3
votes
4answers
796 views

How to say “to check the mail”?

I did a Google search for this and all of the hits related to checking one's e-mail. Can anyone tell me how to say "to check the mail" correctly in German? I think I've seen prüfen used for "to ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Usage of “vereinzelt” / Bedeutung von “vereinzelt”

In diesem Video (10:05) spricht der Altkanzler Helmut Schmidt. Wenn ich richtig verstanden habe: Wenn man sich die Gemeinschaft der Europäer [ EU-Länder ] vorstellt, als eine die in der Eurozone ...
5
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
217 views

Relative pronouns for time (span)

Hätten Sie am Dienstag zwischen 10-11 etwas Zeit, 'wann'/'wo'/'in der' ich anrufen könnte? Which relative pronoun do I have to use in the question above?
7
votes
2answers
827 views

The pronoun “derer”

Wiktionary says it's the genitive, plural of "der" (which I thought was "deren"). I'm not only unsure how to use "derer" but also, what does it mean. Duden doesn't say too much either. Can somebody ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

“Strahlen” vs “Strahler”

I was searching for company names, and reached to a German word 'Strahlen' through Google. As per Google it meant 'rays'. I need a suggestion that, what is the exact meaning of 'Strahlen' and ...
6
votes
1answer
185 views

When speaking about oneself, should Konjunktiv I or Indikativ be used?

I was reading about the use of Konjunktiv I, and read that it is really only used by reporters. However, this got me thinking, if I were a reporter, and I were talking about something I said, would ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

What's the meaning of 'erl'?

"Erlkönig" (also called "Der Erlkönig") is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. By wiki I know that the word könig means 'king', but what's the meaning of erl? Is it devil, elf, or genie?
6
votes
1answer
187 views

Position der Konjuktion “aber”

Könnten Sie mir mit einem Beispiel helfen? Das ist die Aufgabe: Wo kann "aber" im Satz stehen? Tom liebt Torte, (a) er (b) muss (c) auf seine Gewicht achten. Ich denke, dass "aber" nur an den ...
10
votes
1answer
126 views

Apostrophe with or without space? (»mit’m« vs. »mit ’m«)

In § 97 of the Amtliches Regelwerk (2006) (PDF) it says: Man kann den Apostroph setzen, wenn Wörter gesprochener Sprache mit Auslassungen bei schriftlicher Wiedergabe undurchsichtig sind. As ...
1
vote
2answers
330 views

How do you say “over the hump” in German?

Google translate gives "über den Berg", which seems wrong. It translated "hump" as "mountain," but "hump" is a small obstacle, not a large one. The context was a comment I left on a post, If you ...
8
votes
2answers
217 views

Welche Präpositionen folgen auf “Portierung” (Softwareportierung)?

Ich bin gerade über einen Titel gestolpert: "Portierung eines Verfahrens von Matlab zu C++ in Qt". Mein Sprachgefühl würde in dieser Situation lieber "Portierung von ... nach ..." verwenden. Ich habe ...
3
votes
1answer
394 views

Most common Präteritum / Imperfekt forms in written German?

I have a German examination in two weeks, which includes two comprehensions of about CEFR-B1 level. (An example of this exam from 2012 can be found here.) I have worked up to over 2000 of the most ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Dictionary abbreviation meanings: “jdm”, “jdn”, “etw”,

While I'm studying German vocabulary from a dictionary, I constantly see that the definitions of verbs have abbreviations next to them, such as "jdm: jemandem" and "jdn: jemanden" and "etw: etwas". I ...
5
votes
2answers
375 views

The use of an infinitive with the pronoun “es”

I have seen a few examples where one uses an infinitive with the pronoun "es." Namely, in the movie Downfall (Der Untergang), Hitler says: Es bleiben im Raum: Keitel, Jodl, Krebs und Burgdorf. ...
6
votes
3answers
253 views

How to say 'of which'

In a recent essay about school I wrote: Ich hatte Fächer, die mir ganz gut gefallen: Deutsch, Mathe und Chemie, deren mein Lieblingsfach Deutsch ist. It was all marked as correct other than the ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Is “selbstbewusst” a negative word?

