Wortgebrauch - Questions on usages in German language.

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45
votes
7answers
3k views

How to use “doch”

I know "doch" is used to contradict a negative statement: A: Das ist nicht wahr. B: Doch! It's a great word for this usage and some languages really lack this word. But, I found it hard to ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

“Food” in German

When I was looking for the German equivalent of "food" in my dictionary, I've noticed that both "Lebensmittel" and "Nahrung" have same meaning and I've learned "Essen" before. While I was trying to ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

What time does “Vormittag” start and end?

This morning I read someone's message (written at 7am) saying that he likes "den frühen Vormittag". In my opinion 7am in the morning isn't Vormittag yet. Is there a definition for the time span ...
17
votes
7answers
50k views

What is the difference in usage between “Vielen Dank” and “Danke schön”?

I know that they are both essentially polite and mean "Thanks a lot", "Many thanks" etc. but I've always wondered if there is a specific difference between the two. Is there a specific context or ...
17
votes
5answers
956 views

Names and total number of floors in buildings: what is correct?

I'm learning German and we've just looked into the topic "Wohnung", including numbering floors in a building. For example, let's imagine a house: ------------------------------- | dritter Stock, ...
17
votes
2answers
765 views

Warum klingt “treffen uns um 8” richtig und “treffen uns um 20” falsch?

Zeitangaben, bei denen die Stunde größer als 12 ist, funktionieren nur mit angehängtem "Uhr": "Wir treffen uns um 23 Uhr." vs. "Wir treffen uns um 11." - "Morgens?" - "Nein, nachts!" Obwohl die ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen den Fragewörtern “wieso”, “weshalb” und “warum”?

Wo liegt der Unterschied zwischen den Fragewörtern "wieso", "weshalb" und "warum"? Ist er regional, gibt es subtile Unterschiede in den Bedeutungen, oder gibt es noch einen anderen Grund für die ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

What are differences between “fließend” and “verhandlungssicher”?

Filling in a questionnaire, in different languages, after picking a language up, you get 4 options : Basiswissen fließend verhandlungssicher Muttersprache So, how are "fließend" and ...
15
votes
2answers
435 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
405 views

How is the familiar “You” (Du) used in online conversations?

I remain fairly fluent in German from my experience living in Germany back in the 70's and 80's. However, the use of familiar "Du" among relative strangers online surprised me when I recently read ...
14
votes
2answers
467 views

Why is “blauäugig” used with a negative connotation?

Still today the cliche of a German is being tall, blond and blue-eyed. Surprisingly the expression "blauäugig" is most often used with an obvious negative connotation: Professor Otmar Issing, der ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

What's the difference between “können” and “könnten”?

I'd like to know when it's appropriate to use "können" and when "könnten", are they completely interchangeable? Is it like the difference between "can" and "could" in English? Können Sie mir bitte ...
13
votes
3answers
750 views

von, aus or mit (or none)

If asking a shop keeper if they have any food (baguette, wrap etc.) having fish, what is the proper way to ask? I ask: Haben Sie etwas mit Fisch or Haben Sie etwas aus Fisch I am not ...
13
votes
2answers
366 views

Jein - a regionalism or the German-wide jargon?

I'm currently in Bavaria and I often hear the word jein, which means that answer could be either yes or no, depending what aspects are taken into account: Hast du das schon gemacht? Jein. Es ...
13
votes
4answers
675 views

“Queen” vs. “Königin”

Is it just an example of an English word creeping in to use in German, or is there a particular reason why Queen is used rather than Königin? And does Die Queen always refer to Elizabeth II of the ...
13
votes
5answers
845 views

“Schwer” oder “schwierig”?

Ich habe beide Varianten gelesen: Ungarisch ist schwer und (vielleicht öfter) Ungarisch ist schwierig. Gibt es da einen Unterschied in der Bedeutung? Wenn nicht, ist die Form schwierig ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “sinnfrei” und “sinnlos”?

Der Duden definiert "sinnfrei" als "völlig ohne Sinn" und "sinnlos" als "ohne Vernunft, ohne erkennbaren Sinn". Was ist der Unterschied zwischen diesen beiden Wörtern?
12
votes
4answers
531 views

Difference between “Behälter” and “Gefäß”

Both Behälter and Gefäß mean "container", but is there a difference in usage or are they equivalent?
12
votes
2answers
324 views

Usage of plural Kommata vs Kommas

The Wiktionary entry for Komma shows 2 plural forms: Kommas and Kommata. However, my German teacher told me that only the form die Kommata is correct, and the second is used by the people that don't ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen einer Sage und einer Legende?

Ich habe bisher die Wörter Sage und Legende synonym verwendet. Es gibt zwar Dinge die ich so nenne, und andere Dinge, die ich wieder anders nenne (bspw. würde ich nie die Niebelungenlegende sagen), ...
11
votes
5answers
221 views

Confusion with this ad by DB. Is it possible to omit the verb?

I got a DB ticket recently and went through the text. I took a pic of their 'Unser Angebot' text. Please note lines 1 and 2: Sie suchen Alternativen. Ich den besten Weg. Is it alright to ...
11
votes
2answers
224 views

What is the role of “von” when specifying a person?

I've asked a phrase translation: Original sentence: Past friday the server at xxx stopped, disk failure, I have been dealing with this ever since! The suggested translation was: Am letzten ...
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
210 views

„Zeitnah“ – ein Modernismus?

