I’ve found that das heißt can be easily translated as that means or id est (i.e) and I started to use it quite a lot. My only doubt is the following.

I’m not sure if I can use it not only to explain further or in a different way what I’m trying to say, but also for consequence. Let’s have a look to this example:

Today I feel very sick. This means I’ll stay at home. [for this reason / as a consequence]

If not, what are the best alternatives to use in this kind of sentences?

  • 2
    You example sentence does not contain “das heißt”.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 15:24
  • @CarstenS yepp you are right. I just didn't have time to look for a correct german version, since also I was not sure about it... can you help me with the translation?
    – Cindie
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


It is perfectly fine to use Das heißt … in this case.

An alternative stressing that you are talking about a consequence could be Soll heißen …

But be aware that the latter can be perceived as fairly strong/direct — if you said this e.g. to your employer, it would mean that you are not apologising for having to stay at home, but that you will stay at home, no matter what they think.

  • 3
    However, soll heißen is more colloquial in tone.
    – chirlu
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 12:36
  • 1
    @chirlu: I disagree. Das heißt is more colloquial (at least in Austria). Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 16:53
  • @Hubert Schölnast: Ah, interesting. Then I should restrict my statement above to Germany. Anyone who can report from Switzerland?
    – chirlu
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 17:16
  • 1
    @chirlu Please don't restrict it to Germany, but to your region. I disagree, too, and my German has nothing in common with Austrian German whatsoever.
    – Em1
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 9:06
  • 1
    @Em1: Now that’s even more interesting. I should probably make a question about this.
    – chirlu
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 11:23

Das heißt does indeed state a consequence of the first part of the sentence (or the prior sentence), but only in the meaning of it being the only and, implied, logical consequence.

If there are several possible consequences (i.e. I feel sick, so I will stay at home, or I will come in later, or I will go to a docter and see what he says), it might be better to use something like deshalb or daher:

Ich fühle mich nicht gut, ich bleibe daher zu Hause.

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