Sometimes I see translations of selbstbewusst as confident, arrogant or selfish. I would like to know if this word has a negative or positive denotation. If I call someone of selbstbewusst, is it a ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning and construction of “Ich bedanke mich”

I started studying German few months ago. I started reading "Der Nussknacker (Niveau Eins)". I found this Ich bedanke mich but I can not really understand what does it mean and its ...
2
votes
3answers
370 views

“I was working” in German

How can I say "I was working." in German? I was thinking: Ich war arbeiten. But I feel that is totally wrong.
7
votes
2answers
190 views

Aufzählung: Numerus und Kasus

Es geht um folgenden Satz: Was ich habe, ist Mut, Entschlossenheit und der Drang, nicht auf die Nase zu fallen. Die "ist"-oder-"sind"-Frage. Ich habe mich des folgenden Threads bedient: ...
1
vote
2answers
305 views

On-line German tutors [closed]

I don't know if here is the best place to ask that, I need a German tutor to help me to communicate in German via chat and sometimes voice. Do you know any sites (free or not) which can provide me ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
289 views

Reduplikation in der deutschen Sprache

Gemäss Wikipedia gibt es im deutschen beinahe keine Reduplikationen. Bei uns in der Schweiz sind diese aber in der gesprochenen Sprache sehr weit verbreitet. Beispiele dafür gibt es auch in ...
8
votes
1answer
273 views

Word composition in German

When we have a German word composed of two or more terms, is there always an 's' between the two words? Someone who lived in Germany for a long time told me that there is always an 's', but as far as ...
3
votes
2answers
255 views

What is the children's song “Zehn kleine Zappelfinger” about?

Can anyone explain what the children's song "Zehn kleine Zappelfinger" is about? Zehn kleine Zappelfinger zappeln hin und her. Zehn kleine Zappelfinger finden´s gar nicht schwer. Zehn ...
2
votes
2answers
406 views

Wie sagt man “Do you know if something?” auf Deutsch?

Wie kann man sagen z.B. "Do you know if there's a bar in Munich?" auf Deutsch? Oder "Do you know if we have a midterm exam tomorrow?"
1
vote
2answers
572 views

Distinction between “sei” and “war”

I've seen "sei" a fair bit lately and it seems to indicate something that has happened in the past. Example: Die Ärztin hatte meiner Mutter gesagt, dass meine Leber kurz vor der Zirrhose sei. ...
8
votes
2answers
397 views

“Etwa” vs “ungefähr”. Gibt es einen Unterschied?

Ich weiß nicht, ob es einen Unterschied zwischen etwa und ungefähr gibt und wann man welches Wort benutzt.
7
votes
1answer
207 views

When to use possessive pronouns vs. dative pronoun + definite article

German uses a reflexive dative pronoun and a regular definite article in many places where English would use a possessive pronoun. For example: I broke my leg. Ich habe mir das Bein gebrochen. ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Konjuktiv II Beispiel: “beginnen” oder “begonnen”?

Ich habe an einer Aufgabe gearbeitet und ich habe ein kleines Problem. Ich verstehe die Aufgabe nicht. Das ist mein Problem. Ich soll im folgenden Satz Konjuktiv II ausfüllen. Wenn ich noch ...
14
votes
2answers
943 views

Difference between “Es sind” and “Es gibt” for asserting existence of something

In English we say There are... and I know that I've seen es gibt used in German. I've also seen es sind. Are these phrases identical? There are many flowers in the garden = Es gibt viele Blumen ...
6
votes
3answers
534 views

Why is the verb not in second position

I studied that the verb is always in second position in a sentence. The I came across this sentence: Insbesondere das zweite Buch ist wichtig. I could not find an answer here, why is the verb in ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

What is the polite way to ask if I should talk in 'Sie' or 'du' terms with the Person

It frequently happens that I am unsure whether to talk to a person in Sie or du terms. Most of the time, I wait till the person himself gives some hint. Or I talk in Sie. But what is the polite way to ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

“Lieber, sehr geehrter Herr X”: wie antworten?

