3
votes
3answers
263 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
880 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
6k 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
216 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
152 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
7k 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
508 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
2k 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
625 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
2k 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
248 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
254 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
3k 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
577 views

What's this structure called?

I don't understand the structure used in this exercise: What's it called?
5
votes
2answers
440 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
127 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
4k 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
505 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
521 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
1k 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
693 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
926 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
461 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
476 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
360 views

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

Usually 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
94 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

Why do deprecative descriptions of a person sound funny today?

There are many expressions describing a person in a deprecative or insulting way because of his bad properties or behaviour, which today would more or less trigger a laugh if someone called you that ...
4
votes
2answers
352 views

Does “frech wie Oskar sein” have a negative connotation to it?

Does the following sentence have negative connotation? If it does, is there an equivalent without the negative connotation? „Du bist ja frech wie Oskar!“ As I searched, none of the following ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the crew address the captain in “Das Boot”?

In the movie Das Boot, the crew address the captain with a word I don't understand. I think it may be "Kaleun", which I assume is short for "Kapitan Leutnant". Am I right? Is that a real word?
5
votes
3answers
944 views

When is “gehen” properly used?

When is the word "gehen" properly used? Is it only used to indicate walking? For example, are any of these correct: ich gehe nach Moskau (if I live in, say, South America) ich gehe mit dem ...
4
votes
2answers
319 views

When to use the future tense?

One of the things I've been struggling with as a relative newcomer to German is when to use the future tense. It appears that, as in Russian, there isn't a lot of circumstances in which one would use ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

“Nicht unerheblich” vs. “erheblich” - is there a difference?

We can see that both, "erheblich", and "nicht unerheblich" are used in the meaning of e.g. "considerable, extensive, remarkable". Branchengerüchten zufolge können die Besucherzahlen dank des ...
1
vote
2answers
271 views

Is the plural form of “Oscar” “Oscars” or “Oscare”?

I was wondering how to decline an English loanword like "Oscar". I know that there are no fixed rules. Sometimes the native declination is adopted, sometimes words are declined according to ...
7
votes
1answer
211 views

Origin and Usage of “i wo”?

A colloquial way of answering negatively/dismissing an offered statement can be the use of the word(s) "i wo / iwo". The meaning of "i wo", according to Wiktionary, is this: (umgangssprachlich) ...
14
votes
3answers
16k views

Singular/Plural bei Aufzählungen

Man betrachte folgende zwei Sätze: Demnach muss nun das Ziel und der Zweck der Regelung ermittelt werden. oder Demnach müssen nun das Ziel und der Zweck der Regelung ermittelt werden. ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

How do I build subordinative clauses relating to genderless nouns?

In German there are few nouns that have no article and thus seemingly no gender: Examples Google Nahost Nord Allerheiligen In the example "Nord" we could overcome this by using "der ...
8
votes
3answers
970 views

Bedeutungswandel des Wortes “gemein”

Angeregt durch die Frage nach dem Präfix "hund(s)-" und der akzeptierten Antwort, stellte sich mir die Frage, wann das Wort "gemein" einen Bedeutungswandelt von "gewöhnlich, alltäglich" hin zu ...
3
votes
1answer
530 views

Books helping with most common mistakes of German learners?

Is there anything one could recommend to get rid of the most common mistakes the non-native German speakers make? I love the "Is That What You Mean?" series by Pinguin which features very nice ...
8
votes
2answers
295 views

Wird das Wort “Strippe” noch benutzt?

Mir ist vor Kurzem aufgefallen, dass ich das Wort "Strippe" nur noch im Sinne vom Telefon ("an der Strippe hängen", "Quasselstrippe") gehört habe, und nie in seinem ürsprünglichen Sinne. Da man heute ...
2
votes
3answers
706 views

Words Frequency List

I've searched the forum and found this question, but the list there is not very good for general purposes, I think. It's based on newspapers as far as I could tell and is thus irrevocably slanted ...
5
votes
3answers
309 views

Can I use “doch” as negation to “es ist meine Schuld”?

I'm trying to understand a particular use of the word doch If somebody says es ist meine Schuld, meaning "it's my fault", may I use doch in response to convey, essentially, "no, on the contrary, ...
4
votes
4answers
381 views

When do we use “Hose” like a plurale tantum?

Unlike "trousers" in English we use "Hose" in both, singular and plural forms. This also includes situations where we use it like a plurale tantum (even though it is none in German). Sometimes we can ...
12
votes
3answers
284 views

Ist “Quereinsteiger” eine abwertende Bezeichnung?

I war heute bei einem IT-Vortrag, wo der Referent unter anderem meinte, dass man im Marketing-Bereich das Wort "Quereinsteiger" meidet, da es eine abwertende Konnotation habe. Ich persönlich finde ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

“Keine Arme, keine Schokolade!”

Im bekannten französischen Film "Ziemlich beste Freunde" gibt es eine Episode, wo Driss (der Pfleger) seinem querschnittsgelähmten Patienten folgenden Satz sagt: "Keine Arme, keine Schokolade!" ...
5
votes
2answers
447 views

How do you say “Three strikes, you're out!” in German?

I've looked this up on LEO.de and Google, and haven't found a suitable answer. How do you express the concept of Three strikes, you're out! in German? Has it just been "absorbed" into the ...
16
votes
4answers
461 views

What's so bad about dogs?

In colloquial German we often use the prefix "hunds-" or "hunde-" to aggravate a negative attribute from various adjectives, e.g. hundsgemein hundeelend hundemüde This painting by ...
16
votes
2answers
8k views

What's the difference between “können” and “könnten”?

I'd like to know when it's appropriate to use "können" and when "könnten", are they completely interchangeable? Is it like the difference between "can" and "could" in English? Können Sie mir bitte ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Origin of the “dem Mann sein Hut” construct [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: In welchen Regionen ist die dem-sein Form gebräuchlich? Does anyone know the origin of the street slang construct in the form of "dem Mann sein Hut" in place of the ...
9
votes
1answer
476 views

What time is it?

When learning German in college, I was taught "Was Uhr ist das?" or possibly "Wieviel Uhr ist es" (not sure which). However most online translators such as Google show "Wie spät ist es?". What is ...
2
votes
2answers
605 views

Reference request: irregular adjectives

Where can I find a decent list of irregular adjectives, i.e. gut - besser - am besten?

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