Would someone advise me on how to say the above? I have a text here:

Die Semperoper ist eines der besten Opernhäuser in Deutschland, mit ihrer schönen Architektur und den brillanten Opern der Sächsischen Staatsoper. Die Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, eines der berühmtesten Orchester der Welt, spielt auch in der Semperoper.

Man kann hier Opern ansehen, Konzerte besuchen und die Architektur und die Skulpturen der Semperoper bewundern.

Have a feeling the verbs (especially those in bold) aren’t used accurately, would love if someone could see whether my feeling is right. With regards to the comment, I found these verbs being used online but "to look at an Opera", "to visit a Concert" is not really the most appropriate way to say it in my opinion, and I was wondering whether there could be a more appropriate word instead of "bewundern".

Also, would it be appropriate if I were to use the demonstrative for "die Architektur und Skulpturen dieser Semperoper bewundern" instead?

Do tell me if you find other errors.

P.S.:Do I need to use the reflexive in this case, such that it becomes"Man kann ihm Opern ansehen" or something like that?

  • 1
    Welcome to German Language SE. I removed the proofreading aspect from your question as this is not suited for this format (I corrected some mistakes irrelevant to your question though – if you have a question about this, please ask it separately). Moreover, can you please edit your question to clarify why you think that you didn’t use those verbs accurately? You will likely get a better answer this way.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


The usage you found is absolutely ok.

The English verb "to watch" and the German verb »ansehen« to not match exactly.

Yesterday I watched a fox in our garden.
Gestern habe ich einen Fuchs in unserem Garten angesehen beobachtet.

In the example above you can't use ansehen, because ansehen also just means to look at. And looking at a fox is different from watching a fox.

But in German you use the verb ansehen if you watch tv, or anything on a stage, where it is more important to see something than to hear it.


Ich möchte mir einen Film im Fernsehen ansehen.


Gestern habe ich mir im Theater den zerbrochnen Krug angesehen.


Möchtest du dir mit mir die Zauberflöte in der Staatsoper ansehen?

But when the music is more important than the scenery and the costumes, then you don't use ansehen. Anhören is also unnusual, because this is used, when really nothing is to see (i.e. listen to the radio). So in German you say besuchen (to visit). Or just hingehen (to go to). It doesn't matter if you mean a modern pop&rock concert or a concert with classical music.

Gehst du mit mir zum Konzert von Imagine Dragons?
Ich werde im Juni im Konzerthaus die Carmina Burana besuchen.

But of course ansehen also means to look at:

Ich war gestern im Museum und habe mir die großartigen Bilder von Titian angesehen.
Ich war gestern in Dresden und habe mir die Frauenkirche angesehen.
Der Arzt hat sich die Wunde angesehen.

And you can admire something:

Ich war gestern im Museum und habe die großartigen Bilder von Titian bewundert.
Ich war gestern in Dresden und habe die Frauenkirche bewundert.

But you don't need to look at something to admire it:

Ich bewundere die Gedichte Goethes.
Ich bewundere deine Beharrlichkeit.

  • Im Deutschen schreibt sich der Maler typischerweise Tizian.
    – guidot
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 14:31

All three verbs are fine:

  • ansehen: In German, "ansehen" (literally, more or less "to look at") is the verb typically used with films, theatre plays, and also operas (if you want to stress you are not just listening to the music, but watching the opera on stage).
  • besuchen: Once again, "besuchen" (literally "to visit") is commonly used with events in the meaning of the English "to attend".
  • bewundern: This ("to marvel at") is a good choice, as well. An alternative could be "sich ... ansehen", but it does not convey the same sense of amazement and sounds more neutral. Moreover, in the given context, it would be too repetitive so close after the initial use of "ansehen".

Using a demonstrative would sound wrong in most contexts, as there is only one Semperoper. Saying "diese Semperoper" would imply there are several Semperopers and you are referring to a specific one among them.

  • Diese Semperoper ist einfach großartig! is a valid demonstrative use. Pointing a finger at it, there is hardly anything comparable.
    – Janka
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 12:42
  • @Janka: I'd perceive that as a rather unusual way of speaking. It's true that such sentences can make sense, but when using a demonstrative pronoun like that (for something that is already unique), it usually implies unfamiliarity or even criticism (e.g. "Diese Semperoper soll ja etwas ganz Besonderes sein, haben Sie davon schon gehört?", "Diese Frau Schmidt mischt sich aber auch überall ein."). Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 13:38

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