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

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6
votes
1answer
83 views

Aufzählung: trennt “sowie” die Glieder einer Aufzählung?

Aus den Beförderungsbestimmungen der BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) stammt folgender Satz: "Vollständig zusammengeklappte Fahrräder sowie Kleinkindfahrräder bzw. fahrradähnliche Roller (mit einem ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

“folgende” or “folgendes”?

I am writing test instructions for a website. Which is (more) correct from these two sentences? Testanweisung ist folgendes: Testanweisung ist folgende: I know that it is die Testanweisung, ...
8
votes
2answers
311 views

Why and when is the comparative degree used to express the opposite?

Looking at adjectives like "alt", "jung", "lang", "kurz" and their respective comparative degree "älter", etc. I get the impression that their sense is inversed. Like in "älteres Auto"/older car, the ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Why 'der' in 'Danke der Nachfrage'?

I've read this in a reply to a mail: Danke der Nachfrage! Why is der there and why is not für die Nachfrage instead? And is it genitive or dative? (My only guess is that we are omitting a ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Answer to “Machen Sie es gut”

Sometimes when saying goodbye people would say Machen Sie es gut. or Mach es gut. What would be good answers to this? I can think of Gleichfalls. Sie auch. / Du auch.
7
votes
3answers
211 views

“sagen” in “The news/article/post says …”

"The news/article/post says ..." Is it correct to say (a) Der Spiegel sagt, dass ... (b) Der Artikel sagt, dass ... (c) Die (Facebook-)Post sagt, dass ... or should the verb ...
4
votes
4answers
302 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 like this?
6
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
654 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
726 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
3k 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
220 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, ...
18
votes
7answers
2k 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
143 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?
8
votes
2answers
581 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
534 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?
3
votes
3answers
810 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
3k 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
3answers
198 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
254 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I say “on her/his/their mother/father's side” in German?

How do I say "She looks like her aunts on her mother's side"? Sie sieht wie ihre Tanten mütterlicherseits aus. I cannot use mütterlicherseits in this case because that would mean "on my ...
0
votes
1answer
143 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
58 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
2answers
204 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
954 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
313 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
158 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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
169 views

On the courtesy use of “Konjunktiv” and its origin. Is it reciprocal?

There’s a use of Konjunktiv meaning politeness: Ich hätte gerne (…) First, I wish to know why does this form denote Höflichkeit. (My only guess – influenced by my native language – is that this ...
1
vote
2answers
756 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
356 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
892 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
5k 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
133 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
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
395 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
149 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?
6
votes
2answers
5k 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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
21k 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?
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to translate “to make no sense”?

How would you say "to 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.
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 use ...
2
votes
1answer
495 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
508 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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?
5
votes
2answers
749 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
1k 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 ...