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Was ist der Unterschied zwischen "Worte" und "Wörter"?

Worte and Wörter are both plurals of Wort.

Is there a difference in meaning between them?


5 Answers 5


When you can count the words and the number of words matters, „Wörter“ is the right choice. Otherwise choose „Worte“.


  • „Deine netten Worte haben mir geholfen.“ – „Your kind words helped me.“ (number of words doesn’t matter)
  • „Der Aufsatz soll mindestens 500 Wörter umfassen.“ – „Write an essay with at least 500 words.“ (number of words is important)
  • 5
    Or even simpler: if "Wort" means the unit of language than its plural is "Wörter" else "Worte" (or even without plural, i.e. a promise: "Ich gebe dir mein Wort")
    – Em1
    Mar 13, 2013 at 21:46
  • 1
    Lejonet8: This is the single best variation of the rule that I've heard so far - easy to remember and to apply. Kudos!
    – Mac
    Mar 14, 2013 at 9:09
  • Wenn man nach einem Dialog feststellt: "Der Worte sind genug gewechselt" kann man diese auch zählen. Feb 11, 2015 at 19:40
  • @userunknown Man kann auch die Anzahl der gespendeten Trostworte zählen, nur ist diese nicht von Bedeutung.
    – lejonet
    Feb 12, 2015 at 1:16
  • @lejonet: Aber die Anzahl der Wörter des Satzes ist von Bedeutung? Feb 13, 2015 at 1:12

The way I learned it was:

Wörter are just words that have nothing to do with each other.

Worte are words that are connected so that they transport a message.

It's pretty much the same as the other answers though.

  • 1
    “Word that have nothing to do with each other” isn’t always a good description for the use of Wörter: Take Mehrere Wörter bilden einen Satz. (Several words form a sentence.) A sentence consists of course of elements that are linked to each other.
    – lejonet
    Mar 13, 2013 at 22:39
  • True, do you have a suggestion how to say it differently?
    – Emanuel
    Mar 14, 2013 at 11:05

"Wörter" is the plural for Wort only. "Worte" can also mean speech, or meaning.


Er sprach Worte des Bedauerns

He expressed his condolences.

You cannot use "Wörter" in this context.

  • 1
    Es ist mir nicht ganz klar, was du ausdrücken möchtest. Kann man in allen anderen Fällen "Worte" und "Wörter" nach eigenem Geschmack verwenden? Ist "Worte" kein regulärer Plural, sondern hat nur eine begrenzte wohl definierte Bedeutung?
    – Em1
    Mar 13, 2013 at 21:42
  • 1
    @Em1 Nein, Wörter und Worte haben schon unterschiedliche Bedeutungen. Der Zwiebelfisch hat es ganz gut formuliert, was auch sonst: spiegel.de/kultur/zwiebelfisch/…
    – Hackworth
    Mar 13, 2013 at 21:53
  • Was ist der Plural von Ehrenwort, Ehrenworte oder Ehrenwörter? Feb 11, 2015 at 19:44

I agree with what Emanuel was trying to say. If you are looking at the plural of each individual word, use "Wörter" (like the Wörter in a dictionary). If you're describing more than one word as a group or phrase or sentence together, use "Worte" (like the Worte he used to express his opinion).


I always think of Wörter as just being more than one word. Like talking about how many new words you have to learn. Whereas, I think of Worte as being more like a group of words together. Like if you give a few words at a funeral.

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