Can you please help me with understanding the following construction:

"sich die Mühe sparen"

Is it used in negative context (like "even don't try it") or positive context (like "it may worth trying it, but it is too difficult")? Is it umgangssprachlich?

Any examples / sentences/ usages will be really appreciated.

  • It says (you should) save your efforts (because they will not be appreciated (for example for being: useless, wasteful, counterproductive).
    – hkBst
    Dec 1, 2017 at 10:03
  • What do you mean with negative context or positive context? How shall we know the context - you brought the question up. Dec 7, 2017 at 19:10
  • @userunknown it is very difficult to answer your question without knowing some usage samples (e.g. in advance). Anyways after receiving answer (please see below) I now able to update original question. Thank you very much for understanding
    – tillias
    Dec 8, 2017 at 5:37

1 Answer 1


Possible translation/phrases might be:

  • Save yourself the hassle (best)
  • Save yourself some trouble
  • Save yourself time and effort

Example (DE):

Spar dir die Mühe, den alten Fernseher zu reparieren. Wir wollen sowieso einen neuen kaufen.

Translation (EN):

Save yourself the hassle of reparing that old TV. We want to buy a new one anyways.

  • Und ist es umgangssprachlich? Ist es positiver oder negativer Kontext? Dec 7, 2017 at 19:13
  • Es ist umgangssprachlich und (meiner Meinung nach) eher negativ.
    – Fabian
    May 9, 2018 at 8:00

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