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

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1
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2answers
71 views

Using “jenseits” in a statement

In learning prepositions, here is my attempt to use "jenseits". Jenseits der Gedanken, brummt Wissenheit. The English version I have in mind is "On the other side of thought, wisdom hums". I have ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Dativ und Indirektes Objekt

How does the German organization of direct and indirect objects differ from English? For example, in English you would say: I gave the girl green eggs and ham. It goes: subject, I.O., D.O. How ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

Changes in meaning for different positions of “sich”?

From Der Spiegel: In ihren Vorstellungen bastelten die Westler sich einen Ostdeutschen zurecht, der so fremd war, dass man mit dem gar nicht wiedervereinigt sein wollte. It is also possible to ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Author initials for article in German newspapers

In the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, I see abbreviations like Sarkozy gibt Kandidatur für UMP-Vorsitz bekannt mic. PARIS, 19. September. Der frühere französische Präsident Nicolas Sarkozy ...
4
votes
4answers
109 views

'hilfsbereit' vs. 'hilfreich'

Die netten Menschen am Zoll sind immer sehr _____. a) hilfsbereit b) hilfreich I think "hilfsbereit" should work, and the sentence would mean that the nice people at customs are always ready ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Is “es gibt” not used as often as the English “there is”?

Do Germans use other verbs like befinden or existieren or totally different constructions to avoid using es gibt regularly?
1
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1answer
110 views

Difference between wollen and möchten [duplicate]

I was wondering what is difference between wollen and möchten? When exactly do we have to use each of both? for example, which of the following is correct? Ich möchte Ingenieur werden. Ich will ...
8
votes
5answers
356 views

What is a Lesepause?

I came across a bookmark in a German biography today with the word Lesepause written on the top. I assume this means bookmark, but I can't find any references to this word in any Wörterbücher. What ...
19
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3answers
192 views

Wann wird “bis auf” inklusiv, wann exklusiv verwendet?

Ich habe mehrmals die Situation erlebt, dass jemand einen Satz mit "bis auf" verwendet und mir nicht klar ist, ob eine einschließende oder ausschließende Bedeutung gemeint ist. Zum Beispiel bei ...
9
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2answers
539 views

Usage of “bunt”

I thought bunt was a neutral term that simply means colorful or multicolored. One German-speaking friend recently told me that bunt was not neutral at all and often carried a judgement. For example, ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

“Thank you for your consideration” am Ende eines Bewerbungsschreibens

So könnte das Ende eines englischen Bewerbungsschreibens aussehen: Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, John Doe Auf deutsch fällt mir nur ein Mit freundlichen Grüßen, ...
10
votes
1answer
125 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
3answers
313 views

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

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
149 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
63 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
841 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
140 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
306 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
135 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
155 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
144 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
98 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
120 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
436 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? ...
1
vote
2answers
96 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
99 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
71 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".
4
votes
3answers
122 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! ...
0
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
144 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
151 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 ...
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
93 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
101 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
66 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
68 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
252 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
6answers
760 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
752 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.
6
votes
3answers
126 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
1k 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?
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3answers
149 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?
6
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
201 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
273 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
759 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
162 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, ...
11
votes
3answers
342 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
113 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?