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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
2answers
50 views

Usage of “sich zu etwas melden” and “sich für etwas melden” in the sense of “volunteering”?

In standard dictionaries, such as Duden and Langenscheidt, the preposition zu is mentioned in sich zu etwas melden, which means to volunteer for something; e.g. "Wer meldet sich freiwillig zum ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

What's the difference between “streiten” and “sich streiten”?

In Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache, I read the following usages of streiten in the sense of quarrel: As an intransitive verb: "Er stritt mit seinem Bruder um das Spielzeug." ...
1
vote
3answers
62 views

Difference between “auf Kosten anderer” and “auf Kosten von anderen”

What is the difference between the two phrases? When do you need to use the preposition?
3
votes
3answers
63 views

Differences between “weit” and “weit entfernt”

What is the difference between weit and weit entfernt? Which (if any) is the correct version? Er wohnt weit von mir. Er wohnt weit entfernt von mir.
2
votes
1answer
29 views

what difference in the effect of expression that adversative words make with varying positions in a clause?

I read from Hammer's Grammar that such adversative particles as 'aber', 'doch', 'jedoch' will produce different effects of expression with varying positions in a clause; for example: (i) er ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

is the pragmatic usage of 'jedoch' restricted to qualification?

I read from Farrell's Dictionary of German Synonyms that 'jedoch' is only used to qualify a preceding absolute statement; however, this seems unsupported by the following example I read in Duden: ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

when should 'jedoch' be used as a conjunction and when as an adverb?

'jedoch' in the sense of 'however' can be used either as a coordinate conjunction which does not affect the word order in a sentence or as an adverb which may affect the word order in a sentence ; I ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

»Vergleichen« vs. »sich vergleichen«

What is the difference between "vergleichen" and "sich vergleichen"? There are two meanings of the word which are "compare" and "arrange and settle". I want to know about both the differences.
5
votes
1answer
77 views

“Platz” vs “Ort” when used in the sense of “place”?

What’s the difference between Platz and Ort when they are used in the sense of place? I know each can have different meanings on their own (e.g. Platz can mean city square and Ort can mean village), ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

“um weitere praktische Erfahrungen zu sammeln”

Kann man am Ende des folgenden Satzes um weitere praktische Erfahrungen zu sammeln sagen? Denn ich bin Berufseinsteiger ohne praktische Erfahrungen. Aufgrund meines Interesses an der ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

Liter/100 km or km/Liter

In America we say the fuel economy of car as miles/gallon (miles per gallon). I know in some countries people use Liter/100 km (liter per 100 km). Some countries use km/Liter (km per liter). My ...
6
votes
2answers
194 views

For cars, what verb has to be used? Stehen oder liegen?

I'm highly confused with what verb should be used with automobiles. If I consider the car "stands" then stehen but it's in a horizontal position, so I suppose it could be liegen as well.
3
votes
1answer
84 views

“Sorglich” im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch

Gesehen heute Morgen auf einem LKW: Spedition xxx: Sorglich und sanft Ist denn sorglich noch ein akzeptiertes Wort im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch? Benutzt das jemand? Oder hatte die Spedition nur ...
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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 perfect ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “außer wenn” und “außer dass / es sei denn”?

Welche der unten genannten Sätze sind korrekt? Ich mache einen Strandurlaub, außer dass es keine Strandkörbe gibt. Ich mache einen Strandurlaub, außer wenn es keine Strandkörbe gibt. Ich ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do we still use “Sie” even if the context is disrespectful?

One thing about German language bothers me since ever. As far as I know you still use "Sie" even if the context is disrespectful. For example: "Sie sind ein Arschloch!" ("You are an asshole!") ...
1
vote
3answers
152 views

Difference between “accusative” and “direct object”

I always thought accusative case is used for the direct objects of a verb, until a few minutes ago when I found in German grammar in a nutshell, that Can you please explain the subtle difference ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
134 views

What is difference between “mir gegenüber” and “gegen mich”?

In following sample, I'm not sure if I could also use "gegen mich"? Are gegenüber mir and gegen mich equivalent? Mir gegenüber war er immer sehr höflich.
1
vote
6answers
182 views

Ist es möglich, “aus wessen Schuld” zu fragen?

Ich möchte wissen, ob folgende Sätze auf Deutsch richtig sind: Aus wessen Schuld tun Sie es dann? Ich weiß nicht, aus wessen Schuld. Aus wessen Schuld bist du nicht gekommen? Es gäbe ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Auf oder in verschiedener Weise?

Da ich Deutsch als dritte Sprache lerne, versuche ich, Wege und Mittel zu finden, um auf verschiedener Weise zu schreiben. Da ich Deutsch als dritte Sprache lerne, versuche ich, Wege und ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Unterschied zwischen den Indefinitivartikeln „manch-“ und „einig-“

Ich lerne Deutsch und ich helfe mir oft mit Italienisch, aber ich kann nicht verstehen, ob es Unterschiede zwischen den Indefinitivartikeln manch- und einig- gibt oder nicht. Kann mir jemand helfen?
31
votes
10answers
49k 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
1answer
377 views

Unterschied zwischen “es sei denn” und “außer wenn”?

