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Is there an expression for to sense a pattern or to sense a theme in German? Meaning, for example, that we start observing similar things, or that we seem to be repeating the same behaviour, etc.

(Boring) example:

Two weeks ago, I ordered an internet router, and was told that I had to call back last week. Last week, I called and was told to call this week. This week, I was told to call next week. I’m starting to sense a pattern here.

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I think what you're looking for is:

Ein Muster (zu) erkennen.

Your example would be

Ich beginne ein Muster zu erkennen

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In addition to @Alon Dattners answer.

In colloquial speech, I would prefer

Ich sehe langsam ein Muster.

and @JimmyB added

Dahinter scheint System zu stecken.

as another translation, indicating that what's repeatedly happening appears to be not coincidental but the result of some hidden intention of the other party.

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  • What do you think of of replacing Muster by System like: "Dahinter steckt ein System." – Daniel W. Sep 21 '16 at 8:56
  • @DanFromGermany, your example with "System" works, too. However, "System" and "Muster" are not generally exchangable. Enother example would be: "Ich entdecke ein System" – Iris Sep 21 '16 at 9:24
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    "Dahinter scheint System zu stecken." (coll.) would be a rather free translation, indicating that what's repeatedly happening appears to be not coincidental but the result of some hidden intention of the other party. – JimmyB Aug 1 '18 at 10:12
  • @JimmyB, also a good translation! I added it to my answer. – Iris Aug 1 '18 at 11:20

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