My german teacher was going over positive attributes to describe humantiy and gave the example:

dass man sich ständig sieht

but what does it actually mean?

On the dictionaries, sich ständig seems to mean constant but the translation that one looks constant doesn't seem to make perfect sense. Is this an idiomatic saying?

Edit: the context was describing good qualities about people and included sentences like "wenn man freundlich/ehrlich/geduldig ist". My teacher then added that (ie my question) sentence to an example of a quality someone had just described. Did she mean that someone should hold that quality steady?

  • 2
    note that in German adjectives and adverbs look alike... so it could also be constantly. Besides... das should have double s here.
    – Emanuel
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 22:55
  • 2
    Can you provide a bit more context? How exactly is this an attribute to describe humanity? What is the whole German sentence?
    – teylyn
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 23:30
  • Maybe it was „dass man sich anständig anzieht“.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


Okay, let me talk about the only situation where the snippet in question makes sense for me. In German, "sich sehen" can have a meaning similar to English "to see each other". I think in English that's a phrase very related to dating, but in German it's not. Still, both are about two persons meeting.

So, imagine two friends living in different cities and meeting only once a month. Now one of them moves and will be living in the same city as the other one, who might now say:

Ich freu mich drauf, dass man sich (dann) ständig sieht.

with "ständig" just a word for "much more often".

Funnily, I think the phrase is more regularly used with negation, e.g.

Ist auch gut, dass man sich dann mal nicht ständig sieht.

is something room-mates that don't get along very well with one another might say when one of them takes on (e.g.) night shift so that their paths will cross much less frequently.


It could also mean, that you cross a persons way without intending to do so e.g.:" Ich sehe ständig diesen Mann, wenn ich morgens mit dem Zug fahre." Or when you are at work and you don't like a certain collegue: "Ich bin genervt, dass man sich ständig sieht." Hope that helpes. Toby

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