Can I say "jemandem eine gute Zeit zeigen" (They showed me a good time = Sie haben mir eine gute Zeit gezeigt), or is that clearly something borrowed from English? If this expression is odd/out of place in German, how could I say something similiar in German?


  • 2
    With the information given (an unfortunate translation attempt) it is not exactly easy to guess the meaning of the original. Without additional explanation the question does not invite answers and may even be closed as needs more detail.
    – guidot
    Dec 1, 2020 at 20:06
  • 7
    @guidot -- In my opnion, "to show (someone) a good time" is an idiom and, as with most idioms, it's not always clear to native speakers that a direct translation would not make sense. I think it's rather dated and informal, and basically means "to guide someone though fun and enjoyable activities such has dancing and entertaining company. Example: "Say honey, why don't you go on a date with me tonight? I promise to show you a good time."
    – RDBury
    Dec 1, 2020 at 20:35

3 Answers 3


I would translate it as

"jemandem eine schöne (gute) Zeit bescheren".

DeepL proposes

"jemandem eine schöne (gute) Zeit bereiten".

(I think the connection between "bereiten" and "show" is not that obvious, but there is maybe one in the sense of "herrichten".)

"Jemandem eine gute Zeit zeigen"

is definitley not used.

  • 4
    Perhaps "schöne Zeit" would be better than "gute Zeit".
    – Paul Frost
    Dec 2, 2020 at 1:35
  • 4
    and maybe even go further from the literal translation and say something like "einen schönen Abend (zusammen) verbringen".
    – PMF
    Dec 2, 2020 at 7:17

The English expression to show someone a good time can sometimes (although not always) carry the implication of slightly risque behaviour. However, if you are not looking for the risque implications, but instead for a straightforward word, then the Collins English-German Dictionary suggests ausführen:

to show sb a good time / jdn ausführen

ausführen is slightly formal and suggestive of polite or correct behaviour in the context of taking out a woman, girl, or visitor.


I am not a native English speaker, so I tried to understand the use of "to show (someone) a good time". It seems to be a very variable phrase. What I found are for example these explanations:

show (one) a good time

  1. To entertain or amuse one.

(a) We have some very important clients flying into town on Monday, and I want you to show them a good time while they're here.

(b) This is John's bachelor party — we have to show him a good time!

  1. vulgar slang To pleasure one sexually. [See also here.]

(c) We could always go down to the red light district. The girls down there know how to show you a good time.

show someone a good time

  1. Entertain someone, as in

(d) I know Aunt Dorothy will show us a good time when we visit San Francisco.

This idiom uses the verb show in the sense of "accord or grant something," a usage dating from about 1200.

In addition to the fine suggestions by choXer and user02814 I offer

For (a) and (d): sich gut um jemanden kümmern ; für einen angenehmen Aufenthalt sorgen

For (b): dafür sorgen, dass jemand etwas genießen kann / genießt ; jemandem etwas schön machen

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.