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I would like to say the following "the total value of the contract is 1000 USD".

I tend to say "Der Gesamtvertragwert liegt bei 1000 USD".

However I feel that this is not the right way of saying this. What would be a better translation?

  • You are close: "Der Gesamtvertragswert liegt bei 1000 USD" would be correct. You can also say "Der Gesamtvertragswert beträgt 1000 USD" oder "Der Gesamtvertragswert beläuft sich auf 1000 USD". – Björn Friedrich Dec 14 '17 at 18:07
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This is something even many native speakers of German do the wrong way, or handle too sloppily.

The two expressions have actually slightly different meaning.

Der Vertragswert liegt bei 1000 Euro

means that the value is round about 1000 euros - but not exactly. Therefore liegt bei. Whereas

Der Vertragswert beträgt 1000 Euro

means exactly 1000 euros. Unless you vary it e.g.

Der Vertragswert beträgt ungefähr 1000 Euro

which again leaves open what the exact sum is.

Note that

*Der Vertragswert liegt genau bei 1000 Euro

does not make sense; liegt bei as a marker of "not exactly" cannot reasonably be combined with a marker for "exactly".

For practical purposes: as not too many people handle these expressions correctly, you actually cannot be sure what exactly is meant in sentences you read, and you cannot be sure that people understand your sentences correctly even if written with care. Therefore it is a good idea to state your intended meaning explicitly by adding a verbal expression to that effect (ungefähr, genau and the like).

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