4
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the differences between “jein” and “naja”?

After reading this related post, I started wondering: what are the differences between jein and naja? I am especially interested in any context(s) where only one of them would be correct or ...
4
votes
3answers
501 views

Why is the -ow in place names pronounced the way it is?

Travelling in the northeast of Germany, I have noticed that there are a lot of place names ending in -ow, but it is not pronounced phonetically, but rather like the English word "oh", for example in ...
5
votes
3answers
392 views

As someone learning German, what should I put on my flash cards for each part of speech?

What should I put on my German flash cards in order to know everything I'll need to know about that word? For example, I know for nouns I need to make sure to learn the gender and plural forms, since ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
401 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Warum sagt man “letzte Woche” aber “in der letzten Woche”? [duplicate]

Warum gibt es einen Unterschied im Wort "letzte"?
5
votes
2answers
215 views

Anything better than “weltweit” for “All over the world”?

I would like to say something like, "You have really lived all over the world!" ...like in response to someone saying they've been to many different countries. I did a Google search for this and ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How to say “I come from Beijing, China” in German?

I am learning German now, I just learned how to say "where do you come from?" in German. I can say "I come from Beijing, China" in English, and I may say "Ich komme aus Beijing. Ich komme aus China." ...
6
votes
2answers
304 views

Welchen Fall benutzt man mit Phrasen wie “last year”?

Zum Beispiel im englischen Satz "Last year I visited Germany.", welchen Fall benutzt man? Letztes Jahr habe ich Deutschland besucht. Letztem Jahr habe ich Deutschland besucht. Ich glaube ...
2
votes
2answers
393 views

Artikel vs Artikelwort

Most grammars of German only call the definite and indefinite articles by the term "Artikel". This appears as utter nonsense to me, and I wonder whether someone can explain to me the reason for this ...
3
votes
4answers
943 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
72 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
192 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
230 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
917 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
116 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
218 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
309 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
215 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
137 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
356 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
248 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
436 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
3k 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
445 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
353 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
413 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
216 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
329 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
332 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
341 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
296 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
457 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
833 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
485 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
242 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
211 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
1k 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
725 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
188 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
3k 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
417 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
1k 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
152 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
759 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
604 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
3k 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 ...

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