Folgende Situation: Sie kontaktieren Firma A in einer geschäftlichen Angelegenheit. Der Telefonanruf wird an Frau B duchgestellt, gemeinsam mit ihrem Ehemann geschäftsführende Gesellschafterin des ...
4
votes
2answers
308 views

Is writing “Herr Prof. X” exaggerated/mandatory? Is it old-fashioned?

How necessary or exaggerated is the following Anrede? "Sehr geehrter Herr Prof. X" bzw. "Sehr geehrte Frau Dr. Z" I mean, should I write Herr Prof. X, or is Prof. X enough? Also, is it ...
6
votes
3answers
988 views

Etwas anschauen vs. ansehen = to look at?

Can anschauen and ansehen both be used to say that you are looking at something? For example, "Ich schaue das Foto an" vs. "Ich sehe mir das Foto an"? I think I have seen these verbs used ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

How do you translate this: Ich messe meiner Zeit Wert zu

I have difficulties to understand this phrase: Ich messe meiner Zeit Wert zu How would you translate it?
4
votes
1answer
685 views

Is there a practical difference between “e” and “ä”?

The e and ä are considered as different phonemes. In practice, do people make and notice the difference? Which problems, if any, would not bothering to make such difference lead to?
6
votes
2answers
544 views

Does German phonetics fully determine the spelling?

It is clear that there are different, equally valid ways to read a word in German (e.g. alveolar or uvular r, etc.) How true is the converse statement: phonetics fully determine the spelling? I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Dativ von „jemand anderes“ – „jemandem anderen“ oder „jemand anderem“?

Wie wird am geläufigsten der Dativ und der Akkusativ von „jemand anderes“ gebildet? Gibt es ein Prinzip, nach welchem hier die Objektfälle gebildet werden, und wie lässt sich diese Frage ...
2
votes
2answers
794 views

Good short stories for learning German? [closed]

I'm trying to learn german and I think I would really benefit from reading short stories in german. Possibly with a translation. So do you know any good sites that can offer me that?
5
votes
2answers
339 views

“Fehlen” weak, “empfehlen” strong. But “finden” and “empfinden” both strong. Cases when [some_verb] conjugates differently from [prefix+some_verb]?

Compare this pair: finden - strong conjugation empfinden - strong conjugation [exactly the same] With this pair: fehlen - weak conjugation empfehlen - strong conjugation ...
14
votes
3answers
395 views

Is there a 'da-' construct with 'ohne'? if not, are there any more prepositions that can't form 'da-' constructs

I'm talking about "damit, daraus, darauf, darin, da-..." I've never heard "darohne" or anything like that, and according to the dictionary, nothing like that exists. Can anyone explain a bit and ...
11
votes
1answer
187 views

Grammaticality of “original italienisches Eis”

Something you will often find is a phrase like the one given in the title: original italienisches Eis. What kind of word is original here though? An adverb? Shouldn't this phrase either read ...
1
vote
2answers
349 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Can “liegen” be used for people?

Can "liegen" be used for people. For instance I am here. - Ich liege hier. or it is wrong? Is Ich bin hier better?
8
votes
3answers
362 views

What is the etymology of “eh” in “Ich habe eh nichts zu machen”?

My question is straightforward: What is the etymology of eh? Could eh in Ich habe eh nichts zu machen be an abbreviation for eher? (I spelled eh with an h because the e seems to be pronounced ...
7
votes
4answers
669 views

When does one write numbers with words, when with figures (e.g. “drei” statt “3”)?

Assuming it is not completely irrelevant, when does one write the numbers with words? Sie isst drei Äpfel or Sie isst 3 Äpfel. Assuming that there is a rule, is it just an aesthetics ...
5
votes
3answers
175 views

“Film” verhält sich zu “Verfilmung” wie “Computerspiel” zu..?

Wenn ein Film produziert wird, der auf einer Literaturvorlage, Comic, Computerspiel etc. basiert, dann nennt man das "Verfilmung". Wie nennt man analog das Produzieren eines Computerspiels, das z.B. ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

“Visual saliency” auf Deutsch

Ich lese zur Zeit ein Paper, in dem der Ausdruck "visual saliency" immer wieder vorkommt, z.B. im folgenden Kontext: In a user study, the authors evaluated in which way and how much the visual ...

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