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

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8
votes
3answers
16k views

Welche Abkürzung für “gegebenenfalls”?

Die mir geläufige Abkürzung zu gegebenenfalls lautet ggfs.. Heute früh stolperte ich allerdings über diese Frage, in der ggf. verwendet wird. Sind beide Varianten für den täglichen Gebrauch gültig ...
4
votes
2answers
580 views

When to use 'Ich bin', 'es geht mir', 'Ich habe' and 'mir ist'?

If you wanted to translate "I'm hot" into German, like "I'm burning up cause it's hot outside", it would translate to "Ich bin heiß" which has a bad connotation. So it is translated to "Mir ist heiß". ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Wann benutzt man “ob” und wann benutzt man “wenn”?

Ich habe drei Jahre Deutsch studiert. Ich habe natürlich "wenn" benutzt, aber ich habe nie "ob" benutzt. Ich weiß, dass beide auf Englisch "if" bedeuten. Ich habe "wenn" sehr oft gehört, "ob" jedoch ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

“Sich bewerben um” oder “für”?

What is the correct version? sich bewerben um etwas sich bewerben für etwas Are there cases where one or the other is preferable? Please make some examples if there are.
4
votes
2answers
481 views

Of starting and stopping

In English start and stop are pretty much interchangeable with begin and end, although they are usually grouped together in those particular pairs. In German, however, there are many more choices. I ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is this the proper use of “welches”?

When I write German for work, I continually try to use new words and phrases I am not yet comfortable with in order to break out of linguistic fossilization. One construct is using "welches" which I ...
6
votes
2answers
271 views

What do you greet in German when someone gets something new

In my mother language, Hebrew, there is a greeting especially for cases when someone gets or buys something new: תתחדש. Is there something similar in German? If not, what will you say to someone who, ...
9
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
593 views

How do we define the strength of coffee?

Coffee is the most consumed drink in Germany. No wonder it comes in a huge variety of flavours. However the list of coffee specialities does not say much on the strength of the brew. I heard of ...
5
votes
2answers
225 views

Using Abflug vs Abfahrt

What's the exact difference and how should those words be used? P.S.: Is it when we talk about air travel and land travel?
2
votes
1answer
278 views

Translating emotional sensitivity words

I'm trying to distinguish the differences between English words that express emotional or psychological sensitivity, in particular "pity", "compassion", "sympathy", "empathy", "pathetic", and ...
9
votes
3answers
10k views

Singular/Plural bei Aufzählungen

Man betrachte folgende zwei Sätze: Demnach muss nun das Ziel und der Zweck der Regelung ermittelt werden. oder Demnach müssen nun das Ziel und der Zweck der Regelung ermittelt werden. ...
2
votes
3answers
513 views

What is the difference between “vorne” and “vorher”?

They both mean "before," right? But does one refer to "time," and the other to "space?" And am I using them correctly in the following translations of popular American songs? First, from Guys and ...
2
votes
5answers
572 views

Eine Frau kann “zierlich” sein. Wie nennt man einen ebensolchen Mann?

Für eine kleine Frau haben wir das Attribut "zierlich", das auf nette Art beschreibt, das sie zwar klein, aber doch "fein gestaltet und graziös" ist. Kann man einen Mann auch "zierlich" nennen, ohne ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Differences between “Klausur”, “Prüfung” and “Examen”

Is there any differences in usage between Klausur, Prüfung, Examen, Test*, and (Klassen)arbeit*? * Edit: added more synonyms based on answers below.
3
votes
2answers
188 views

Word choice: “manuell” or “von Hand”?

I've been toying with learning German for a few months now, and I'm trying to use my basic knowledge to update the translation to one of my iPhone apps. What word should I use for "manual" as in "set ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I use “siehe” when writing to a person with whom I am “per Sie”?

