1

Is there any nuance between 'laut' and 'zufolge' in terms of usage/suitable context? I have the following understanding: 'laut' is used when conveying a fact stated by a source (study/organisation...etc.) 'zufolge' is used when deducing an act/measurement that has to be taken based on a fact provided by a source. Is this correct? Or can the two be used interchangeably?

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laut and zufolge are close synonyms as you have already stated - I would only see a small difference between them, based on the words they are derived from:

  • "laut" simply means someone has stated a simple fact, you are repeating it
  • "zufolge" means the argument may be more complicated, and consists of a number of statements or a train of thought you need to "follow up" with.
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No, both prepositions mean that you are repeating a statement from a third party and cannot personally vouch for it. In that respect the two words are interchangeable.

If I had taken my own measurement, I would say

Nach meinen Messungen beträgt die Lücke 3mm.

You wouldn't use zufolge to report your own measurement, unless perhaps you'd taken it long ago, noted it down in a diary, and are now talking about what the diary says rather than what you saw.

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There is no such difference, both can be used interchangably.

Laut (des) Polizeibericht(es) gab es keine Verletzten.

Dem Bericht der Polizei zufolge gab es keine Verletzten.

Laut is often used for shorter sentences.

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