6
votes
3answers
955 views

What is the meaning of these grammatical forms involving “werden”?

Reading a book recently, I find myself wondering often about the usage of "werden" in many contexts, such as in these examples: (talking about a group of people smoking from a common pipe): Sam ...
13
votes
4answers
378 views

Use plural or singular to refer to a »Menge« of something?

Examples: Eine ganze Menge Nüsse sind das! Sie sollten sorgfältig über die Menge der Kontextinformationen nachdenken, die notwendig sind, um sicherzustellen, dass […]. Is the use of ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

How to translate “Relever une prescription” from french to german?

How do you say in german when a nurse becomes aware of a medical prescription and prepares everything according to what the doctor asks? In french we say "Relever une prescription". The action itself ...
5
votes
3answers
219 views

What is the reason for this seemingly inconsistent inflection around masculine genitive?

I found the following sentence in a book: (...) bemerkte ich (...) eine mir auffällige Übereinstimmung bezüglich des Inhaltes der drei Zeitungsfetzen: sie enthielten nämlich alle drei einen ...
6
votes
3answers
220 views

What is the difference between “schmeichelhaft” and “schmeichlerisch”?

The words "schmeichelhaft" and "schmeichlerisch" seem to have the same meaning. Is there any difference in connotation between these words, e.g., contexts when you would use one and not the other?
2
votes
3answers
220 views

What is the German equivalent for “generation skipping trust?”

In my (unpublished) "Dynasty" novel, the (American) patriarch leaves his German estate to his favorite (German) grandaughter. Like many American millionaires, he uses a "generation skipping trust" to ...
8
votes
2answers
215 views

Etymology and meaning of “Lotterleben”

A German friend of mine used the term "Lotterleben" to describe to me someone as a "free spirit", although the dictionary translate the term as "dissolute lifestyle" which have a string negative ...
12
votes
3answers
921 views

How to know if a beginning 'v' is pronounced /f/ or /v/?

A 'v' in the beginning of a word can be pronounced in one of two ways: /f/: Vater, verrückt, vier, Vogel. /v/: Vanille, Verb, Villa, Vokal, vulgär. My question: Is there a way to know how a word ...
6
votes
1answer
512 views

A kind of – German Expressions

Whenever I try to say something like ‘A type of car’, or ‘a type of food’, I end up saying ‘eine Art + nominative singular’ or ‘eine Art von nominative singular’ but I’m not really sure about it. ...
1
vote
4answers
438 views

How to say the following in German and “habe” or “hatte”?

Original: I didn't see her and when I realized it was her, it was already too late. Übersetzung: Ich hatte sie nicht gesehen, und when ich hatte realized es war sie, es war schon zu spat. ...
5
votes
3answers
247 views

Browser Add-ons to learn German

I am an active learner of German. I remember to have installed a browser Add-on on my old computer which helped me to learn the gender of German words by colorizing them in the browser using different ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Positions of verbs in clauses

e.g. when we use wenn the verb goes to end. If the sentence starts with wenn, the second clause starts with verb as follows: Wenn es morgen regnet, gehe ich ins Kino. I think it is similar for ...
8
votes
2answers
186 views

Gibt es ein Verb für “Ein Zeichen wird durch seine Escape-Sequenz ersetzt”?

Beim Programmieren (oder LaTeX-Schreiben) müssen manche Zeichen durch Escape-Sequenzen ersetzt werden. Beispiel (in LaTeX): Ich habe 10$. Wird zu Ich habe 10\$. da $ ein für den mathmode ...
10
votes
2answers
501 views

The use of stand alone prefixes of separable prefix verbs

I've encountered an example of using a prefix of a separable prefix verb by itself, and I was wondering what is the right way to use such prefixes this way: A: Mach die Tür bitte zu! B: Sie ist ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Nominative / accusative - what to use with preposition “als” and constructions like “John the engineer”?

Sie halten Johannes der Ingenieur als der wichtigste Fachmann ihrer Firma. I don't know if I used the two "der" articles well. In the sentence "Sie halten den Mann" the accusative is obvious, ...
0
votes
1answer
572 views

Schreibst du einen Brief an deinen Vater?

