What is the difference between the two adjectives "nützlich" and "sinnvoll", when both of them mean "useful"? Could you please give some examples?
closed as off-topic by guidot, Robert, user259412, Philipp, Björn Friedrich Nov 8 '18 at 7:57
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "This site is about the usage and rules of the German language. It is not well-suited to replace a dictionary, thesaurus, or conjugation table. If you have already consulted such sources and still have questions, please edit your question to explain what you found and why it did not help. See this post on Meta for more information." – guidot, Robert, user259412, Philipp, Björn Friedrich
As often in German, you can to split those two words into their pieces and analyze what they are about:
nützlich — es ist von Nutzen → it's of benefit/advantage
sinnvoll — es ist voller Sinn → it's full of reason
Most times, things that are full of reason tend to be beneficial so you can use those two words interchangably. There is a difference about plan and outcome, however:
Mein Plan ist sinnvoll. – Gut.
Mein Plan ist nützlich. – Wofür?
Dieser sinnvolle Plan war sehr nützlich. – Gut.
Dieser nützliche Plan war sehr sinnvoll. – Hä?
A fixed phrase you may encounter:
Mach dich mal nützlich! (Come on, help us!)