3

Can someone break down the structure of the following sentence in English?

Ich lebe in Bayern, genauer gesagt in München.

Google Translate's answer makes sense: "I live in Bayern, specifically in Munich."

When can genauer gesagt be used? Does the following sentence makes sense?

Ich lebe genauer gesagt in München.

4

Genauer (literally: "more precisely"1) is a comparative, so you always need something to compare it to or, as it's typically used, a fact that can be specified - either in the same sentence or somewhere in the context.

Taking this into account, your first example makes sense, detailing a specific place in Bavaria:

Ich lebe in Bayern, genauer gesagt in München.

Your second sentence is not wrong grammar-wise, but from a logic point of view it can't stand alone. To make sense we must assume a preceding sentence like (random example):

Ich bin vor einigen Jahren nach Deutschland gezogen. Ich lebe genauer gesagt in München.


1 Other translations / typical phrases for genauer gesagt are for example:

  • to be precise
  • namely
  • specifically
  • to be exact
| improve this answer | |
  • What is the purpose of gesagt? Could one say: Ich lebe in Bayern, genauer in München. – Amaziah Jul 27 '15 at 19:08
  • @Amaziah, yes strictly speaking the "gesagt" is optional, but it's customary. Somewhat like a set phrase. I would even use it when it's absolutely clear that I'm not talking, e.g. in a letter. – Stephie Jul 27 '15 at 19:25
  • 1
    What is the purpose of “speaking” in “strictly speaking”? (Apologies if it was already intentional and my bluntness ruined it.) – Carsten S Jul 27 '15 at 20:07
  • You used the expression “strictly speaking” and I was amused by the parallel to the German expression under discussion. – Carsten S Jul 27 '15 at 20:39
  • 1
    @CarstenSchultz Aahhh! No pun intended, but good catch, thanks! (Would that now be called a "Freudian joke"?) – Stephie Jul 27 '15 at 20:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.