I know zählen could also mean to count but only as in checking the quantity or going from one to a certain number. I'm not sure if it also means that something is included and is accounted for as done, as in "that time counts". How would you say such expression?

Also in a more specific context, like last week a tennis training session had to be canceled due to rain, and I wanna ask if that session is still counted as one more towards the end of the course, how would I say it?

3 Answers 3


The usage of this verb is actually very close to to count in English - Beyond the basic meaning of figuring out numbers:

Ich zähle die Eier in meinem Korb

I count the eggs in my basket

(Not the idiomatic expression as in English, though, just counting eggs)

Beyond pure counts, also expressing validity:

Das zählt als starkes Argument für ...

This counts as a strong argument for ...

And in sports, as in your example:

Austria scored a goal in the last minute, but this wasn't counted due to off-side

Österreich erzielte in der letzten Minute ein Tor, aber das zählte nicht, wegen Abseits.

And your specific example:

Does the cancelled session still fully count?

Zählt die abgebrochene Stunde voll?

  • 1
    Just to be completely clear: in the last example, I think you mean “fully count” or “count in full” in the English version. “Does the cancelled session still count as full?” is asking whether the cancelled session should be considered to have been full (with no vacancies for more players), whereas I believe the German version (and the one in the question) asks whether it counts fully on a par with the other sessions. May 21, 2017 at 12:58
  • Does it? I don't really think, but you're right, it is misleading. Changed
    – tofro
    May 21, 2017 at 14:28
  • Just to mention one meaning that (as far as I can tell) cannot be expressed using count in English: "Goethe zählt zu den wichtigsten deutschen Dichtern" - "Goethe is one of the most important German poets" May 21, 2017 at 20:54
  • @HagenvonEitzen that would be the last example with a meaning of "is regarded "
    – tofro
    May 21, 2017 at 20:56
  • In English that would be "Goethe counts among the most important German poets". You could also use "as one of". May 21, 2017 at 22:16


This rather old German verb is often used if something counts (or does not count) for a result.

Das gilt nicht!
Alle erworbenen Punkte gelten bis zum Ende des Turniers.

It also has derivated adverbs gültig sein or nouns Gültigkeit.

Das letzte Turnier wurde wegen Regens für ungültig erklärt.
Trotz des schlechten Wetters war der Versuch gültig.


The usage of "zählen" is exactly equivalent.

Your example "Does this session count towards the end of the course"? could be translated as "Zählt diese Regenstunde zum Kurs"?

Or, if you deny something, "this doesn't count!" is "das zählt nicht!".

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