I'm after a (hopefully idiomatic) translation of:

"I just wanted to run this (thing) by you."

The typical context is that you think of something which you want somebody else's opinion on, or reaction to, and would like to politely but informally ask if they have the time to listen.

  • I'm not quite sure about the connotation of the English sentence. If this is about "get a second opinion", I'd translate it with eine Meinung einholen. Or: "Ich würde gerne dazu gerne noch eine zweite Meinung hören". Another alternative: Ich wollte mal hören/wissen, was du davon hältst(or dazu denkst).
    – Em1
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 8:58
  • If the connotation is more about getting approval, permission, etc., the latter one from my previous comment is also fine. You could also say something along: "Ich wollte das von dir absegnen lassen."
    – Em1
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 9:04
  • 5
    @Em1 why don´t you supply all this as an answer? Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 10:26
  • @Em1 While your suggestion has the correct meaning, it doesn't seem to me to catch the subtlety of the English phrase. Perhaps there is no good substitute for the construction ".. run ... by ..". Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 10:44
  • @GlenWheeler I don't know for sure. To run by seems to me being quite idiomatic and we don't have any similar idiom in German. However, user unknown is closest to the literal meaning, though his suggestion isn't that idiomatic in German. According to OALD to run sth by/past so is quite formal. I think, in order to find a German formal phrase close to the idiom, I think of einen Prozess durchlaufen while the person on who we're running by is an elementary part in our chain. That leads me again to "absegnen lassen".
    – Em1
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 12:30

3 Answers 3



Ich wollte mal hören, was du dazu denkst.


Ich wollte mal hören was Sie dazu denken.

I think this is the closest translation of the phrase. This says ~ "I want to hear what you think" which has the same effect as "I want to run this by you".

  • 3
    Ich wollte mal hören was Du dazu denkst. Or the formal version: Ich wollte mal hören was Sie dazu denken.
    – Michael
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 19:47
  • Didn't think about posting the formal version :P. Thanks Michael.
    – Brett H
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 21:12
  • 2
    And btw., the word mal is optional.
    – Michael
    Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 21:20

Ich kenne die englische Phrase nicht. Wenn ich es richtig verstanden habe, dann kommt wohl das deutsche:

Ich möchte es mit dir zusammen durchgehen.

dem Ganzen nahe. Wobei der gemütliche Deutsche geht, nicht rennt. :)

  • "run this by you" ist nach meinem Sprachgefühl weniger involvierend für den angesprochen als "mit jemandem etwas durchgehen", wo sich der angesprochene mehr Zeit nimmt und sich mit dem Fragenden zusammensetzt.
    – Robert
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 3:32
  • Ich kenne, wie gesagt, den Ausdruck nicht. Nach Glenn Wheelers Darstellung kam es mir so vor, als bezöge sich das "by you" mehr auf das "I" als auf das "thing", sonst hätte ich auf das "zusammen" verzichtet und geschrieben, "... dass Du es mal durchgehst". Wenn man aber nicht weiß was der engl. Audruck heißt müsste man bei English fragen, nicht hier. Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 11:54


Ich wollte mal wissen, was deine Meinung dazu ist.

Ich möchte mal wissen, was deine Meinung dazu ist.

Ich wollte mal deine Meinung [dazu] einholen.

Losely translated as: [At some point,] I'd like to have your opinion about something.

The mal could losely be translated as "at some point [in time]", which includes the aspect of reducing the strength of the intention---equivalent of "just" in English.


Generally, I have found from my experience in the German-speaking world that the language does not beat around the bush with euphemisms ("I just"). This does not meant that euphemisms or weaker phrases do not exist, but it is a cultural difference.

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