I am not keeping well that's why, I cancelled classes.

Mir geht es nicht gut, deshalb habe ich den Unterricht abgesagt.

When typed in Google translate, it is recorrecting as abgesägt.

I cancelled my tickets.

Ich habe meine Tickets storniert.

I cancelled my plan.

Ich habe meinen Plan storniert.

What is the right word for to cancel?

Do we have to change the verb for to cancel according to the given context?

  • 4
    Google translate doesn't really suggest corrections as much as offer words that are spelled similarly just in case you were confused. So if you're relatively certain you've got the right word then just ignore it. In this case abgesägt means "sawed off" so I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant.
    – RDBury
    Oct 9, 2020 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


Yes, the correct translation for to cancel highly depends on context and speech register. A good start in the right direction is to reverse-translate the German translations for cancel.

-einen Termin ~ (Akk. to cancel an appointment)
-ein Event ~ (Akk. to cancel an event e.g. die Band hat ihren Auftritt abgesagt, a colloquial form would be abblasen )
-ein Treffen ~ (Akk. to cancel a meeting)
-einer Person ~ (Dat. to cancel a meeting with a specific person e.g. Ich war heute mit Tim verabredet, aber er hat mir abgesagt.)

Note: Absägen (ab + sägen) literally means to saw off. Colloquially it is used to say a person was fired from a position or in a break up e.g. "er hat sie abgesägt" (he broke up with her)

-die Flüge wurden gestrichen (the flights were cancelled)

-this is a rather formal verb, you use this only for payed services and can usually expect (most of) your money back. Another fitting translation might be to refund which implies cancelation
-Ich habe meine Tickets storniert (I cancelled/refunded my tickets)
-Ich habe den Auftrag storniert (I cancelled the comission)

-to cancel a subscription

-in this context it means to cancel a contract (einen Vertrag aufheben)

  • 2
    For cancelling a self.implied plan (last example) nothing from above fits; this would translate to , Plan aufgeben or Plan verwerfen.
    – guidot
    Oct 9, 2020 at 12:38
  • 3
    It looks like absagen is nearly identical in usage to the English "to call off". You can call off an event or meeting, but not tickets, orders, subscriptions etc. Since sagen is sort of like "to call" this almost makes sense. The literal translation of "to call off" is abrufen which apparently translates back into English as "to call up (retrieve)". I'm not sure if it's significant but it might be helpful for remembering which verb means what.
    – RDBury
    Oct 9, 2020 at 12:53
  • 1
    @infinitezero Thank you so much for such a detailed answer and your time. Helpful :) Oct 9, 2020 at 13:17
  • @guidot Thank you for additional answer.. good to know :) Oct 9, 2020 at 13:18
  • @RDBury That's a nice trick to remember it's usage. Makes sense :) Oct 9, 2020 at 13:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.