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

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1
vote
2answers
625 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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?
2
votes
2answers
746 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
516 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
182 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
148 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
69 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!
5
votes
2answers
237 views

Anything better than “weltweit” for “All over the world”?

I would like to say something like, "You have really lived all over the world!" ...like in response to someone saying they've been to many different countries. I did a Google search for this and ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Difference between “ziemlich” & “ganz”

I learned that ziemlich means "quite, rather" and ganz means "whole, entire." but I just encountered this tweet: ganz leichter Schneefall. sehr dekorativ. My dictionary agrees that ganz can also ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Correct usage of “sogar” and “einmal” to mean “even”

I would appreciate any clarification on the correct usage of sogar and einmal as translations of the English word "even" when used in the following sense: He didn't drink anything...not even the ...
15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
283 views

When to use possessive pronouns vs. dative pronoun + definite article

German uses a reflexive dative pronoun and a regular definite article in many places where English would use a possessive pronoun. For example: I broke my leg. Ich habe mir das Bein gebrochen. ...
-7
votes
1answer
638 views

Can someone give the examples ( few sentences ) with words: da, deutete, dabei? [closed]

I read a book on german and meet these words very often, but the context still not clearly for me. So I want to see a few examples with these 3 words with translation. upd As I read a book further ...
6
votes
3answers
401 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
824 views

Modal verbs: preterite or perfect?

I was told that while speaking people generally use perfect instead of preterite. Is it also common for modal verbs? Which is used in which cases? Ich konnte ... or Ich habe gekonnt ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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?
5
votes
1answer
555 views

War “auf meinem Mist gewachsen” ursprünglich positiv oder negativ belegt?

Der Ausdruck "Das ist auf meinem Mist gewachsen" wird heutzutage m.W. eher negativ aufgenommen und häufiger als eine leichte Entschuldigung verwendet. Vermutlich liegt das an der negativen Wahrnehmung ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

How to use perfect in this sentence

I have a problem understanding how to use perfect in the following sentence: Ich bin mit dem Bus in das Stadtzentrum gefahren. I know we are supposed to use the auxiliary verb haben in perfect ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Bindestrich zur besseren Lesbarkeit [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Zusammengesetzes Wort: Bindestrich oder nicht? Ich möchte das Wort webtechnologielastig lesbarer Gestalten. Dazu habe ich die Alternativen Webtechnologie-lastig ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “ändern” and “verändern”?

I'm still confused about the difference between ändern and verändern. I have read something about ändern only being used with small changes and verändern when something changes totally. But where ...
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", ...
0
votes
2answers
167 views

Which adjectives can be used in connection with “Chuzpe”?

This question is constructed to have an excuse to ask a question about the word "Chuzpe" I want to link to German Wikipedia. Please note the section Beispiele. I just find it delicious. There is an ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

“noch immer” vs “immer noch”

I thought this question was dealt within a previous discussion, but it has been pointed out to me that it remains somewhat open. My impression was that if you say "er liebt sie immer noch" you were ...
4
votes
3answers
336 views

Ist “exorbitant” heute noch gebräuchlich?

Vor kurzem bin ich in einem Bericht über Lance Armstrong über das Wort "exorbitant" gestolpert, das man u. a. mit "außergewöhnlich" gleichsetzen kann. Ich habe dieses Wort nur früher gehört, heute ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Kann “schlechthin” auch mit unbestimmtem Artikel stehen?

In einer Kommentardiskussion zu einer anderen Frage hat sich eine weitere interessante Fragestellung ergeben, nämlich ob schlechthin immer mit betontem bestimmtem Artikel steht oder auch mit ...
15
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
446 views

Adapting a Quote in Old English Style

I'd like to give someone a gift (who speaks German, and is also a fountain pen user) and include a quote from S.B.R.E. Brown (podcast here) written down with my own calligraphy. The problem is that ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

When should I use ruhig / still?

A friend of mine says that one is typically used for people and the other one is for objects. The dictionary is no help, it gives the same translation for both. Is there a significant difference or ...
7
votes
5answers
10k views

“denn” vs. “dann”

I'm having a hard time finding out when to use "denn" and when "dann". This happens when I want to say the word as the equivalent of the English "then". For instance, A: I bet Germany wins the ...
9
votes
7answers
389 views

Online Language Tools for advanced learners? Online-Sprachwerkzeuge für Fortgeschrittene?

I am looking for language tools for advanced learners of German available online that would allow me to perform the following: For any given word I would like to get the usage examples taken from ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Using “-lein” and “-chen” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules how to build the diminutive? I was reading this article on Duden's webpage and began wondering about the diminutive forms of "-lein" and "-chen". ...
9
votes
3answers
456 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" ...
10
votes
2answers
10k 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)
6
votes
4answers
152 views

Does form of address change when other listeners or readers are present?

I was part of an email exchange that included a group of professionals—some of whom know each other quite well and use "Du" with one another, and some of whom do not. One of the respondents on the ...
9
votes
1answer
404 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
272 views

Explaining case and usage of “Richtung”

Just curious. How would you explain to someone the proper use and appropriate case of Richtung as a directional indicator, in simple terms? whether showing movement or simple location or direction ...
10
votes
5answers
577 views

What's the difference between “das Domizil” and “der Wohnsitz”?

What is the difference between these two terms? In what contexts are they used? Also, which one best fits with "gewählt- ~"? Dictionaries were not helpful enough this time. Edit: I wanted to ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

Hochdeutsch only or also regionalisms?

When making a sales call, for example, should you: only speak standard Hochdeutsch with the customer no matter what, use that customer's regional language or dialect if you know it to "get on their ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Using “nen” instead of “einen”

Would one sound like a native German speaker saying "nen" instead of "einen" or is there another special point behind it? Does it have colloquial usage only?
18
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
96 views

Gebrauch von “-wert” gegenüber “-würdig”

Gibt's einen deutlichen Unterschied zwischen den Wortendungen "-wert" und "-würdig"? Wie z.B.: "bemerkenswert" oder "merkwürdig" Ich spüre also dazwischen einen feinen Nuanceunterschied im ...
8
votes
2answers
638 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
507 views

“Could” phrases

As far as I know the word could is the subjunctive of "can/to be able to" which translates to "können". However I'm not sure about the subjunctive of "können", and how it affects German sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
382 views

What are differences between “des” and “darum”?

What are differences between "Des" and "Darum"? Apparently they both mean "therefore", do they? Here are some contexts: "Meine Mutter war eine Wienerin, D'RUM habe ich Wien so gern." "DES ...
9
votes
2answers
789 views

Wie zitiert ihr Markennamen in Büchern/Artikeln?

Wie zitiert ihr Markennamen in Büchern/Artikeln? Ich schreibe derzeit an einer Arbeit und frage mich, wie ich bspw. Windows, MATLAB, Maple oder Excel verwende. Folgendes Beispiel demonstriert mein ...
9
votes
3answers
806 views

Ist der Gebrauch von “zeitgleich” als Synonym für “gleichzeitig” neueren Ursprungs?

Im Laufe der letzten Jahre fällt mir immer häufiger auf, dass in den Nachrichten statt "gleichzeitig" das Wort "zeitgleich" verwendet wird, wie z.B. in Dort wurden mit 250 Polizisten zeitgleich ...
4
votes
2answers
953 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
306 views

How do you call somebody basically a “Klugscheisser” without causing offence? [closed]

Often your boss/team mates seems just to know everything better despite having expertise in a specific discipline. What polite metaphor/periphrasis would you choose that states clearly and shortly ...