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

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30
votes
10answers
19k views

Why is “Fräulein” considered offensive, as opposed to “Frau”?

Does Fräulein imply that the woman being addressed is not fully a Frau? Does it imply a lower class status?
22
votes
7answers
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
760 views

Eifersucht vs. Neid

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Eifersucht und Neid? Mein Wörterbuch übersetzt beide Wörter nach jealousy.
20
votes
5answers
4k views

What's the difference in usage between “machen” and “tun”?

Is there any rules or guidelines when to use which one? Du darfst mir nicht sagen, was ich machen soll. or Du darfst mir nicht sagen, was ich tun soll. I find a big overlap in their usage: ...
20
votes
2answers
527 views

Grammatisch oder grammatikalisch?

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen "grammatisch" und "grammatikalisch"? Ist am Ende eins von beiden falsch? Wenn ja, warum? Wie kommen diese beiden unterschiedlichen Wortformen zustande?
19
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the best German translation for the useful word “issue” when describing a problem?

I would like to say the following in German: Unfortunately, we could not reproduce the Save-as-XML issue that you are experiencing on your computer. but I cannot find a word other than ...
19
votes
8answers
21k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
442 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “Worte” und “Wörter”?

Wann sagt man "Worte", wann "Wörter"? Beide sind ein Plural vom Singular "Wort" und ich nehme an, dass es im Singular wirklich ein und dasselbe Wort ist, nicht zwei gleiche Namen für ...
17
votes
12answers
105k views

What are informal ways to say “good bye”?

In German you may say Auf Wiedersehen or Guten Tag when leaving. Both seem rather formal and may be inappropriate in a non-formal context. What would be the alternatives? In what context can we use ...
17
votes
2answers
615 views

Wie spricht man von der deutschen Sprache?

Es klingt fast wie eine Metafrage, aber wie spricht man eigentlich von der deutschen Sprache (oder von einer anderen)? Sagt man eher die Schönheit des Deutschen oder die Schönheit vom ...
16
votes
3answers
950 views

In which situations would you use either “Toilette”, “Klo”, “WC” or “Bad”?

Inspired by this question on the English StackExchange sister site, I'm asking the following question. Which of the following synonyms is suitable for different situations (formal, colloquial, ...)? ...
15
votes
2answers
441 views

Is “sitt” really a German word?

Some people use "sitt" to indicate that they are no longer thirsty. It is used in the same way as "satt" if you're no longer hungry. I've also read that this is an artificial word that people are ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the function of “stein” in “steinreich?”

In "Die Firma", the German translation of the American novel "The Firm", the partners were described as "steinreich". A back-translation might be something like "filthy rich". How did "stein" become ...
13
votes
1answer
834 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Schweizerisch oder Schweizer?

Ich selber würde mich wohl immer für den Schweizer Käse entscheiden, aber es gibt wohl auch Schweizerischen Käse. Jedenfalls lese ich das aus diesem Google NGram. Wann ist welche Verwendung ...
12
votes
3answers
279 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. ...
12
votes
6answers
601 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
592 views

Wann benutzt man “laufen” und wann “rennen”?

Ein Mann geht auf einer Straße. Er muss den Bus nehmen, um zur Arbeit zu kommen. Er hat die Uhr im Haus vergessen und weiß die Zeit nicht. Der Bus kommt, er muss sich beeilen, wenn er ihn erwischen ...
11
votes
2answers
306 views

When to use “spendieren” rather than “spenden”?

Recently I came across the following sentence "Wieviel RAM hast du denn deiner Kiste spendiert?" Roughly I would translate this with "How much RAM did you dedicated to your box?". What itches ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Best German expression for being metaphorically “rusty”

What would be the most natural way of saying in German that one is "rusty" at a particular skill/language? I have used "verrostet" myself and while native speakers have caught my meaning, I don't ...
11
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.
11
votes
4answers
2k views

When should you use “erst” rather than “nur”?

It seems that in many situations where I might use the word "only" in English, either "nur" or "erst" is used in German. I have the rather fuzzy idea that "erst" is used for "only" in the sense of ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Differences between “obwohl” and “obgleich” and when to use them?

Subordinating conjunctions always seem to raise the most questions for me, specifically in the differences between obwohl and obgleich. The text I am using in my studies states that they both mean ...
11
votes
4answers
457 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?
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
878 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
405 views

Zweite und dritte Person im gleichen Satz - wonach richtet sich das Verb?

Wenn man zwei verschiedene Personen im gleichen Satzteil beschreibt, von denen einer angesprochen wird und einer nicht, wie muß dann das Verb korrekterweise gebeugt werden? Beispiele, wo es kein ...
10
votes
7answers
464 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

German equivalent of “…, though”

For example, how would you say "The weather is nice, though". This is used in the sense of continuing someone else's thought, usually with a contrasting sentiment. For example, if two friends go to a ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
506 views

“Rezept” vs. “Rezeptur”

Grundsätzlich geben beide Begriffe eine Anleitung zur Herstellung bzw. die zu verwendenden Inhaltsstoffe an: Vom Arzt bekommt man ein Rezept. In einer Kochshow wird ein neues Rezept vorgestellt. mit ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “anschalten” and “einschalten”

Is there a difference between anschalten and einschalten? If I turn on the TV, oven, heat, start the car etc., can either verb be used?
10
votes
4answers
1k 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.
10
votes
4answers
671 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 ...
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.
9
votes
4answers
522 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
462 views

What's the difference between “der Fehler” and “der Irrtum”?

Is there a difference between these two terms? I'm asking especially thinking about the grammatical/language sphere, but if you're aware of other important differences, you can post them. My ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference between “ist um die Ecke” and “liegt um die Ecke”

I've found a local German tutor who is fluent in German (she's American but lived in Germany for years and teaches German). We were going over some "quickies". One example she gave was: Das Hotel ...
9
votes
5answers
197 views

Personalpronomen für „jedermann“?

Jedermann hat viel zu tun. __ muss priorisieren. Ich suche ein Personalpronomen, das oben passt. Die Sätze sollen die gleiche Bedeutung wie der folgende Satz haben: Jedermann hat viel zu tun ...
9
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
242 views

Welche Bedeutungen kann das Adjektiv “günstig” haben?

Welche Bedeutungen kann das Adjektiv günstig haben? Wie steht günstig zu billig?
9
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
233 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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?
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. ...
9
votes
3answers
872 views

How to say “take a joke” in German

When pulling a prank on someone or telling a joke that could come across as offensive, usually we say "take a joke" or something along those lines. What is the expression for this in German?
9
votes
3answers
685 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
653 views

Translating “I deserve more (than I actually earn)”

I have a problem with translating the phrase I deserve more [than I actually earn] Because the only I can find is something like that: Ich verdiene mehr [als ich jetzt verdiene] The ...