In jüngster Zeit höre ich immer wieder das Wort zeitnah. Ist es eine moderne Erscheinung? Für mich klingt es umständlich und ungewohnt. Es gibt mit zügig, flugs, bald, in Kürze, in Bälde, subito, ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen “authentifizieren” und “authentisieren”?

Es gibt die beiden Verben authentifizieren und authentisieren, die beide mit dem Begriff "authentisch" verwandt sind. In Dokumenten bestimmter Fachbereiche, zum Beispiel in der EDV, findet man beide ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to add a “mal” after all verbs in imperative form?

I've heard the structure verb + mal a lot, like: Sag mal, schau mal, warte mal Is it a good style? does it sound more friendly? What's the difference between "warte" and "warte mal"? Is it ...
11
votes
1answer
338 views

What is the translation of “people”? “Leute” or “Menschen” or “man” or “der Mensch”

I want to say People shouldn't be pessimistic. in German. First thought that came to my mind was: *Die Leute soll(t)en nicht pessimistisch sein. But then I came up with "Der Mensch" or ...
11
votes
1answer
214 views

Neid ohne Missgunst

Der Begriff "Neid" bedeutet, dass man jemand anderem seinen Besitz missgönnt und diesen für sich selbst haben will. Gibt es ein Wort, das ausdrückt, dass man den Besitz des anderen für sich selbst ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

How are we polite without using “bitte”?

When asking someone for a favour it is considered rude to omit "please" in English. This seems not to be the case in German. In a shop or a restaurant I can frequently hear: "Was bekommen Sie?" - ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a non offensive word for inability?

So I recently thought about the word inability, which is a kind of neutral word in English, but in German when someone tells me »Du bist unfähig.« or »Das war deine Unfähigkeit«, it really is more or ...
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
4answers
785 views

Can wissen mean remember?

In a book I'm reading, the author used the question "Weißt du noch". I'm guessing from the context it means "Do you remember". Is that so? Does the addition of the word "noch" turn "wissen" into ...
10
votes
3answers
492 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
932 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
5answers
463 views

Why is the title “Friseuse” considered as inappropriate?

I learned that I should not entitle a female hairdresser "Friseuse" as this may be considered as rude. Duden lists "Friseuse" as both, colloquial and antiquated, and recommends the usage of the ...
10
votes
1answer
407 views

In der Diagnose links, rechts: Aus wessen Sicht?

Vielleicht kann mir jemand auf eine Frage zur deutschen Fachsprache helfen. Wenn ich eine Diagnose von einem Arzt in der Hand halte, ist dann links, rechts aus der Sicht des Patienten formuliert, ...
10
votes
1answer
185 views

Mit oder ohne “es”?

Gestern habe ich eine Diskussion gehabt, ob man das Pronomen "es" in folgendem Satz verwendet oder nicht: "Im Vertrag wird es stehen, dass ..." vs "Im Vertrag wird stehen, dass..." ...
10
votes
4answers
340 views

Is the verb “türken” offensive?

In colloquial German we hear "türken" or more often "getürkt" used for "to fake". "Das sind doch alles getürkte Daten." Duden does not explain the origin of this verb but does not recommend ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the appropriate usage of “Gemütlichkeit”?

"Gemütlichkeit" ist für die Deutschen ein positives Wort aber es gibt nicht nur eine Erklärung für das Wort, Alle haben eine individuelle Lösung. Here are my questions about the term: I'd ...
10
votes
2answers
802 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
500 views

Some irrelevant uses of German “ja”

Some irrelevant uses of German ja: Emphatic particle in imperatives: Geht ja nicht in den Wald! Mach ja deine Hausaufgaben! In exclamative sentences: Das ist ja interessant! My ...
9
votes
3answers
223 views

Ist “Quereinsteiger” eine abwertende Bezeichnung?

I war heute bei einem IT-Vortrag, wo der Referent unter anderem meinte, dass man im Marketing-Bereich das Wort "Quereinsteiger" meidet, da es eine abwertende Konnotation habe. Ich persönlich finde ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Usage of “zwar”

Can anyone explain how the word zwar is generally used? I see it a lot and it doesn't seem like it usually translates very well into English, if at all. Here's an example sentence: Frage: Hat ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the difference between Entschuldigen and Entschuldigung?

The dictionary definitions seem semantically identical. Do you use one instead of the other in certain situations? (I am a native English speaker who is learning German)
9
votes
1answer
204 views

Was bedeuten “halb” und “scharf” bei Richtungsangaben?

Bei Richtungsangaben und Wegbeschreibungen findet man folgende Formulierungen: An der nächsten Kreuzung halb rechts fahren. Nach der Kirche scharf links abbiegen. Was ist hier mit "halb" und ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

When should I use ruhig / still?

A friend of mine says that one is typically used for people and the other one is for objects. The dictionary is no help, it gives the same translation for both. Is there a significant difference or ...
9
votes
3answers
572 views

Was ist ein “Füllwort”?

Nach Diskussionen in Kommentaren zur dieser Frage: What's the difference between "jedenfalls" and "auf jeden Fall"? habe ich mich auf die Suche nach einer guten Definition ...
9
votes
3answers
860 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
4answers
755 views

Nuances of the seemingly Synonymous words “Flagge” and “Fahne”

With the World Cup in full swing, I've come across the words "Flagge" and "Fahne" quite a bit. These words are seemingly synonymous, but that might not be the case. Take a quick look at the ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Mixing of 'tschüss' and 'ciao' in saying farewell

I am currently in Heidelberg, Germany. I find often that when I say tschüss, someone will reply with ciao (or: tschau) and vice-versa. This has struck me as odd because when I say tschüss, I usually ...