12
votes
4answers
582 views

Is it true that 'Putzfrau' is used for males as well?

A friend of mine, who's spent some time in Germany, told me today that in German, the noun Putzfrau is often used for male cleaners as well. This goes beyond all logic, since I found the word Putzmann ...
1
vote
0answers
399 views

When to use “lassen” [closed]

When would it be proper to use lassen? When is it most commonly used? How would you use lassen in the perfect tense and how would you use it in the past tense?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between 'Ich sollte' and 'Ich hätte … sollen'

When is it correct to use these two expressions: Ich sollte mit Ihnen gehen Ich hätte mit Ihnen gehen sollen I know the second sentence expresses 'I should have gone with you', but doesn't the ...
10
votes
6answers
469 views

Wort oder Redewendung für plötzliches, spontanes Vergessen

Auf ELU habe ich heute eine Frage gelesen, in der nach einem englischsprachigen Wort gefragt wird, das für die folgende Situation zutrifft: You are talking to an acquaintance when another ...
7
votes
2answers
321 views

Artikel nach Präposition bei Mehrzahl

Ich würde gerne erfahren, wie die Regel lautet, dass es: Hinter den Früchten steht eine Vase. heißt und nicht: Hinter der Früchten steht eine Vase. Zumindest würde ich persönlich sagen, ...
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)
6
votes
2answers
812 views

A German equivalent for “The devil's in detail”

I want a German equivalent for "The devil's in detail", Which literally means: "This plan sounds simple when you describe what needs to be done at a high level, but actually doing it will be very ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

“Am Flughafen” oder “Im Flughafen”?

Als ich mir kürzlichst eine Erkältung zugezogen habe, hatte ich auch direkt schon die Ursache gefunden: Die Klimaanlage im Flughafen ist schuld. Doch kaum hatte ich den Satz gesagt, stutze ich. ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

What is a semantically good translation for: continue reading or read more on blog (home) pages?

I am trying to build a blog home page with the usual list of article excerpts, where the excerpt contains a read more link to the complete article. In english a read more link might look like: ...
2
votes
1answer
278 views

Translating emotional sensitivity words

I'm trying to distinguish the differences between English words that express emotional or psychological sensitivity, in particular "pity", "compassion", "sympathy", "empathy", "pathetic", and ...
3
votes
4answers
815 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
431 views

German verbs vs English verbs

Why do all English verbs have to start with "to" and German verbs don't? In English we say "to play" but in German we would just say "spielen". why don't we say "zu spielen"? Why don't we do this in ...
11
votes
1answer
238 views

Wie erklären sich die verschiedenen Pluralformen für das Wort “Bank”?

Lt. Wikipedia handelt es sich bei dem Wort Bank im Sinne von einerseits Geldinstitut und andererseits Sitzgelegenheit etymologisch um ein Wort. Wie ist dann die unterschiedliche Pluralbildung zu ...
8
votes
1answer
221 views

What are differences between “ins” and “in”?

My German teacher explained this last year and I never really understood when to use "ins" and when to use "in", I know they are both two way prepositions but what's the difference?
6
votes
3answers
189 views

Is “Für jeden ein Gewinn” grammatically correct?

Saw this on a flyer from a retailer advertising a contest. "Für jeden ein Gewinn" Question Is that grammatically correct? Shouldn't it be "Für jeden einen Gewinn"? Analysis Let's take it ...
4
votes
4answers
888 views

Is there a colloquial/slang equivalent of “'them's fight'n words” in German?

