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This question already has an answer here:

By "skip a beat", I mean more to the context of what makes someone "excited". How do you phrase it in German?

marked as duplicate by Loong Jul 25 '15 at 8:59

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  • I think the title should be edited to show the positive connotation the author requested. That would set it apart from the other question. – Ludi Jul 25 '15 at 10:20
  • If you do not agree that this question truly is a duplicate, edit it to highlight the differences, or try to get it reopened by casting a reopen vote or flagging it for moderator attention. Alternatively, questions may be merged when they are virtually identical and it would be beneficial to have all the answers from multiple duplicate questions in one place. This moves answers to the target question and leaves the current question as a stub with a link to its merge target. – Loong Jul 25 '15 at 10:27
  • I think merging would be best. I don't disagree with the duplicate. I just observe the author wanted to use it with a positive connotation- unusual for me - and, hence,got different answers. It was more a suggestion for the author what to edit. – Ludi Jul 25 '15 at 10:35
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I try to cover both shades of the English phrase, to make the question useful as a reference.

In my usage of English the idiom usually describes fear. For this case we have a good match:

Das Herz setzt einen Schlag lang aus.

For example:

Als Maria den Zombie auf sich zutorkeln sah, setzte ihr Herz einen Schlag lang aus.

Then, there is a sentence with strong positive connotation, which I believe you are looking for:

Das Herz höher schlagen lassen.

Example:

Die liebevoll gearbeitete, unikale astronomische Uhr aus der Schweiz ließ Hansens Herz, und das eines jeden Uhrmachers, sogleich höher schlagen.

Then, as already mentioned, there is

Herzklopfen bereiten,

typically used with a positive note. There are always many posts by young ladies titled:

Ich bin soooo verliebt! Es bereitet mir Herzklopfen!

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One matching idiom in German would be

Was macht dir Herzklopfen?

It also uses the heart metaphor, but we tend to refer to increased heartbeat where the Englich language stops the heartbeat for a tiny moment. It is usually used for situations that are (positively) exciting, e.g. meeting your love interest.

In cases of fright, the heart is stopped, like in English:

Da bleibt das Herz kurz stehen.

But typically that would be used for descriptions, not questions.

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