I often read the word "siehe" as in "siehe Anhang" when the writer is using the Sie form. I assume this is an accepted standard, but I don't really understand why, since I would never write using the ...
12
votes
1answer
808 views

Redewendung wenn man an ein fremdes Telefon gehen muss

Im Arbeitsumfeld gibt es üblicherweise mehr oder minder festgelegte Formulierungen die man benutzt, etwas in der Art von Firma Meier, Michael Müller, Apparat von Peter Schmitz hört man öfter. Im ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Is there such an expression as “ganz großartig gesagt?”

I once saw in a chess book, the report of a German commentator saying, "ganz großartig gespielt" to a particular move. Are there commonly used similar expressions with other verbs, such as "ganz ...
5
votes
4answers
646 views

Using “nötig” vs “notwendig”

What is the difference between "nötig" and "notwendig"? When would one be preferred over the other, or are they always interchangeable?
2
votes
1answer
321 views

What are differences between “des” and “darum”?

What are differences between "Des" and "Darum"? Apparently they both mean "therefore", do they? Here are some contexts: "Meine Mutter war eine Wienerin, D'RUM habe ich Wien so gern." "DES ...
12
votes
6answers
586 views

What's the difference between “Dialekt” and “Mundart”?

Are "Dialekt" and "Mundart" exact synonyms, or is one more official, more colloquiel etc? Or are there regional differences in their use? Or maybe one is a broader term than the other and might cover ...
10
votes
4answers
446 views

Selbst oder selber?

Sind folgende Sätze beide richtig? a) Das haben Sie doch selber gesagt! b) Das haben Sie doch selbst gesagt! Wenn ja, gibt es dann einen Unterschied zwischen ihnen?
5
votes
3answers
167 views

Which is the correct pronoun for “Datei”: “die” or “sie”?

Which one is correct: Vielen Dank für die Datei. Wir haben die angeschaut. Or Vielen Dank für die Datei. Wir haben sie angeschaut.
10
votes
4answers
649 views

What are “Marmelade”, “Konfitüre”, or “Fruchtaufstrich”?

Living in Germany I almost exclusively hear "Marmelade" for any spread made of fruits including "Erdbeermarmelade", "Himbeermarmelade", "Aprikosenmarmelade" and so on. Only rarely I also hear ...
9
votes
3answers
665 views

Ist der Gebrauch von “zeitgleich” als Synonym für “gleichzeitig” neueren Ursprungs?

Im Laufe der letzten Jahre fällt mir immer häufiger auf, dass in den Nachrichten statt "gleichzeitig" das Wort "zeitgleich" verwendet wird, wie z.B. in Dort wurden mit 250 Polizisten zeitgleich ...
17
votes
5answers
435 views

Is there a difference in meaning or correctness between “anderthalb” and “eineinhalb”?

I remember years ago being taught that “one and a half” is anderthalb, and being corrected when I mistakenly used eineinhalb, but I’ve heard eineinhalb a few times recently on the radio. Any ...
8
votes
4answers
175 views

Stiefväterlich behandeln?

Ein Kind, das man aufzieht, ohne daß es das eigene wäre, heißt Stiefsohn/Stieftochter. Der Elternteil heißt Stiefvater/Stiefmutter. Wenn ein Mensch für etwas weniger Aufmerksamkeit aufbringt als für ...
8
votes
6answers
239 views

Is there a difference in usage of “Klassenkamerad” vs. “Schulfreund”?

Both "Klassenkamerad", and "Schulfreund" are used for a classmate in school. Are there different connotations, regional differences, or social differences when using one or the other?
6
votes
2answers
166 views

What is the best way to translate “all the” if not “die ganzen”?

When in English I want to say something like this: Where are all the log files mentioned in this correspondence? I write in German: Wo sind die ganzen Logdateien, die in der Korrespondenz ...
2
votes
4answers
149 views

Which is correct, “geschätzte Stunden” or “abgeschätzte Stunden”?

I want to ask someone what the "estimated hours" are for a project. Which is correct: Was sind die geschätzten Stunden für dieses Projekt? / Wie viel Stunden würdest du schätzen? Was sind ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “musste”, “muss” and “müsste”?

