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

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16
votes
2answers
409 views

Beugt man jemand oder niemand mit Endung?

Diese Wörter und ihre Varianten findet man ja in vielen Büchern endungslos gebeugt, zum Beispiel: Ich habe jemand gesehen. Ist das niemand aufgefallen? Dies ist absolut korrekt, klingt für mich ...
13
votes
2answers
837 views

Difference between “Es sind” and “Es gibt” for asserting existence of something

In English we say There are... and I know that I've seen es gibt used in German. I've also seen es sind. Are these phrases identical? There are many flowers in the garden = Es gibt viele Blumen ...
9
votes
3answers
881 views

Usage of Perfekt and Präteritum in the spoken language

I have read the question When to use Perfekt and Präteritum? but it doesn't answer my question. I am looking for a rule for beginner / intermediate level learners which tells when to use Perfekt or ...
4
votes
1answer
242 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
12answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
16k views

Woher kommt “pfiat di”/“pfiat eich” als Abschiedsformel im bayerischen Raum?

Im südlichen deutschsprachigen Raum (Bayern und weiter südlich) Raum ist "pfiat di" bzw. "pfiat eich" eine üblicher Grußformel zum Abschied. Was bedeutet sie bzw. woher kommt sie (etymologisch ...
10
votes
1answer
444 views

“Ende diesen Jahres” vs. “Ende dieses Jahres”

Ich habe beide Ausdrücke schon gehört, im Bezug auf etwas das zum Jahresende eintreten soll. Sind beide richtig (abhängig vom Kontext), oder ist einer davon falsch und sollte nicht benutzt werden? ...
2
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

“Nicht” vs “Kein”

This question reminded me of a question that I met when learning German, and I still kind of have it. What are the differences between these words usage? I thought that "nicht" was used to "deny ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Verwendet man Abkürzungen in (technischen) Texten?

Ich schreibe als Software-Entwickler viele Dokumente, meist technischer Natur (doch halbwegs verständlich für Nichttechniker), aber auch "direktorensicher". Dabei geht es mir nicht um ein paar ...
9
votes
3answers
338 views

“Personen” or “Menschen”

While reading some recent newspaper stories as well as book jacket introductions, I noticed that when describing the characters of the story the writers were often using "Personen" and "Menschen" ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between “kaufen”, “einkaufen”, “aufkaufen” and “ankaufen”

I'd like to know: What's the difference? Which one needs akkusativ-object?
9
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the difference between Entschuldigen and Entschuldigung?

The dictionary definitions seem semantically identical. Do you use one instead of the other in certain situations? (I am a native English speaker who is learning German)
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between “jedenfalls” and “auf jeden Fall”?

They mean the same thing, I think, but are used differently? When can I use one, and when can I use the other?
6
votes
7answers
11k views

What is the accurate translation of “Best Regards” to finish a letter?

To finish up a letter addressed to a client, I use Best Regards, followed by my signature. I've looked around for a direct translation, and came up with: ...
4
votes
3answers
388 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?
2
votes
4answers
5k 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?
15
votes
4answers
4k views

“Cute” in German

Is there any difference between all the translations of "cute" listed here? It's quite confusing. Except the one tagged [ugs] which means colloquial, I'm not sure which one is preferred in which ...
9
votes
3answers
748 views

Difference between “Jaegermeister” and “Waidmann”

I learned a new German word today, "Waidmann", but I already knew the word "Jaegermeister", so I wondered what the difference between them is. When would a German use one over the other?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How precise is “gegen 8 Uhr”?

I often hear "dann treffen wir uns gegen 8 Uhr irgendwo". How precise is this? Is it ±5 min or ±10 min or does it depend on the situation? Are there other words which means "approximately at eight", ...
8
votes
1answer
275 views

What time is it?

When learning German in college, I was taught "Was Uhr ist das?" or possibly "Wieviel Uhr ist es" (not sure which). However most online translators such as Google show "Wie spät ist es?". What is ...
8
votes
2answers
504 views

Continuing situations in German

In English I'm often using the word still to emphasize I'm in a continuing situation. For example I still haven't done my Christmas shopping. It is still raining here. I hope the film will ...
6
votes
3answers
340 views

„Welcher“ zur Kennzeichnung explikativer Relativsätze?

Beim Meditieren über diese Frage ist mir eingefallen, dass ich welcher u. Ä. manchmal als Relativpronomen nutze, um zu betonen, dass der Relativsatz explikativ ist. Ein Beispiel: A) Derjenige ...
4
votes
2answers
213 views

What is the proper use of the word “bang?”

The original context is "Bang fleht ein liebkranker Mann." (Viljaslied, Die Lustige Witwe). I once wrote a poem beginning, Ich schaue dich so gerne an. Du liesst mich immer so BANG. Bang is ...
3
votes
2answers
733 views

How do I decline “jemand” or “niemand”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Beugt man jemand oder niemand mit Endung? The declension of indefinitve pronouns "jemand" or "niemand" seems not to follow strict rules. I can read all of the following: ...
1
vote
2answers
348 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 ...