29
votes
4answers
20k views

When to use Perfekt and Präteritum?

What's the guideline as to when to use Perfekt and Präteritum? I was always taught that the simplest rule is Präteritum (mostly) for written forms, and Perfekt is most common in spoken language. But ...
13
votes
5answers
965 views

Unterschied zwischen schriftlichen Abschiedsformeln

Wie formal ist „Mit freundlichen Grüßen“ in Vergleich zu einem einfachen „Gruß“? Gibt es andere Abschiedsformeln, die mehr oder weniger formal sind als diese beiden? ...
24
votes
4answers
497 views

Why do we have two equally used terms for “toe”?

There are two translations for toe that both are equally used. Both are pronounced almost the same but they have a different gender: der Zeh, m die Zehe, f What is the origin of this ...
8
votes
5answers
341 views

How would one say 'I solved the Dirac equation.', and 'You solved the Dirac equation?'?

Given a statement and a question of nigh identical substance, I'm curious how each might be translated, specifically wondering: would they differ based on whether it is me or you concerned? For ...
17
votes
12answers
143k views

What are informal ways to say “good bye”?

In German you may say Auf Wiedersehen or Guten Tag when leaving. Both seem rather formal and may be inappropriate in a non-formal context. What would be the alternatives? In what context can we use ...
37
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it still good form to use a capital D for Du or Dir in a letter?

I was taught (several decades ago) to write a capital D for all pronouns such as Du, Dir, Deine, when writing to my German penpals. I am afraid it would look antiquated or very formal these days. Is ...
18
votes
6answers
22k views

Was ist die korrekte Anrede in E-Mails an Personen, die man nicht persönlich kennt?

Was ist die korrekte Anrede in E-Mails an Personen, die man nicht persönlich kennt? Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren oder Sehr geehrte Frau / Herr ... Beides klingt sehr formell, Hallo ...
6
votes
2answers
187 views

Is there a German word to describe sentence parts which are delimited by commas?

Is there a general word to describe a sentence part, such as a relative clause, but also an infinitive clause? Gibt es ein allgemeines Wort, um Satzteile – zum Beispiel einen Relativsatz, aber auch ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Where to find IPA transcriptions of Hochdeutsch online?

Where can I find a comprehensive online resource for IPA transcriptions of the "official" pronunciation of German words?
36
votes
14answers
8k views

Polite alternatives to “Grüß Gott”?

I'm looking for polite alternatives to the omnipresent Grüß Gott in Austria/Bavaria. I dislike using a religious phrase to salute others (potentially non religious persons). I'm also not very ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Neuter gender for nouns referring to children

In German we say der Mann/die Frau, but then we say das Kind/das Mädchen, so I got two questions: Are there particular historic and/or etymological reasons for this? "Das Mädchen" refers to a ...
36
votes
4answers
758 views

What is the origin of the rules about the capitalization of the first letter of each noun?

To my knowledge, German is the only language which capitalize the first letter of each of its nouns. Why is there such a rule? Meines Wissens ist Deutsch die einzige Sprache, in der der erste ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Kommasetzung in einem komplizierten Relativsatz

Wie hat die Kommasetzung für den folgenden Satz richtig auszusehen? Der Projektordner bietet die Möglichkeit, darin Dateien, die Variablen enthalten, abzulegen, um deren Inhalte auch nach dem ...
18
votes
5answers
419 views

Schibboleths für verschiedene norddeutsche Regionen?

Schibboleths sind Wörter, anhand deren Aussprache man die Herkunft des Sprechers zuordnen kann. Ganz allgemeines Beispiel für Muttersprachler vs. Ausländer: "Streichholzschächtelchen". Für den ...
8
votes
2answers
464 views

Gibt es eine deutsche Phrase, die dasselbe bedeutet wie “It is an ill wind that blows no good”?

Gibt es eine deutsche Phrase, die dasselbe bedeutet wie "It is an ill wind that blows no good"? Is there a German phrase that has the same meaning as "It is an ill wind that blows no good"? This ...
14
votes
3answers
535 views

Wie kann man wissen, ob ein Verb trennbar ist?

