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

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11
votes
3answers
8k views

When to use “bezahlen” and when “zahlen”?

Leo shows that both bezahlen and zahlen are translated as "to pay". I noticed that people sometimes use the one, and sometimes the other. So, when to use bezahlen and when zahlen?
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the differences between “jein” and “naja”?

After reading this related post, I started wondering: what are the differences between jein and naja? I am especially interested in any context(s) where only one of them would be correct or ...
5
votes
2answers
230 views

Das Wort “ich” in offiziellen Schreiben

Sollte man einen Anfang wie z.B. "Ich, <Name>, geboren in ..., bestätige dass ..." vermeiden? Gibt es bessere Alternativen statt "ich", die öfter verwendet werden, z.B. "Unterschreiber" oder ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Correct usage of “sogar” and “einmal” to mean “even”

I would appreciate any clarification on the correct usage of sogar and einmal as translations of the English word "even" when used in the following sense: He didn't drink anything...not even the ...
1
vote
2answers
443 views

Alternate sentence construction using “lassen”

The sentence: "Er hat Reim in seinem Gedicht benutzt." My instructor has suggested that I rewrite the sentence using "a more sophisticated construction, such as one with 'lassen'." How would I do ...
4
votes
3answers
278 views

Words derived from “Kinder”?

My understanding is that kinderlos means childLESS. In the opposite vein, I once described a woman as "kinder fähig." That literally means "child capable," and would refer to someone's ability to ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Welche Präposition für “admirer of”?

Wenn man sagt, "I am an admirer of Mr. X, sagt man ich bin ein Bewunderer [des/von/auf/etwas ander] Herr X?" Tatsachlich ist Herr X, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Ist "King of Prussia" "König ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the “more correct” term — “achronologisch” or “antichronologisch”?

Which of the two is the "correct" form, or are both correct? Do they mean the same? Or is there a subtle distinction between anti- and a-? Edit: replaced the English terms by the German ones, sorry.
0
votes
2answers
162 views

Schuld oder Scham

Wikipedia spricht davon, dass Überlebende von Flugzeugabstürzen sich gelegentlich für ihr Weiterleben schuldig fühlen, obwohl sie objektiv keine Schuld am Flugzeugabsturz tragen. Weder haben sie ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between “ehrlich” and “wirklich”?

During conversation, I've seen both words used singularly as a question: Ehrlich? And: Wirklich? In this context, are they both essentially the same as the English: Really? More ...
5
votes
2answers
486 views

What is the difference between “schätzen” and “abschätzen”?

The following to sentenses have different meanings Er schätzt sie. Er schätzt sie ab. But looking at Er schätzt die zurückgelegte Strecke auf 5 Kilometer. and Er schätzt, dass er ...
4
votes
5answers
349 views

“Mögen”, “gefallen”, “erfreuen” - was sagt man zu gutem Essen?

When you want to say that you like a particular food or dish to eat, which do you say: Ich mag die Suppe; Die Suppe gefällt mir; and/or Die Suppe erfreut mich? Or other? Does it matter ...
9
votes
3answers
416 views

Was “haut man in die Fresse”?

"Hau ihm eine in die Fresse!" (Aus 50 dessins d'humour pour perfectionner votre allemand, ) Eine was? Ich hätte "einen (Faustschlag)" erwartet.
6
votes
3answers
202 views

What is the difference between “nicht größere” and “keine größeren”

What is the grammatical difference between these two sentences: Die Lehrer essen nicht größere Eier. Die Lehrer essen keine größeren Eier. Why the ending -n in the second sentence?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

“wenn” vs “falls”

When should "falls" be preferred to "wenn" in expressing conditional sentences? Also, are the cases in which the use of "falls" (or of "wenn") to translate "if" is unidiomatic or a mistake?
4
votes
4answers
443 views

Usage of “dort” or “da” in proper context

I read the question "How to use “hier”, “dort” and “da” properly in German?" and in the answer says that if the distance is far away, you use 'da' and the farthest is 'dort'. I was given a home work ...
12
votes
3answers
320 views

Umgangssprache für «on second thought»

Gibt es eine einfache, deutsche Art zu «on second thought»? Beispiele: Ich möchte das Bargeld in kleinen Noten haben; [on second thought], es wäre besser, wenn ich grosse Noten haben könnte. ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

“IT” oder “EDV”? Empfindet man “IT” als Anglizismus?

Wenn es um IT geht, finde ich es immer schwer EDV zu benutzen (oder verstehen). Es fällt mir einfach nicht ein. Mein Frage ist: empfindet man IT als Anglizismus? Sollte ich anstreben EDV zu ...
5
votes
2answers
362 views

Technical drawing glossary: How do you translate “cross section” (of a boat)?

I'm designer and 3D artist and I'm translating my portfolio in German. I'm uncertain how to translate some specific design words, in this case: (of a boat, yacht) side cross section I found ...
3
votes
3answers
643 views

What's the difference between “manch” and “viel”?

They both mean "many," right? But are they used in different contexts or ways? The question arises from my German translation of the following song. ...
3
votes
2answers
245 views

Difference between “bis auf”, “bisher”, and “bis zu”?

My understanding is that they all mean "up to." But could they mean "up to in different contexts, some in time, for instance, and other with regards to space?
2
votes
2answers
666 views

When is it appropriate to say you have “Sehnsucht” for someone?

A few years ago I wrote something to a female German teacher who I was quite fond of (not in a romantic way), and it included the phrase: Ich habe Sehnsucht nach dir. I was shooting for a ...
7
votes
3answers
189 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
460 views

Adapting a Quote in Old English Style

I'd like to give someone a gift (who speaks German, and is also a fountain pen user) and include a quote from S.B.R.E. Brown (podcast here) written down with my own calligraphy. The problem is that ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

“Nice summary +1”: Wie sagt man das hier?

Leo zeigt viele Möglichkeiten auf: der Abriss die Aufstellung die Auswertung der Auszug - Text die Inhaltsangabe die Inhaltsübersicht der Kurzbericht die Kurzfassung das ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Was ist das Gegenteil von “Autodidakt”?

Gerne würde ich in einem Projekt die Kategorie "Person, die auf Basis fremder vorgegebener Inhalte und Strukturen lernt" etwas griffiger fassen, denn ihr Pendant heißt schlicht "Autodidakt". Googeln ...
9
votes
2answers
266 views

Differences between “Nutzungsverhalten” and “Nutzerverhalten”

I'm struggeling to find a concrete explanation/differentiation for both terms, "Nutzungsverhalten" and "Nutzerverhalten". I've seen Nutzungsverhalten being used mostly in the context of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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". ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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
645 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
2k 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
327 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
395 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
715 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
293 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?
1
vote
1answer
358 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
656 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k 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
209 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
2k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k 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
164 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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
403 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
897 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
566 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?
10
votes
4answers
952 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
536 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
6answers
282 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?
7
votes
2answers
181 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 ...