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Guten Tag!

I need help with some clarity about the different ways to say 'move' in German. I've got below some examples sentences in english, and a (probably poor) translation in German. Please correct me!

I am moving on Monday - Ich ziehe am Montag um
Move == Umziehen

I am moving to Berlin - Ich ziehe nach Berlin
Move == Ziehen

I move my bike - Ich verschiebe mein Fahrrad
Move == Verschieben

Let's move to another table - Lass uns an einen anderen Tisch ziehen
Move == ziehen

I made a dancing move - Ich mache einen Tanzbewegung
Move == Bewegung

Basically this question came from today when some rude idiot came out telling me that my son and his friends (they're like 5 years old) were not allowed to play out the front of the apartment building. Anyway, I didn't want to argue about it and I said he needed to move. But I wasn't 100% sure how to tell the kids that we needed to move.

I think I told the kids something like "Wir müssen auf einen anderen Platz spielen". But I wanted to say to them "We need to move to another place to play". So would it be correct if I said "Wir müssen zu einem andrem Platz zeihen, sodass wir spielen können"?

Danke!

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    Just to make it clear, examples 1,2 and 4 are the same meaning, you move from space A to space B (dwds.de/wb/umziehen#d-1-1-1) the "um" just get's replaced by where you are moving to most of the time (ie. "Ich ziehe um" -> "Ich ziehe nach Berlin")
    – Trae
    Aug 25, 2021 at 4:49

2 Answers 2

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Ok, let's go through your examples

I am moving on Monday. / Ich ziehe am Montag um.

I am moving to Berlin. / Ich ziehe nach Berlin.

These two are completely fine.

I move my bike. / Ich verschiebe mein Fahrrad.

While this is correct grammatically, nobody would put it like this ;) To use "verschieben" here makes the sentence sound like "I offset my bike" or "I shift my bike". You probably wouldn't focus on the moving itself but on the purpose: "Ich räume mein Fahrrad aus dem Weg", "I move my bike out of the way", for example. In case you want to push your bike instead of riding it, that would be "Ich schiebe mein Fahrrad".

Let's move to another table. / Lasst uns an einen anderen Tisch _um_ziehen.

While this is also correct grammatically, it would probably only be used with a lot tounge in cheek. The mood would be, "do we really need to take all the jackets and all the bags and everything else and move all the way to that other table?". A more natural way of putting it would be something like, "Wollen wir uns an den Tisch da drüben setzen?", "Would we like to sit down at that table over there?" (or, in more natural English, "Let's sit at the table over there.")

I made a dancing move. / Ich machte eine Tanzbewegung.

This is also fine grammatically, but sounds really wooden and stuffy, almost like "officialese". "Die Person machte eine Tanzbewegung, und das ohne vorherige Genehmigung!" A more natural way would be to say "Ich fing an zu tanzen", "I started to dance".

"Wir müssen zu einem anderen Platz ziehen, so dass wir spielen können."

Using "ziehen" here makes it sound quite solemn and ritualistic, as if you're doing a procession. While it might have been funny to move your kids like that to stick it to the neighbor, I don't think this is what you meant ;) A native German speaker might just have said, "Wir müssen zum Spielen woanders hingehen" or "Spielen wir woanders".

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    Excellent answer! Btw, dance moves could be translated as "Tanzfiguren", at least in the context of dancing lessons. Aug 25, 2021 at 5:21
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    'To use "verschieben" here makes the sentence sound like "I offset my bike" or "I shift my bike".' - I think you're missing that this is even unintentionally funnier: Colloquially, "Ich verschiebe mein Fahrrad." means "I sell my bike, in some illicit/illegal way." Aug 25, 2021 at 12:52
  • @O.R.Mapper You're right. The English equivalent would probably be "to sell the bike underhand" or "to black-market the bike", but I've got a hunch that this really isn't what the OP wanted to express ;) My first impression was something like chess or a similar game, "Ich verschiebe mein Fahrrad auf e4". Aug 25, 2021 at 15:29
  • Thank you for the great answer, very helpful! Aug 27, 2021 at 19:53
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What you said is almost correct.

Wir müssen an einem anderen Platz spielen.

Since you are just talking about another place here and not a direction, dative is the right case to use.

Or you could simply say:

Wir müssen woanders spielen.

Both vare ery natural ways to say it.

If you want to include the movement umziehen would be the right word.

Wir müssen an einen anderen Platz umziehen, um dort zu spielen.
(We need to move to another place to play.)

It's (at least in German) not really necessary to mention the movement since it's clear that you need to go to the other place before you can play there.

In your example

Let's move to another table.
Lass uns an einen anderen Tisch ziehen.

I would rather use umziehen.

Lass uns umziehen ...

You get your things and move to another place. That's also true if you move to another table.

So don't worry to much about the many different translations. You said it pretty well.

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