If someone takes a slice of pizza, is it ein Stück Pizza or eine Scheibe Pizza?

While I think that both phrases can be used, I suspect Scheibe to be more correct because Stück implies part.

Phrases for reference:

Ich esse eine Scheibe Pizza.
Ich esse ein Stück Pizza.


Eine Scheibe Pizza

»Eine Scheibe« literally is a disc, i.e. a cylinder, where the diameter is much greater than the height.

Eine Scheibe:
Eine Scheibe

This is called a »Scheibe« in German:

  • CD or DVD
  • vinyl record
  • frisbee disc
  • washer (lining disc)
  • Planet Earth if you believe that it is flat

So, if you you use »Scheibe« in combination with »Pizza«, I would think ...

  1. Oh, thats a strange combination. It's pretty sure, that German is a foreign language for you.
  2. Probably you mean the hole pizza, because it has the shape of a disc. But that's really a very strange usage of »Scheibe«.

But there are also other meanings of »Scheibe«, derived from the disc-meaning:

A Scheibe is also the flat glass in a Window (although it's not round). I believe (but am not sure), that this is from those days when glass for windows was cut out of discs of hand-blown glass.

And, a Scheibe is also a slice that you cut off from a sausage or from Bread, sometimes also from cheese, because it looks like a disc (or at least almost).


Eine Scheibe Pizza

does not work in German. You will not be understood, or you will be understood wrong, and you will see questioning faces.

Ein Stück Pizza

»Ein Stück« is »a piece« in English. A Stück is one thing of many similar things.

When you cut a pizza into pieces (normally 8 pieces), then each of this 8 pieces is called »ein Stück Pizza«.

Ein Stück Pizza:
Ein Stück Pizza

You use the German word »Stück« in the same situations when you use »piece« in English.

Eine Pizza

This is a complete pizza, i.e. that round thing, that comes out of an oven and can be cut into pieces.

Eine Pizza:
Eine Pizza

  • 2
    A Scheibe is also the flat glass in a Window.. Now it is clear for me that why windshield is called as Windschutzscheibe. Jun 19 '17 at 16:48
  • "When you cut a pizza into pieces (normally 8 pieces), then each of this 8 pieces is called »ein Stück Pizza«." - true for round pizzas. Of course, rectangular pieces cut out of rectangular pizzas (e.g. "party pizzas") are also called "Stück". Jun 19 '17 at 20:54
  • Interestingly enough, from where I'm from we never say a "slice of pizza" but a "piece of pizza."
    – e3ra
    Jun 21 '17 at 16:30

Rule of thumb: A Scheibe is a slice cut thinly from a loaf.

So you can have eine Scheibe Käse or eine Scheibe Brot or eine Scheibe Schinken but not eine Scheibe Pizza.

Puzzling, you can neither have eine Scheibe Schnitzel nor ein Stück Schnitzel but only ein Schnitzel, though it is cut from a "loaf", too. And it's not that it isn't thin enough, as eine Scheibe Braten exists. And that one is thick.

  • 1
    But you can say "ein Stück Schnitzel" if you want part of a Schnitzerl? Like "Kann ich ein Stück von deinem Schnitzel haben?" Isn't Pizza self a Scheibe?
    – user27540
    Jun 19 '17 at 12:30
  • Fun fact: "Scheibe Schinken" is interesting to pronounce when translated to Swedish.
    – Carsten S
    Jun 19 '17 at 12:32
  • 1
    Yeah, I don't agree with "ein Stück Schnitzel". It's a part of the Schnitzel in the same way "ein Stück Pizza" is a part of the Pizza.
    – Em1
    Jun 19 '17 at 12:46
  • @CarstenS skiva skinka ? Jun 19 '17 at 13:49
  • 1
    In reference to Annatars comment under his own answer. The direction of the cut matters. "Scheibe" is when you cut a piece vertically of something bigger, that when you lay it down looks flatt ("Scheibe"). A "Stück" is just something cut from it no matter the dimensions. (e.G. you can have a "Stück Käse" (being any dimension) or a "Scheibe Käse" (one dimension way shorter than the other))
    – C.Fe.
    Jun 19 '17 at 14:56

Ich esse ein Stück Pizza.

.. if you eat a part of it.

Ich esse eine Pizza.

.. if you eat all of it.

Ich esse eine Scheibe Pizza

..never. Even though every German speaker will agree that a pizza is a "Scheibe"!

Confusing? Actually, not really. Because pizza always comes in one characteristic form (a Scheibe), it is redundant to specify that every time. Just like you don't say

Ich esse eine Kugel Apfel.

But why no "Scheibe Pizza" for a part of it? Because cutting a thing into "Scheiben" is defined by the direction of the cuts: The flat surface of the neighbouring Scheiben is in contact, not the tiny parts. A pizza is a Scheibe, its parts can also be Scheiben, but they are not Scheiben of the pizza (unless you cut parallel to the table).


Let me share with you how Italians talk about Pizza.

When you sit at the table, you will probably have a whole Pizza. In that case, you will ask for "una Pizza". I understand Germans keep the feminimun genus, so "eine Pizza".

When going for something quicker, you may want to ask for a "pezzo di pizza", cut away from a larger baking tin, usually to be taken away. In this case, the italian word is "pezzo". So, I would suggest the word "Stück".

From my experience, never heard any Italian asking for a "fetta di Pizza" (eng: "slice of Pizza").

Reference: http://de.pons.com/%C3%BCbersetzung?q=piece++of+pizza&l=deen&in=&lf=en

  • 1
    While I appreciate the insight into the Italian way of describing bits of pizza, it has practically no relevance whatsoever to how German describes it. German may be completely different, because it is a different language.
    – Jan
    Jun 23 '17 at 0:42
  • @Jan, I agree with you German is not Italian. My answer is about etymology, which - from my experience - usually helps quite a lot.
    – augusto
    Jun 23 '17 at 8:08

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