I was wondering what the right translation of the phrase "to be about to lose something" is?

I truly need help as I am about to lose everything, but I don't know what to do.
(Ich brauche wirklich Hilfe, da ich alles verlieren werde, aber ich weiß nicht, was ich tun soll.)

  • 3
    Re. your title - Careful: about to lose it, which has a totally different meaning, it's colloquial for "become very mad" or "going postal". To lose sth (house, money, job...) is the meaning you intend to translate.
    – Stephie
    Nov 30 '16 at 8:52
  • Could you clarify why this is no proofreading question, please?
    – Stephie
    Nov 30 '16 at 8:55
  • soryy for my fingertips Stephie, I'll edit my post
    – Dragut
    Nov 30 '16 at 9:02
  • 5
    Any dictionary gives you a proper translation for "to be about to do something" as well as for "to lose something". So, what's unclear after consulting the dictionaries?
    – Em1
    Nov 30 '16 at 9:24

First of all, due to the example you have given, you might think of the phrase "to be about to lose (sth.)"; one "o" more or less makes a difference. "To be about to lose" can be tranlsted to "dabei/ kurz davor sein (etwas) zu verlieren".

Secondly, "To be about to loose (sth.)", on the other hand, means "Dabei sein (etwas) zu lockern", but that's probably not what you wanted to ask for.

  • 1
    I like the "kurz davor sein..." translation for being about to.
    – Stephie
    Nov 30 '16 at 8:54
  • If you don't need a literal translation you could also say: ...ich fürchte alles zu verlieren... Nov 30 '16 at 9:33

Please note that I'm about to lose it translates to

Ich bin kurz davor, auszuflippen/auszurasten/durchzudrehen!

It is an idiomatic expression.

Now, let us look at your sentence:

to be about to do something translates to kurz davor sein, etwas zu tun. to lose something translates to etwas verlieren. to lose everything translates to alles verlieren, so when we combine this

I'm about to lose everything translates to

Ich bin kurz davor, alles zu verlieren.


I am also using "to be about to lose something" structure often and I prefer using Im Begriff sein, etwas zu tun

In your example, it could be translated as

Ich bin im Begriff, alles zu verlieren

The Duden dictionary gives also following examples under "Wendungen, Redensarten, Sprichwörter" if you search for the "Begriff"

im Begriff[e] sein/stehen (gerade anfangen wollen, etwas zu tun: sie sind im Begriff zu gehen; ich stand im Begriff, das Haus zu> verlassen)

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