Gibt es eine bewährte Regel um zu entscheiden, ob ein Verb trenn- bar ist?
11
votes
2answers
946 views

Was bedeutet “Abb.”?

In einem deutschen Eiscafé in München, steht es auf der Speisekarte, nach einigen Speisen: (ohne Abb.) Abb. ist wahrscheinlich eine Abkürzung. Was bedeutet es? Ich habe den Kellner gefragt, aber ...
14
votes
5answers
10k views

What can “passt schon” mean?

I've heard the phrase "passt schon" used to mean: Never mind: „Ich denke... nee, passt schon.“ No problem: „Entschuldigung!“ „Passt schon.“ OK: „Wie geht's?“ „Passt schon.“ What can it mean in ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

Is “Heizölrückstoßabdämpfung” a real word?

I saw "Heizölrückstoßabdämpfung" as an example of a word that is almost a pangramm without repetitition, but is it a real German word?
22
votes
9answers
9k views

Welche Eselsbrücken gibt es, um “dass” und “das” auseinander zu halten?

Die Wörter "das" und "dass" klingen gleich, haben aber völlig unterschiedliche Bedeutungen. Welche Tricks/Eselsbrücken gibt es, um im Schreibfluss rauszufinden, ob man "das" oder "dass" verwenden ...
34
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a good translation for “I wish!” ?

Often times, a situation comes up and I want to use the expression "I wish!" For instance, somebody asks me: "Is that brand new car yours?" or "Was that you who I saw winning $1000?" However, I don't ...
19
votes
4answers
546 views

Recommended news and culture streaming radio stations (auf Deutsch)?

I am specifically thinking of an analogue to NPR in the USA, whose stations generally broadcast a wide variety of show formats (news, interviews, talk radio, & entertainment) covering range of ...
10
votes
6answers
374 views

resent the implication

How could one translate the phrase "I resent the implication"? The way I hear it now and then is as an answer in a conversation and as I understand it, it is polite talk when someone is offended by ...
14
votes
4answers
548 views

Wie kann man 気持ちいい am besten auf Deutsch ausdrücken?

Wie kann man das Japanische 気持ちいい kimochi ii am besten auf Deutsch ausdrücken in den folgenden Situationen: ein kimochi ii Pullover eine kimochi ii Massage kimochi ii Wetter generell kimochi ii, ...
24
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the correct way to denote a quotation in German?

In English quoted text is normally written in speech marks, "like this," or occasionally 'like this.' However on this site I have seen people writing German quotes like »this« and „this“ What is the ...
17
votes
4answers
380 views

Was ist das Partizip Perfekt eines englischen Lehnwortes wie “booten”?

How do I form the perfect participle of an English loan word like booten (for a computer)? Was ist das Partizip Perfekt eines englischen Lehnwortes wie booten? Ich boote meinen Computer. → ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Eifersucht vs. Neid

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Eifersucht und Neid? Mein Wörterbuch übersetzt beide Wörter nach jealousy.
23
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the German equivalent of “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”?

What is the German equivalent of "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."? That is: A phrase used for font selection that contains all the letters of the alphabet.
2
votes
2answers
551 views

German words with interesting etymology [closed]

Which German words have a very interesting etymological history? Translation: Welche deutschen Wörter haben eine besonders interessante etymologische Geschichte?
9
votes
6answers
329 views

Was sind gute Zungenbrecher im Deutschen? / What are good German tongue-twisters? [closed]

Welche Zungenbrecher im Deutschen sind besonders interessant oder eine gute Übung?
22
votes
2answers
651 views

Grammatisch oder grammatikalisch?

Was ist der Unterschied zwischen "grammatisch" und "grammatikalisch"? Ist am Ende eins von beiden falsch? Wenn ja, warum? Wie kommen diese beiden unterschiedlichen Wortformen zustande?
58
votes
5answers
12k views

How rude is “Quatsch!”?

I've seen Quatsch! translated as Bullshit, which I was fine with as I had only heard it used among friends. Today, a university teacher used the Q-word in response to a student's serious suggestion in ...
9
votes
1answer
66 views

Searching German Website with user feedback on regional usage of words and phrases

After seeing the question on the regional usage of a certain grammatical construction: In welchen Regionen ist die dem-sein Form gebräuchlich? I remembered that there is a German website that ...
51
votes
13answers
3k views

How can a native English speaker know when it is appropriate to use the polite (Sie) or the familiar (Du)?