I'm giving a keynote in Potsdam in two weeks on reputation systems, and I'm looking for a German colloquial/slang phrase for "Them's fight'n words!" I'm using it to represent the idea that people can ...
-3
votes
1answer
206 views

Wie heißen die Metrokacheln eigentlich im englischen Orginal? [closed]

Ich probiere gerade die Windows-8-Beta aus und hab schon herausgefunden, dass die Knöpfe, die das Startmenü ersetzen, jetzt Kacheln heißen. Leider hat sich Wikipedia noch nicht dieser neuen ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Liturgical or church German

In a church setting, Is there a liturgical form of German for a pastor or priest to use during the service? Is it more appropriate to use formal or poetic forms of speech for everyone, anyone, or no ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

“Von Des” vs. “Der”

Could someone please explain how to say "of", as in "the book of the man"? I suspect it is fairly simple but I don't understand the differnce between: der Buch des Mann and der von dem ...
3
votes
3answers
807 views

Psychisch oder Psychologisch?

In Sportlerinterviews, auf der Suche wieso es heute wieder nicht geklappt hat, wird oft von psychologischer Befindlichkeit gesprochen, wo es m.E. die psychische sein sollte. Wir konnten den ...
3
votes
1answer
738 views

Everyday German in conversation

I want to read some conversation in places like a shop, a restaurant, in a class between student and teacher, college and other occasions. It should be something like this English website: Everyday ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn?

Wo kommt der Fluch/Ausruf "Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn!" her? Gibt es Verbindungen zu "Verflixt und zugenäht!"? Wie kam es, dass "Zwirn" mancherorts durch "Wolkenbruch" ersetzt wurde? Oder lief die ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Difference in pronunciation of “Er” vs. “Ihr”

I'm currently learning German with Duolingo. In some of the lessons and daily practices, I have to listen to a recorded voice and type the German words that are spoken. I seem to continually get ...
13
votes
2answers
16k views

When to use “gern” vs. “gerne”

What is the difference between "gern" and "gerne"? When should each be used? An example I used in a previous question was: Ich esse gern Pizza is that better or worse than: Ich esse gerne ...
3
votes
3answers
205 views

Which of these is more common to say? - zweideutig, mehrdeutig, vieldeutig

Well, the title has the question, but I also wanted to ask if "deutig" alone means something. One would think that it comes from Deutung (interpretation?) and since it looks like an adjective, it ...
6
votes
3answers
663 views

Shame vs. Embarrassment

I have been able to identify two aspects where the English language distinguishes between shame and embarrassment: Shame relates to having done something wrong, while embarrassment is a result of ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the proper position of “gern”?

For example, which of these is correct: Ich esse gern Pizza or Ich esse Pizza gern
3
votes
2answers
148 views

Is there a different usage of “Erpel” vs. “Enterich”?

When referring to a male duck I was told that I should always use the appropriate term "Erpel" when talking about the bird as depicted here: Wikimedia Usage of the alternative term "Enterich" should ...
6
votes
4answers
145 views

Does form of address change when other listeners or readers are present?

I was part of an email exchange that included a group of professionals—some of whom know each other quite well and use "Du" with one another, and some of whom do not. One of the respondents on the ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Suggestions on preparing for the Zertifikat Deutsch (internationally accepted certificate in German) exam

I will be taking the Zertifikat Deutsch exam soon, and was looking for tips and ideas on the preparation required. This exam is legally recognized, for instance for citizenship applications, and has ...
14
votes
4answers
460 views

Übersetzung für “Fusselst Du?”

Ich habe heute im Internet Folgendes gesehen: und dachte: ehh? Im Wörterbuch konnte ich 'fusseln' nicht finden. Kann mir jemand mit einer Übersetzung helfen?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Sentence structure tips: verb placement

I'm having some trouble getting used to placing the second verb in a phrase at the end. Sie kann sehr gut deutsch sprechen Taking the above sentence as an example, I find it hard to read ...
6
votes
2answers
480 views

What is the origin of “beziehungsweise”?

