It looks like in the sentence:

"Meine Schwester meint, diese Show wird sich nicht lange halten".

The right English translation for meint is "say":

a) Is that correct?

b) If so would you provide another example where "meinen" means "say" and not "mean"?

This example just shook my belief that "meinen" might not be the exact translation of mean in English and might actually cover a broader range of meanings.

  • 1
    Per the Wiktionary entry, meinen may be a cognate to "mean" but they are not the same. The main takeaway here is don't trust cognates and always check a dictionary when in doubt.
    – RDBury
    Oct 19, 2020 at 6:28
  • 1
    There is perfect 1:1 translation in this context: "to opine" (not "say"!).
    – radioflash
    Oct 19, 2020 at 15:12
  • This is what I was looking for. Thanks.
    – TNM
    Oct 20, 2020 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


say is only one possible translation of meinen.

In this case, a better translation is to be of the opinion / or to guess.

Meinen can be used in the sense of I have no idea what you're talking about (Ich weiß nicht, was du meinst). The correct translation would then be I don't know what you mean / I don't know what you're saying

It can also be used to ask for an opinion or to express an opinion, then the translation would be, to think, to guess, ... (Meiner Meinung nach ist Star Wars langweilig, was meinst du?)


The easiest way to think of how German native speakers use "meinen" is with reference to the noun "Meinung", which is "opinion". In old English, "to opine" has a similar relation to "opinion". So "meinen" in your sentence refers to your sister's opnion on the show and its longevity on tv.

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