I've come across this passage:

Diese Zahl variierte zudem erstaunlich, je nach dem Stand von Ebbe und Flut, die wiederum je nach den Positionen von Sonne, Mond und Erde selbst erheblich unterschiedlich ausfielen.

According to every dictionary that I've checked, 'ausfallen' means 'to fall apart' or other meanings in that sense; It seems to have another meaning in this context.

2 Answers 2


I suggest to bookmark for DWDS. Meaning 3 is the appropriate one, translating to English turn out.

Since Duden also lists it as meaning two, I'm somewhat puzzled, what apparently poor references you may have used.

So a translation would be

The number varied to an amazing degree depending on the tides, which due to the positions of sun, moon and earth themselves turned out differently.

  • 1
    Bear with me a little bit, because I'm not a native English speaker either. This is from Google Translate: This number also varied astonishing, depending on the level of ebb and flow, which again varied considerably according to the positions of the sun, the moon and the earth itself. It is also translated as 'vary', which is different than turn out?
    – Jawad
    Oct 3, 2017 at 11:21
  • 1
    DWDS doesn't really have the proper meaning at all, resp. "zeigt ein gutes, schlechtes Resultat" is a bit off here, IMHO. It's neither "good" nor bad", just "specific". Duden's "in bestimmter Weise geartet, beschaffen sein" is in fact a much better explanation.
    – tofro
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:47

The second meaning in Duden is correct: http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/ausfallen#Bedeutung2.

ausfallen in this meaning is very common with clothing, e.g.:

Das Kleid fällt größer aus als angegeben.

  • Duden kills your link - it ends up at the general introduction
    – tofro
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:44
  • 1
    ...but interestingly only when opening the page, pressing [Enter] in the address bar scrolls down to the relevant chapter.
    – Hulk
    Oct 3, 2017 at 20:44

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