I can't understand "beziehungsweise" in the context of its two parts, "beziehen" and "weise". What is the logic behind its meaning?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Recommended reading strategies for intermediate speakers to build up their German

I learnt English mostly by reading all sorts of books once I'd a very rudimentary grasp of the basics. This was not intentional, but reading a lot is what in retrospect was the most helpful for me to ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

How do I use numerals ending with “-lei”

In German there are special numerals ("Gattungszahlwort") used to count how many kinds exist: keinerlei "Das macht doch keinerlei Umstände" einerlei "Es ist völlig einerlei, wie wir das ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Usage of “aber”

Why is "aber" used in this context? Darf ich dich zu einem Kaffee einladen? – Aber ja, sehr gern.
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Welcher Fall wird nach “wie [z.B.]” verwendet?

Verlangt "wie" (im Sinne von "wie zum Beispiel") einen speziellen Fall oder wird der gleiche Fall wie beim vorangegangenen Objekt verwendet? Was ist z.B. korrekt: "Bedingt durch Faktoren wie ...
7
votes
4answers
398 views

What's this structure called?

I don't understand the structure used in this exercise: What's it called?
4
votes
2answers
381 views

Accusative vs. nominative case ambiguity?

First, let me say that I'm new to German. I see that the article of a feminine noun isn't inflected when the case is changed from nominative to accusative, i.e. in both cases the definite article is ...
5
votes
2answers
96 views

“Dank' ” oder “Dank”?

Ist der Gebrauch des Wortes Dank eine Verkürzung des Wortes Danke, der sich nur mit der Zeit dahingehend gewandelt hat, dass der Gebrauch nicht äquivalent ist? D.h. muss in einem solchen Fall: ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the differences between “vorher”, “davor” and “zuvor”?

I understand that they are all adverbs (as opposed to "vor" and "bevor"), but can they be used interchangeably?
8
votes
3answers
430 views

Sie/du reciprocity?

If person A is addressing person B as 'Sie', is it always appropriate for person B to also address person 'A' as 'Sie'? For example, a student would address a professor as 'Sie'. Would the professor ...
4
votes
3answers
358 views

“Ellbogen” vs. “Ellenbogen” - is there a difference in usage?

Both, "Ellbogen"", and "Ellenbogen" are German synonyms for elbow. All dictionaries I consulted, including English-German dictionaries, don't say that one or the other is correct but they sometimes ...
3
votes
2answers
713 views

Asking “Which [something]”

If someone is talking about something, saying: I don't like the [list] I'd like to ask "which list" in German. It's "die Liste", so I should ask: Welch-e [Liste]? Am I right? In general, ...
4
votes
4answers
447 views

Was ist eine “Lätsch” auf Hochdeutsch?

Im schwäbischen Dialekt gibt es für den im folgenden Bild gezeigten Gesichtsausdruck den Ausdruck "Lätsch" (hergeleitet von italienisch laccio, Schlinge). Typischerweise werden die Mundwinkel ...
5
votes
2answers
629 views

Differences between “muss gut gewesen sein” vs. “musste gut sein”

What is the difference between "muss gut gewesen sein" and "musste gut sein"? For example, I was told Das Konzert muss wirklich gut gewesen sein. I have three questions: What is this tense of ...
3
votes
1answer
339 views

Wissenswertes über “Fleppen”?

Fleppen (Plural) ist ein umgangssprachliches(?) Synonym für Führerschein. Ohne "Fleppen" erwischt - Nordkurier, 23.03.10 Mit Alkohol, ohne Fleppen und Helm - Märkische Allgemeine, 17.12.08 Der ...
4
votes
4answers
375 views

Abbreviations of Entschuldigung?

On a previous visit to Germany, I'm sure I've heard (although I may well be very wrong) native Germans using an abbreviation of Entschuldigung. The abbreviation I think I heard was Schuldi or ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

Did “Hexe” originate from Greek “ἑξα, hexa”?

Usuallly German words containing the letter "X" are loanwords from Greek words containing the letter Χῖ. In other European languages a "Hexe" is named very differently: witch (English), sorcière ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

stilllegen, but lahm legen?

In Bastian Sick, "Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod", I read that it is "stilllegen", but "lahm legen". He didn´t understand it himself and did not give an explanation, why the first word is written ...

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