In a language such as English, where there are no "built-in" (so to say) polite and familiar forms, what are some simple tips or guidelines for when to use the polite or the familiar forms? Are there ...
21
votes
7answers
9k views

How to translate Fernweh to English?

Is there a good English translation for Fernweh? dict.leo.org suggests wanderlust and itchy feet, but they are both more about travelling around rather than going away.
15
votes
1answer
546 views

Does Swabian have English influences?

Many variations of the swabian dialect contain words and pronunciations that to me always subtly sounded like influenced by modern english. One of the more prominent examples is the pronunciation of ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Why no perfect participle? “Sie hat sich scheiden lassen”

Sie hat sich gestern von ihm scheiden lassen. This sentence uses the infinitive lassen instead of the perfect participle gelassen. Which grammatical rule causes this?
8
votes
3answers
297 views

What do we have to take care of when trying to learn grammar from spoken conversations?

In spoken conversations the grammar used is sometimes very different from the rules that we learn in textbooks or that apply to writing. This is even more so in regional dialects when sentences like ...
18
votes
7answers
506 views

Selbständig vs. selbstständig

Selbständig and selbstständig seem to share the same meaning. What are the differences in tone and usage?
19
votes
13answers
2k views

In welchen Regionen ist die dem-sein-Form gebräuchlich?

Als Alternative zum Genitiv gibt es das dem-sein-Konstrukt. (Keine Ahnung, wie man es sonst nennen sollte): Der Frau ihre Handtasche. Dem Fritz sein Schwager. Wo ist diese Form gebräuchlich?
17
votes
11answers
2k views

Good online resources for improving German over Summer Vacation?

I recently finished an evening class in beginners German (Common European Framework A1/A2), and plan to take an intermediate class in September. I don't want to slip out of practice over the summer. ...
22
votes
4answers
409 views

Do Latin loanwords conserve their gender?

When I asked my teacher for the gender of Mensa, she replied that it is feminine, because the Latin word mensa is feminine. When it comes to words that share the same spelling in both German and ...
12
votes
7answers
445 views

Gibt es ein eigenes Wort für beschmutztes Geschirr?

Gibt es ein eigenes Wort für beschmutztes Geschirr? Z.B: "Du hast zu viel __ in deinem Zimmer!"
9
votes
5answers
331 views

German student preparing for travel abroad

I've studied German in an academic setting in the US for a number of years. When conversing with native German speakers I've noticed slang and other "non-academic" mannerisms. I'm preparing to ...
20
votes
7answers
8k views

In what context do we write “Guten Tag” rather than “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren”?

Formal letters almost always used to start with "Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren," or "Sehr geehrter Herr Maier" if the person is known. However more and more we see formal correspondence that addresses ...
8
votes
3answers
230 views

Benutzt man immer einen Wasserschlauch in einer Wasserschlacht?

Ich suche ein Wort für das Kinderspiel, in dem sich Kinder mit Wasser bekriegen. Wasserschlacht klingt gut, aber mein Wörterbuch merkt an, dass es ein Krieg "mit einem Wasserschlauch" sei. Ist das ...
85
votes
17answers
11k views

How can I better learn noun genders?

One of the things that I really liked about German, as I was studying it in college, was the very orderly grammar, which actually helped me to understand my native English better. As a non-native ...
21
votes
11answers
3k views

What are the differences in punctuation between German and English?

Each language has its own ideas of how to punctuate, e.g. space before question marks in French. How is German punctuation different from English?
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a good online resource to look up the etymology of German words?

Is there a good online resource — free or not free — to look up the etymology of German words? Something like Duden's "Herkunftswörterbuch"?
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Gibt es andere übliche Märchenbeginnformeln neben “es war einmal”?

Sehr viele Märchen beginnen auf Deutsch mit "Es war einmal", aber ich kenne auch ein Märchen, das anfängt mit "Zu der Zeit, als das Wünschen noch geholfen hat ...". Gibt es noch andere Beginnformeln ...

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