I want to use the words in the following sentence "Saskia likes to give gifts to others. She is very _________". Google translate shows "großzügig" and "freigebig" as generous. The original sentence is:

"Saskia macht anderen gerne Geschenke. Sie ist sehr großzügig"

  • Welcome to German.SE. Do you accidentially have any more examples where you would translate your german example into English and would most likely use "generous"? (that could offer you an understanding of the differences/same meaning) Because google-translate is by far not the best choice word meaning in context. only a rough hint. Jul 12, 2020 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


If you refer to somebody who likes to give gifts, both can be used. "Freigebig" means "generous" in the materialistic sense: "willing to give money or goods to others". "Großzügig" can mean the same, but it can also be used in a more general sense, say, "allowing somebody to do something". Even an apartment or house can be called "großzügig", meaning "it has big spacious rooms".

  • Note that the question is concerned with freigebig, not freigiebig, though they are probably used synonymously nowadays.
    – johnl
    Jul 11, 2020 at 21:17
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    @LCP In this context: "generous" (as your dictionary told you).
    – Uwe
    Jul 12, 2020 at 9:14
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    Just to open this can of worms a bit further, DeepL also offers großherzig, freizügig, großmütig, generös, spendabel, hochherzig, offenherzig, and others as possible translations.
    – RDBury
    Jul 12, 2020 at 12:18
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    "Freizügig"?? I would definitely avoid that in this context. "Generös" and "spendabel" are rmostly synonymous to "freigebig". The meanings of the others overlap with "freigebig" and "großzügig", but the focus is a bit different.
    – Uwe
    Jul 12, 2020 at 16:33
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    @Uwe -- Yes, apparently freizügig would be better in English as 'liberal', slipping toward 'permissive' which is a whole other area. Then there's 'bighearted', 'kindhearted', 'kindly', 'spendthrift', 'lavish', 'charitable', 'hospitable', 'magnanimous', 'munificent', 'open-handed', 'beneficent' and 'helpful'. We could call this "dueling thesauri". There are a lot of choices in both German and English and which one a writer picks is going to depend on things like style and personal choice as well as context; there might be no single correct answer with something like this.
    – RDBury
    Jul 12, 2020 at 20:09

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