What are the differences between the following sentences: Wir wussten nicht, dass die vorhandene Rechtestruktur auch abgebildet werden musste. Wir wussten nicht, dass die vorhandene ...
3
votes
1answer
297 views

“Selbständig” or “Selbstständig”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Selbständig vs. selbstständig Both "selbständig" and "selbstständig" exist, being used in the same context in German. Still, I am not sure if there is a ...
6
votes
4answers
402 views

What is the German word for a “SQL lookup table”?

What would the best German word be for an SQL table whose only purpose is to match e.g. an id with a name? In English, I would call this a "lookup table" since the ID is "looked up" and the ...
5
votes
5answers
235 views

What is the most appropriate verb for Abschätzung?

I always try to avoid the verb machen if possible. What would be the best verb for this sentence? Brauchst du zusätzliche Information, um eine Abschätzung zu __? erstellen schaffen kreieren ??? ...
20
votes
5answers
5k views

How to distinguish between a female friend and a girlfriend?

The word Freundin can mean either a girlfriend or a female friend. In some cases, they can be distinguished by using the possessive pronoun to refer to the former: Ich habe mit meiner Freundin ...
9
votes
4answers
518 views

What is a better verb for “Fotos machen”?

A native German speaker once gave me the tip to always replace the word "machen" with a more precise word. What verb could I replace "macht" with in this example: Sie kontaktiert dann einen ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

How to replace relative pronoun “was” in this sentence?

This is how I would say the following sentence, but when I write it in a formal e-mail, how can I replace the "was" which seems too colloquial for this register: Der Cataloger macht genau das, was ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “besprochen” and “gesprochen”?

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences and which one is correct for a formal e-mail? Wie besprochen sende ich Ihnen meine E-Mail Adresse. Wie gesprochen sende ich Ihnen meine ...
5
votes
1answer
633 views

Can “nochmal” be used in correct, formal German?

Sometimes when I use the word "nochmal" in a more formal context such as a business e-mail, it is corrected to "noch einmal", e.g. Ich werde ihn nochmal Anfang Oktober anrufen. However, the ...
6
votes
4answers
320 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.
8
votes
2answers
252 views

Is there a difference in the usage of “eben” vs. “vorhin”?

In the following examples both variants work: Vorhin lief mein Rechner noch einwandfrei, jetzt bleibt der Bildschirm schwarz. Eben lief mein Rechner noch einwandfrei, jetzt bleibt der Bildschirm ...
5
votes
2answers
106 views

Für welche transitiven Verben kann “Qualia” Objekt sein? “Haben”, “Empfinden”…?

Qualia, der "subjektive Erlebnisgehalt mentaler Zustände" (s. z.B. Wikipedia), sind seit über 100 Jahren Objekte (oder müsste man sagen "Subjekte"?) philosophischer Diskussionen (Qualiaproblem). Der ...
9
votes
7answers
460 views

What Are Ways to Say “Out of Date” In German?

The most common translation I've seen is "altmodisch." But the question comes from another one of my German translations, from "As Time Goes By" Mondschein und Liebeslieder sind niemals ...
8
votes
3answers
208 views

Which spelling is the right one: “deinstallieren” or “desinstallieren”?

Some computer software uninstallers that are localized for German users use the word "deinstallieren" and others "desinstallieren". Which one is the correct one - or are both words right? -- Update ...
7
votes
2answers
501 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?
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Wortwahl: für vs. über

Wie heißt es richtig: Gutschein [für|über] einen Kinoabend. Der Fall "Gutschein über 10€" ist sicherlich richtig, ist aber das Wort "über" auch bei Sachleistungen zulässig?
9
votes
2answers
221 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
7answers
2k views

Is There More Than One German Word For “Free”?

The obvious translation is "frei." But that is the word related to "freedom, right? If I wanted to say "free of charge," I'd use another word, like kostenlos. Or would I? The question comes from ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Distinction “prüfen” vs. “überprüfen”

I just read a technical spec in which I found the following sentence: Weiterhin kann zum Überprüfen der geparsten Dateien ein XML-Schema verwendet werden. which translates into "An XML ...