Please explain what are the cases (accusative, dative) here and why exactly those. Schreibst du einen Brief an deinen Vater? I assume that schreibst is a verb, ein Brief is a subject the same ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Article to go with plural accusative noun

I found this sentence in a magazine: Herr Minister, sind Sie mit den Ergebnissen des EU-Gipfels am 28. und 29. Juni in Brüssel zufrieden? I understand this as: Minister, are you happy with ...
4
votes
3answers
295 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
668 views

German phrasal verbs?

I know of German separable prefix verbs and of English phrasal verbs, but these examples seem to be of phrasal verbs on German that do not fall under the definition of separable prefix verbs: weg ...
2
votes
1answer
562 views

“Auf [eine Sprache]” - Etymologie [duplicate]

Warum verwendet man im Deutschen die Präposition "auf" im Zusammenhang mit Sprachen? Warum sagt man also auf Deutsch, auf Englisch, auf Latein etc? In anderen Konstruktionen verwendet man ja auch "in" ...
2
votes
1answer
464 views

Translation of a Nietzsche-related text; OK? [closed]

In an answer of mine on Philosophy, I (neither native-German nor native-English speaking) translated some German to English as follows. Nachdem man nun weiß, was die Zukunft von Ehe und Gattin ...
6
votes
2answers
211 views

Why is it “der Presse” instead of “die Presse”

Der Presse zufolge war der Prozess unfair. Found this sentence while learning. The translation is: The press said the trial was unfair. Since Presse is feminine, why is it preceded by der?
6
votes
2answers
536 views

Rules for capitalizing adjectives after “etwas, nichts…”?

Why does one write "nichts Gutes", "etwas Besseres" and so on. The rules imply they are nouns. Wiktionary says they obbey an ,,adjektivischer Deklination", there is no plural for them, etc. But ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Obmann and Ombudsmann, are they synonyms?

The title says it all: are the words Obmann and Ombudsmann synonyms in the German language? The contexts in which they are used seem to overlap. Even if not, are they related (e.g. one derived from ...
5
votes
4answers
253 views

Translation of “He has been allowed to dance, but I haven't.”

There are two versions that are possible: 1) Er hat tanzen dürfen, aber ich habe nicht gedurft. 2) Er hat tanzen dürfen, aber ich habe nicht dürfen. Which one is correct? (Updated: ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

“legen” vs “liegen”

I get confused between the verbs legen and liegen. I would appreciate some explantation on the meaning of the two verbs, preferably with examples. Also, are there context where te two verbs are ...
7
votes
2answers
378 views

Difference between feminine and neutral colors

I've seen here, in the discussion after the answer by @sedden, that there exist two ways to substantivize a color (perhaps more adjectives). Is there any difference in meaning (or any aspect) ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Where to place “sich” in an elaborate sentence?

I've been studying German for some time and still I'm always unsure where to put the sich particle; this insecurity slows down my speech, in particular. Can somebody give a rule and an example with ...
4
votes
1answer
772 views

Pronunciation of musical notes

Taking the note G as an example, I know that in German G♭ is written 'Ges' and G♯ is written 'Gis'. But how are these pronounced? My dictionary gives me the spelling but not the pronunciation. I ...
7
votes
2answers
602 views

Declination of adjectives after einigen

I learned that after words like "einige, mehrere, etc." the following adjectives also have the same declination. However, I got corrected when I said "mit einigen meinen Freunde" to "einigen meiner ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Die inverse der Kennlinie: groß oder klein?

Bei folgendem Satz bin ich mir bei der Groß-/Kleinschreibung von inverse unsicher: Da die Kennlinie bekannt ist, lässt sich deren inverse ermitteln. Mein Gefühl sagt mir, man müsse hier ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

“Mir ist Angst!” - “Wie bitte, was ist dir?”

Der Zwiebelfisch empfiehlt die Schreibweise "Mir ist angst.", weil "angst" antwortet auf die Frage "Wie ist mir?". Andererseits halte ich die Frage "Was ist dir?" ebenfalls für angebracht, zumindest ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

What does “stackenblochen” mean?

