Wortauswahl - Choosing the best word out of a list of alternatives.

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12
votes
3answers
747 views

Is there a difference between “Messer” and “Kniff?”

The word I was taught for "knife" is "Messer". But someone, who appears to be a native speaker, answered a question to the effect that "Kniff" looked like its English counterpart "knife". Certain ...
10
votes
2answers
423 views

Why is “erstmal” not recognized by my spellchecker and is “erstmals” correct?

I typed the following sentence in an E-Mail in Thunderbird: Muss man sich erstmal einloggen? The German spellchecker said "erstmal" is not a word and suggested that it be replaced with ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “zurzeit” and “zur Zeit”?

Word's spellchecker often suggest that I write "zur Zeit" where I would naturally write "zurzeit". Is my understanding correct, that the meaning is always: zur Zeit = at some time in the past (zur ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen “nun” und “jetzt”?

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet: What is the difference between "nun" and "jetzt"? Ich übersetzte die beiden als "now", aber ich vermute, dass es ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

“used to [verb]”

How would one say "used to", as in I used to live in Kiev. Previously, I was told you would use früher: Früher lebte ich in Kiew. But upon looking it up just again, dict.cc says you'd use ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Choice in “Was für { eine | welche }?”

In a questionary I got wrong the following multiple choice question — Wir bieten Ihnen wunderbares Bier an! 1. — Welches? 2. — Was für eins? 3. — Was für welches? The number I ...
7
votes
3answers
198 views

Gibt es ein deutsches Pendant zur englischen Wendung «writ large»?

In der englischen Sprache gibt es die Wendung «writ large», die normalerweise so benutzt wird: Switzerland is a democracy writ large. oder The State is the organization of robbery writ ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between 'noch' and 'noch immer'?

They would both appear to mean the same thing in English i.e. 'still' How do they differ and under what circumstances might you use either of them?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Der/die/das as demonstrative pronouns: intonation, politeness and difference with dieser/diese/dieses

Three related questions: First, I'm interested in knowing if there is any difference in the usage of der, die, das,... and dieser, diese, dieses,.... For instance z.B. Ich habe zwei Hunde. {Der ...
6
votes
4answers
477 views

What's a good translation for “outcome measures”?

For example in the sentence: Outcome measures for this study include three-year-survival rate and relapse.
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Idiomatic translation for “In sum and substance?”

Google translate gives me "In Summe und die Substanz?' But is there a better, more idiomatic translation? And is that "better" translation "im großen und ganzen?" (This more literally back ...
4
votes
3answers
368 views

“von Englisch nach Deutsch” - why not “zu”?

Following the About.com article on zu vs nach, I would guess that "from English to German" would be von Englisch zum Deutsch, but Google Translate uses nach when trying to say 'to a language'. So it ...
4
votes
3answers
355 views

Weniger informeller Ausdruck für “weg-abstrahieren”?

Der Satz A und B sind gute Ansätze, welche aber die Eigenschaft E von der Problemstellung P wegabstrahieren. kommt mir sehr umgangssprachlich vor. Ich würde aber gerne diese Bedeutung mit einer ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

What's the difference between “sonstige” and “andere”?

What is the difference between the usage of sonstige and andere? Are there other words that means the same? Can someone explain with an example?
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Wo sind die Eistüten hin?

Kaufe ich ein Berlin ein Eis, werde ich gefragt, ob ich es „im Becher oder in der Waffel“ möchte. Ich bin mir recht sicher, dass ich vor 30 Jahren nur gefragt wurde, ob ich einen „Becher oder eine ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

“Wir können in dieser Zeit nicht mehr ohne dem…” Why the usage of Dativ?

In writing an essay about nuclear energy, or electricity usage by humans in general, I was corrected to the below sentence but I don't understand why "dem" was used: Wir können in dieser Zeit ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Some - How to say some?

I have not been able to find a definitive answer on using "some" in German. I've seen, irgend- words, etwas (Which I have come to know as something or some + an adjective: z.B. Dieses Kurs ist etwas ...
3
votes
2answers
617 views

Wörter mit selber Bedeutung, aber unterschiedlichen Artikeln

Mir ist heute beim Spazierengehen aufgefallen, dass die Wörter die Geldbörse, das Portemonnaie und der Geldbeutel die gleiche Bedeutung, aber unterschiedliche Artikel haben – was ich irgendwie ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

“a _ used for _” structure in German

Is there a standard way to translate phrases like "a _ used for _". Example: I'm trying to define 'Ohr' in German as "organ used for hearing". Based on what I've read, I've come up with a few ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

Can you use “brauchen” for “need to”?

In English, need to and must are basically the same thing. Kann man dafür brauchen sagen? Oder muss man müssen benutzen? (Can you say brauchen? Or must you use müssen?) 1) Ich brauche zu essen., ...
1
vote
3answers
840 views

Difference between “die Zahl” and “die Nummer”?

This question also has an answer here (in German): Unterschied: Nummer vs. Zahl Once again I found it hard to find any difference between two nouns (die Zahl and die Nummer).To me they are ...
0
votes
3answers
138 views

In welchem Teil Deutschlands sagt man “durchschauen” anstatt “verstehen”?

Ich lerne Hochdeutsch, um von der deutschen Gemeinde durchschaut zu werden. Ich lerne Hochdeutsch, um von der deutschen Gemeinde verstanden zu werden. In welchem Teil von Deutschland ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Genitive preposition “wegen” and personal pronouns

I am wondering how to correctly form a genitive construction in German while translating a sentence from English to German. For example: English: It is broken because of you. German: Es ...