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

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1
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3answers
206 views

What are examples of grammatical mistakes that native Germans make? [on hold]

I'm curious to know what sort of grammatical mistakes are made by native German speakers. Are there errors in speech or writing that give a native away as being poorly educated? Native English ...
9
votes
1answer
82 views

Construction with “sein” + infinitive?

In Harry Potter, the sentence I'll send this with Hedwig when she gets back; she's off hunting at the moment. is translated as Ich schick dir diesen Brief mit Hedwig, sobald sie ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Geht “beobachten, wie jemand etwas tut” auch ohne “wie”?

Im Englischen kann man schön schreiben: I watch my son eating soup. Im Deutschen muss man dagegen einen holprigen Nebensatz bilden: Ich beobachte, wie mein Sohn Suppe isst. Ich beobachte ...
18
votes
6answers
18k views

What's the difference between “genau” and “stimmt”?

When somebody agrees with a point made in conversation they often say "genau" or "stimmt" (often preceeded by "ja"). So what is the difference? Is one slang and the other standard? Or is one ...
5
votes
3answers
121 views

Passende Einleitung für einen Brief

Ich möchte einen Brief für zwei meiner Freunde schreiben. Was ist die richtige, bessere und höfliche Einleitung? Liebe Rita und Frank, Liebe Rita und lieber Frank, Liebe Rita, lieber ...
5
votes
2answers
61 views

es mit + Substantiv

Aus einer Zeitung: "Es ist eine Illusion, zu glauben, dass diejenigen, die davon profitieren, es mit der Zusammenarbeit ernst meinen" Ich habe die Bedeutung dieses Ausdrucks im Wörterbuch nicht ...
6
votes
3answers
144 views

Usage of 'leid sein'

I've recently learnt that leid sein can be used to express being fed up with something, but I have some questions: How often is leid sein used? As often as its English equivalent? Is there a better ...
3
votes
4answers
677 views

du vs dir in “How are you?”

As far as I know, du is used to mention a direct object and dir is to mention an indirect object. If that is the case, why do they use "Wie geht's dir?" to ask "How are you?", when "you" is a direct ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

Eine passende Anzeige finden [closed]

Ich möchte nach einer Aufgabe fragen, die ich gemacht habe. Die Aufgabe ist: Ich muss eine Anzeige finden, die zu der gegebenen Situation passt. Hier ist die Situation: Sie sammeln alte ...
2
votes
5answers
317 views

“To have a haircut”

How would you say I had a haircut yesterday. Would it be (a) Ich hatte gestern ein Haarschnitt. or (b) Ich habe mir gestern die Haare schneiden lassen. Which one sounds more natural? ...
6
votes
6answers
300 views

“Allerdings” as a threat

My German teacher told me that the email I sent her contained a threat. What I wrote was "Allerdings komme ich morgen." She didn't tell me why, just asked me to research about this, but I can't find ...
1
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0answers
69 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"? Or is the word used for lengthier works such as books?
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Is “sich einverstanden erklären” proper German?

I am writing a translation for a cookie agreement text. I am quite sure my current text will bring the message across but I'm not sure if this 100% proper German. This is the original English text: ...
1
vote
3answers
121 views

Present progressive. Wie drückt man diese Verbform aus, bitte ohne “gerade”? [duplicate]

In manchen Büchern sowie in Antworten auf eine ähnliche Frage (R2D2, May 2) kann man lesen, dass man eine Art von "present progressive" mit "gerade" oder "soeben" ausdrücken kann. Zum Beispiel: ...
5
votes
4answers
601 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.
4
votes
2answers
89 views

In letzter Zeit vs. in der letzten Zeit

Does the presence/absence of the definite article change anything? Or is it just the matter of preference whether to use it or not? in letzter Zeit in der letzten Zeit The German-English ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Warum lachst du über meinen Freund?

Can lachen über be used only to mean laughing at something? Or can it be used when laughing at a person or situation as well?
5
votes
2answers
114 views

“In Kontakt, in Zukunft” without article?

I usually hear Wir bleiben in Kontakt. rather than Wir bleiben im Kontakt. and also in Zukunft rather than in der Zukunft Is there a reason why these words are not used with a ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

Preposition for “going to your house”

Können Sie mir sagen, wie ich vom Flughafen nach Ihrem Haus mit der U-Bahn fahren kann? Should it be "nach" or "zu" here? I'm not sure because we say "Ich gehe nach Hause" and "Ich bleibe zu ...
4
votes
3answers
114 views

Ein gewisser Unterschied zwischen Indikativ und Konjunktiv I

Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen den folgenden Sätzen? Werden solche Strukturen für gewöhnlich benutzt? Wer das will, der wählt am 25. Mai ZZZ! Wer das will, der wähle am 25. Mai ZZZ! ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Preposition for “in/auf einer Sprache unterhalten”

Wir können zwischen uns Deutsch sprechen Wir können uns _____ Deutsch unterhalten. Should I use "auf" or "in" here? In English we would use "in" with a language, but here I suspect it would ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Translation of “What/How about …?” [duplicate]

A: What time should we meet today? B: What/How about 6pm? I wonder how people would say the "what/how about" part. I can't think of a good translation, and since it's a colloquial phrase, ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Meaning of this sentence with “erledigen” [closed]

Could anyone enlighten me as to the meaning of this sentence? "Sie sollte sich von selbst erledigen". The previous sentence is "Niemand wollte der Sache auf den Grund gehen".
0
votes
1answer
47 views

When to use “gibt es / es gibt”? [duplicate]

I see "gibt es" / "es gibt" being used in so many phrases. But I am not able to understand under what circumstances this is used? What I understand is that it cannot be directly related to English ...
0
votes
2answers
142 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
194 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How does the current usage of Futur I sound to native German speakers?

AFAIK Futur I (werden + inf) isn't used in German any more. But 20 years ago I still learned it, and currently I feel somehow improper if I don't use it. I have a very bad feeling that I somehow lost ...
4
votes
3answers
84 views

“anschauen” as reflexive or not

The verb anschauen can be used either as a reflexive verb or not jdn/etw anschauen: to look at sb/sth sich dat etw anschauen: to take a look at sth I have trouble understanding the ...
10
votes
6answers
719 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
518 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Pflanzen in dem/den Garten

Sie pflanzt die Küchenkräuter in _____ Garten. Should "den" or "dem" go into the blank? It is not clear to me whether "planting" counts as moving into the garden (i.e. would use "den") or as ...
5
votes
1answer
61 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
65 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
241 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
711 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.
5
votes
3answers
117 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
7answers
942 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
134 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?
2
votes
4answers
4k 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?
6
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
263 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
238 views

Wie sagt man “I've Heard Some Talk” auf Deutsch?

I'm trying to translate a poem from English to German, and the "missing line" is: "I've heard some talk, they say you think I'm fine." I've rendered "They say you think I'm fine" as "Man sagt du ...
2
votes
2answers
97 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?
2
votes
2answers
966 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
220 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?
1
vote
3answers
179 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.
2
votes
3answers
487 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
155 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...