translation of “stands to reason” within a “logical” context?

Taking the following example: It stands to reason that most people will not buy a new car if they don't think they can pay for it. The "stands to reason" could be replaced by "logical" as in: ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

“Schönes Wochenende” versus “Schönen Wochenende”

Is there any preference to using "Schönes Wochenende" or "Schönen Wochenende" as a parting statement? Are they both allowed, or is there a preference for one over the other? Different people have told ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Difference between “Kind”and “Jugend” [duplicate]

I am interested in not only the literal but the figurative differences between "Kind" and "Jugend" Thanks for your input!
9
votes
4answers
797 views

Usage of “zwar”

Can anyone explain how the word zwar is generally used? I see it a lot and it doesn't seem like it usually translates very well into English, if at all. Here's an example sentence: Frage: Hat ...