In a chat room, someone sent a link to this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqAdxN1IWQQ . In the video they use the word Stackenblochen I have never heard the word, even though I ...
8
votes
1answer
858 views

“statt dass” is not good German?

I saw this sentence in a DaF grammar exercise book: Statt dass wir hier lange Erklärungen geben, sollten wir lieber mit den Übungen anfangen. I found the structure very interesting, so I googled ...
6
votes
2answers
896 views

Are “zu-” and “ein-” special prefixes widely used to form new verbs?

Are "zu-" and "ein-" special prefixes widely used to form new verbs in German language? Like the following two examples: schlafen (to sleep) einschlafen (to fall sleep) hören (to hear) ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

German flash cards with pictures and no English?

I am looking to increase my German vocabulary and am looking for a good series of flash cards that does not contain any English, but instead just has pictures and the German word. Does such a thing ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

How is the letter “t” pronounced in “amtlicher”

When I listen to the pronunciation of "amtlicher" on dict.cc, I hear the letter 't' pronounced more like 'g' or 'k'. At least I do not hear it as a clear 't'. Somebody please explain how 't' is ...
4
votes
2answers
272 views

Translation for “methinks”

How would one say "methinks" in German? An example being, "Methinks he has changed the locks!" or "She is unwell, methinks" Google translate suggests "michdünkt". Would "es scheint mir" be better?
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Ungeziefer and its meanings and connotations

Reading Kluge's Etymological Dictionary (published 1881, translated into English 1891) the word Ungeziefer has this description: Ungeziefer, noun, 'vermin', from the equivalent late Middle High ...
9
votes
2answers
574 views

Meaning of “mach, dass…”

What is the meaning of "Mach, dass..."? Is it a way to urge people to do something? is it always rude? For instance, taken from dict.cc, Mach, dass du aus meinem Haus kommst! (get the hell out of ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

What is “schlagen” slang for?

I had a German exchange student in my class and he always used "schlagen" in a weird way and it was hard to understand him. I know "schlagen" means "to fight" in English but what does it mean in ...
6
votes
1answer
262 views

“erstellen” or “erzeugen”?

Software X is producing printed reports, based on user input. How would I translate accurately 'produced with X' and 'produced by X', as both erstellen and erzeugen seem to be very near in their ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Questions on a “Take-off” Poem

Some years ago, I wrote a poem entitled "Berlin ist die Hauptstadt Deutschlands," to the tune of "Kalkutta Liegt am Ganges" using a technique called "parallel construction." (That is, I was probably ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Was bedeutet ,,weitvergessen"? [closed]

Ich habe den Satz Wie gerne er sie mit Kindern und Hunden spielen sah, weit- und selbstvergessen, dem Augenblick hingegeben" Was bedeutet weitvergessen in diesem Kontext? (oder vielleicht habe ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Relative pronouns: der/die/das vs dass

I think understand the use of der/die/das and dass however I don't when to use which. For example, what is the correct translation of 'the apple I'm eating is tasty:' Das Apfel, dass ich esse, ist ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Was versteht man im Deutschen unter einer “Familie”?

Der Duden erklärt "Familie" als "aus einem Elternpaar oder einem Elternteil und mindestens einem Kind bestehende [Lebens]gemeinschaft". Sind ein Mann und eine Frau ohne Kinder nicht auch eine ...
2
votes
1answer
333 views

What percentage of German masculine nouns are weak nouns?

Just what the question says. One could restrict the domain of nouns according to a certain frequency or top-X masculine nouns.
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to address more than one person in an E-mail?

I have to address my future German Au Pair family in an E-mail and until now have only been in contact with the woman. However the last E-mail was signed with both names, so I now feel I should ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Modal verbs: preterite or perfect?

I was told that while speaking people generally use perfect instead of preterite. Is it also common for modal verbs? Which is used in which cases? Ich konnte ... or Ich habe gekonnt ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Kann man einen “fachlich geprägten Kunden” einem “technisch argumentierenden Entwickler” entgegen setzen?

It is about Software Engineering, where it usually comes to problems in communication between the customers (domain-specific, functional, professional lexis) and developers (technical, generic lexis). ...

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