Im August fahre ich nach Italien, außer wenn ich nicht genug Geld habe. Im August fahre ich nach Italien, es sei denn, dass ich nicht genug Geld habe. Gibt es irgendwelche Unterschiede ...
8
votes
2answers
354 views

Common Self-Introduction in German

Darf ich mich vorstellen? It is written in many textbooks as a first phrase to learn. However, since I came to Germany a while ago. I have never heard anyone uses such a phrase on a daily basis. ...
14
votes
8answers
3k views

Is the genitive used at all in everyday German?

I called my cousin, because he’s German and he lived some years in Germany, about a doubt concerning the genitive. But he said that I don’t need to learn it because 90 % of the Germans don’t use it. ...
2
votes
3answers
415 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
167 views

Endung in “eine/eins oder zwei Katzen”

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: Article for "a book or two" Ich glaube, Paul hat (eine/eins) oder zwei Katzen. Was ist hier richtig? Es scheint, als ob ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

Usage of “der ein oder andere”

I've seen this expression starting with {das eine, das ein, der ein, die eine, etc}. I can't wrap my head around this phrase, I understand that it means one or two, but why does the article and the ...
6
votes
3answers
175 views

Difference between merkwürdig and seltsam

I was wondering if there is a difference in the usage between merkwürdig and seltsam. My German to English dictionary translates both to peculiar or odd. Can I use them interchangably?
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Types of adjectives/adverbs

As is said here, there are three types of adjectives/adverbs in German: Predicative adjectives: Der Clown ist lustig. Adverbial adjectives/adverbs: Der Clown springt lustig herum. Attributive ...
25
votes
2answers
43k 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 übliche Grußformel zum Abschied. Was bedeutet sie bzw. woher kommt sie (etymologisch ...
8
votes
2answers
162 views

Difference between “gemein” and “gemeinsam”

I know that gemein also means nasty or mean, but if we keep that aside for the time being, and consider only the meaning common, what's the difference between the two? Are they perfectly ...
13
votes
7answers
460 views

Usage and translation of “blitzkrieg”

In English it’s quite acceptable and normal to use the German word blitzkrieg even in other than historical contexts. For example, in the October 2015 issue of National Geographic I read on page 43 ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

“Zusammenhalt zwischen” or “zusammenhalt unter”?

I have seen both: Zusammenhalt zwischen xxx and Zusammenhalt unter xxx I can’t work out whether there is any difference in meaning/usage. Please explain.
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the difference between “Lagenzahl” and “Lagenanzahl”? [duplicate]

In Electronics, what is the difference between Lagenzahl and Lagenanzahl? Lagenzahl has been seen in proposals and Lagenanzahl in product descriptions. Such terms are used by people in the industry.
23
votes
8answers
2k views

Can I use ‘fahren’ when the mode of transport is not decided?

Suppose I am in London, and I am going to Paris. If I am just mentioning to someone the fact that I’ll soon go to Paris, can I use fahren as a generic translation of to travel? I might go by ...
3
votes
3answers
152 views

Verwendung von „bald“ um eine „kurze Zeitspanne zum letzten Mal“ auszudrücken

Ich bin in einer Antwort zu einer anderen Frage über den folgenden Satz gestolpert: Schon wieder sagt darüber hinaus, dass die Wiederholung ungewöhnlich bald passiert. Mir geht’s hier um das ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

Difference between “jmdm. helfen” and “behilflich sein”

Are these two expressions equal synonyms? Is there any difference in the usage/meaning? In the following example they are interchangeable: Könnt ihr mir bitte behilflich sein? Könnt ihr mir ...
6
votes
2answers
266 views

How does “meine liebe” (“liebe” as adjective) sound for a native German speaker?

I was writing with my very close friend in German. We had the following conversation: She wrote: “Du bist etwas ganz besonderes für mich. ich hab dich sehr lieb.” I answered: “danke, meine ...
11
votes
2answers
16k 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)
5
votes
1answer
229 views

Saying “That’s the whole point”

I have seen three possible translations of That’s the whole point: Das ist es ja gerade. Das ist es doch eben. Genau darum geht es. Is there any difference in the quality/context/tone of the three ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
330 views

I thought “sie ist” always meant “she is” but here it means “they?”

This first sentence is for context and precedes the main sentence, the main sentence is the one that confuses me. Die Generalität ist ein Geschmeiß des deutschen Volkes! Sie ist ohne Ehre! ...
32
votes
1answer
2k views

Are “Kinder” still their parents’ “Kinder” when they grow up?

In English, child can mean a young person, but it can also mean something like “offspring” or ”progeny”—i.e., it can denote the relationship that one has with one’s parents. For example, it is ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a word for “hey” or “oi”?

I am wondering if there is a word in German that is meant to get attention, like from across the road or even the dining table, like hey or oi and what it would be.
7
votes
3answers
402 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
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 ...