8
votes
2answers
160 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
267 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

Pronouncing “chs” as /ks/

"ch" is pronounced as /x/ or /ç/ depending on the vowel in front of it, and "s" is pronounced /z/ before a vowel, how come then that the sequence "chs" in the words wachsen and Wechsel is pronounced ...
2
votes
1answer
315 views

How to translate Perfekt into English

I came across these sentences with their translations: Du bist aus Berlin gekommen. - You have come from Berlin. Wo seid ihr so lange gewesen? - Where were you so long? From what I have ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between “Dom”, “Kathedrale” and “Münster”

"Dom", "Kathedrale" and "Münster" all translate as "cathedral" in English. When I searched online, all explanations were in German and I could not quite understand them. Is there any difference in ...
4
votes
4answers
259 views

Adjective endings in accusative case and in comparison (neu/new)

This page suggests that neu/neuer is new/newer. This page suggests that "ein neuer Wagen" (a new car) is an identification of gender. Is it true that neuer can stand for both - and thus the only way ...
1
vote
1answer
525 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
155 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
156 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?
0
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
422 views

Is there a common origin for “to count on s.o.” / “auf jmd. zählen”

My girlfriend told me that the phrase "You can count on me" exists also in French, with the same meaning and as a literal translation to count on s.o. => to rely on s.o. In German, it is also ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the meaning of “schon”?

Today in the class I heard German guy saying: "Ist der Platz schon frei?". Which supposedly means "Is this place already available/free?" and that makes no sense to me. What's the meaning of "schon" ...
3
votes
1answer
485 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
397 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
259 views

The suffix -sal, usage and examples

Here is an excerpt form the Book "German: An Essential Grammar": I was surprised to see the suffix -sal, of which I had never encountered. What is the usage of this of this suffix?
1
vote
1answer
323 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
350 views

Sprache für automatische Übersetzung ins Deutsche

Ich vergleiche gern die unterschiedlichen Sprachen eines Lemmas in der Wikipedia. Diese sind längst nicht immer gleich gut gepflegt. Manchmal finden sich in einzelnen anderen Sprachen interessante ...
2
votes
1answer
300 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" ...
6
votes
2answers
192 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?
9
votes
3answers
630 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between “jedenfalls” and “auf jeden Fall”?

They mean the same thing, I think, but are used differently? When can I use one, and when can I use the other?
13
votes
3answers
192 views

Welche Bedeutung hat das Wort “an”, wenn es eine Speise beschreibt?

Vor allem in der Haute Cuisine werden Speisen derweil mit dem Wort "an" bezeichnet. Wie mir scheint, besonders häufig in Verbindung mit Saucen. Beispielsweise könnte man die klassische Kombination von ...
4
votes
3answers
266 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
218 views

Welche Bedeutung hat “drangeben”?

In einem Roman las ich folgenden Satz: Sie hatte versucht, sich mit ihm zu unterhalten, hatte das aber bald drangegeben. Ist das ein regionaler Ausdruck für aufgeben, bzw. klein beigeben oder ...
3
votes
2answers
149 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
230 views

“Der gute Mann” vs. “Ein guter Mann”

Wie nennt man die Konstruktion im Deutschen, wenn das Adjektiv eine andere Endung hat, wenn der Artikel definitiv bzw. nicht definitiv ist? Warum betrachtet man das nicht als anderen Kasus? "der ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
477 views

Translation of the idiom “no harm, no foul” in German

Do similar figure of speech exist in German or should one translate it literally?
4
votes
4answers
230 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
268 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) ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
203 views

Tieferes Verständnis von “jeder” und “alle”

Das Wort "alle" wird verwendet für Pluraliatantum und Singulariatantum: Alles Salz, alle Liebe, aller Pfeffer, alle Leute Es wird ebenfalls verwendet für zählbare Substantive im Plural. Für ...
8
votes
1answer
349 views

Warum die Buchstabenkombinationen “sch” und “ch”

Woher kommen die Buchstabenkombinationen "sch" und "ch"? Die Herkunft der Buchstabenkombination "ch" für den stimmlosen velaren Frikativ oder den stimmlosen palatalen Frikativ ist noch ...
7
votes
2answers
345 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
139 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
2answers
409 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
449 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
536 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Woher kommt das Wort “abnippeln”?

Gibt es dazu eine gesicherte Etymologie oder gute oder lustige Theorien?
6
votes
2answers
394 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) ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
351 views

Pronunciation of “lernst”

It's easy to pronounce the letter 'r' in "lernen". But when it comes to pronouncing "lernst", it becomes really hard to keep pronouncing 'r' next to "nst". Listening to some native speaker ...
2
votes
1answer
358 views

German words database

I'm searching any good database about german words (substantives currently, but a more comprehensible database will go down well also), with, almost, the following information: Word name: in ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

“Stem-Changing Verbs” vs “Strong Verbs”

I want to know what is the relation between the two terms "Stem-Changing Verbs" and "Strong Verbs". Form what I understand there is a group of verbs that I called "Stem-Changing Verbs" which change ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

Den Unblöden gehört die Welt! - What does Unblöden mean?

Media Markt has a campaign where they state that the world belongs to the "Unblöden", but I don't understand what "Unblöden" means and Google translate won't translate it. So what does "Unblöden" ...
6
votes
1answer
430 views

Wer kann “verklagen”

Mir hatte mal jemand erklärt, dass folgende Formulierung sprachlich/fachlich falsch sei: Mickey verklagt Dagobert zu drei Jahren Haft. Begründung war, dass nur der Richter verklagen könne. Es ...
2
votes
2answers
172 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Eine gute Eselsbrücke für die Wochentage

Man hat mich nach einer guten Eselsbrücke um Wochentage zu merken gefragt. Da ich selbst keine kenne, dachte ich, ich frage Euch. P.S. Bis jetzt habe ich die zwei hier gefunden, aber eine verstehe ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...

15 30 50 per page